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The 12 Mistakes of Christmas Outreach

After 30 years of experience with holistic church marketing and community outreach, working with churches and ministries across nearly 100 denominations, in every state and in many other countries. Drawing on that wide experience, this article outlines what they've learned to be the 12 most common mistakes churches make in Christmas outreach.
Church can takes active steps to avoid these mistakes and dramatically increase the effectiveness of their outreach. Christmas outreach done in the way described here will positively impact every other facet of a church's ministry, and many of the recommendations provide smarter ways to plan for the whole year.

Mistake #1: Not planning for something great.

Seth Godwin calls it the Purple Cow.
Tom Peters calls it the WOW principle.
George Lois calls it the Big Idea.

Seeking a change of scenery, you drive a new route through the countryside. The first cow you pass draws attention. If kids are along, they practice mooing and laugh. Everyone watches for the next cow. Yet after an hour of cruising along pasture fences, who notices anymore? Not that the cows have become any less effective at being cows. But to a passing motorist with passing interest, all those cows begin to seem familiar and ordinary and nearly invisible. The only thing that would get new attention and strong interest would be a purple cow. We live in a world of extraordinary things. The mistake often made is to settle for the ordinary, familiar....or safe. Familiarity does not always breed contempt. But settling for the ordinary and the all-too-familiar may breed something else. read more

Dealing With the Holiday Blues

If you have had something tragic occur during the holidays then feelings of discouragement can happen during this time of year. If you find yourself feeling down or restless but you do not have other symptoms of depression, such as difficulty sleeping or sudden change in weight, you may be experiencing what is known as mild depression. In their book New Light on Depression (Zondervan), David B. Biebel, D.Min., and Harold G. Koenig, M.D., offer six self-help strategies to counteract mild depression:

1. Surround yourself with constructive friends.
2. Increase your activity—this will make you feel better and improve your mental outlook.
3. Relax—a new twist on the old adage: "All work and no play makes Jack or Jill depressed."
4. Helping others gives your life purpose and meaning.
5. Journal—this activity provides insight into where you've been, where you are, and where you're going.
6. Praying connects you with God, dispels loneliness and puts your problems in proper perspective.

Biebel and Koenig point out that these tips do not replace professional help for anyone who is more than mildly depressed. If you feel you need help, don't hesitate to seek a professional counselor or therapist. read more

A War Zone Christmas

Watch how the troops celebrated Christmas in the Afghanistan and Iraq last year.






  read more

30-Day Marriage Makeover Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Christian relationship counselor Doug Weiss's book 30-Day Marriage Makeover as he shares what can cause a couple to rekindle the love in their relationship.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book and here to purchase 30-Day Marriage Makeover. read more

A Look at Malaria's Impact on the World

Although malaria was eradicated in the United States 60 years ago, the immune dieses still kills 2000 children every day. Visit malaria.charismamag.com to find other staggering statics and learn more about malaria read more

The Power You Need Not to Give Up

Often times Christians become weary in well doing and some even backslide and give up their faith in Christ altogether. Watch the video to find out how you can find the power not to give up and help equip others to do the same.  read more

Bethel Church: God, The Bad, and The Ugly

Kris Vallotton, a senior leader at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., discusses the church’s successes, failures and addresses its criticisms

There has been much written about Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., and the movement that we have had the privilege of being a part for more than three decades. Most of what has been said about us is positive. But a small yet influential coalition of people have shared negative reports about us.

These reports often include words such as controversial, unbalanced or even the word cult to describe us. To be frank, I can understand why certain religious leaders or unbelievers might view us through these perspectives. We certainly have made our share of mistakes, both as a leadership team and those who follow us. And we have such a high value for freedom and risk that it has created a kind of “research and development” culture where people are encouraged to take risks. I think this stems from the fact that we view ourselves much more as pioneers than settlers. Therefore, we celebrate creativity, revelation, invention and innovation above comfort, safety and security.

This R&D culture has attracted some of the most wonderful and extraordinary individuals on the planet. Of course, we’ve also managed to draw some very broken and strange people. It’s important to remember, however, that there are some really weird and broken people mentioned in the Bible who God used powerfully. Unique guys such as John the Baptist, Ezekiel and Hosea come to mind, as well as messed-up people such as Rahab and Samson. read more


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