In between distractions (see photo!) I have spent much of today developing a short 5 minute talk to give at our local carols evening this Saturday night. As I browsed back over my carol’s talks from my church days I realised how unsuitable much of that stuff is for this context.

When you put on the event and people come to you – and are on your turf – you are free to say what you like – within reason. I asked permission to speak at this event (run by the local developer) as there did not seem to be any specific focus given to speaking about the significance of Christmas. They were quite happy for me to do it, but it is not a church service nor is it a church event, so the approach and the content needs to reflect that.

My hope is that the few thoughts I share will provoke people to think more about the person of Christ at this time. Ironically it involves saying very little about Jesus per se but hopefully just enough to spark some interest.

While I have spent 4 or 5 hours on this today, I imagine on the night I will ‘wing it’ and hope the ideas flow from my mouth as they have on paper today. They reckon there will be 2-3 thousand people there so hopefully it’ll be ok!

A friend suggested I just ‘preach the gospel’ and don’t worry about the flack. However I don’t think that’s gonna happen! I’m not at all worried about the flack, but ‘stun and run’ presentations often do more harm than good and my hope is to build credibility that will allow all of us to say more in the future.

Its walking a line of respect for where people are at as well as doing justice to the core message of Christmas.

So today I have sat in my study all day tinkering with ideas for this talk as well as for Sunday night at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church. As of this Sunday I will be preaching 10 times over the next 14 weeks – something I wasn’t seeking (I try to limit myself to once a month) but some opportunities were simply too signifcant to knock back.

I am a little annoyed with myself for taking on so much, but the beauty of my life is that I can schedule less in during the week to compensate… Gonna be doing some compensating…

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