By Ken McCoy
It’s the best of times, and the worst of times. Christmas.
For a youth leader, “the holidays” can be anything but. In addition to our “normal” jobs of planning and pulling off awesome weekly group meetings, directing a team of volunteers, going to church staff meetings, and leading small groups, we suddenly have to factor in special Christmas programs, “Winter Break” activities, Christmas parties, and more. PLUS, we really want to make the season special for our own kids and family.
The extra Christmas workload is enough to turn an enthusiastic youth leader into a “Bah, humbug!” Scrooge.
Just in time for the Christmas Crunch, here are three ways you can maintain your Christmas spirit in these two hectic weeks leading up to the holiday.
- Take advantage of Christmas music – Christmas music is one of the defining elements of the season. You hear it everywhere—in stores, on the radio, television commercials, and in church. Before long, Christmas music can lose its charm. Don’t let this happen to you. Get the FREE “Rockin’ Christmas Tunes” from interlínc (find out how on interlinc’s website) and you’ll transform your Christmas music experience!
- Remember the “Reason for the Season” – You and I both “know” that Christmas is far more meaningful than music, programs, parties, decorations, presents, concerts, and commercials that feature a big red bow on a brand new car in the driveway. Maybe you should check out the Bible study I wrote for the Disney movie A Christmas Carol—the animated one featuring Jim Carrey. (It’s also available on interlínc’s website.) You’ll be reminded of what “incarnation” means, what the incarnation meant to God, and what it means to us. I know that I need an annual renewal and sense of wonder about the tremendous gift that we celebrate this time of year. Once I have my head on right, dealing with the Christmas Crush becomes far easier.
- Let interlínc do the heavy lifting – The “Twelve Days of Christmas” freebies, available to Youth Leader Only members at interlínc-online.com, includes helpful resources like the “Really. A Virgin” article I wrote for the resources we built around The Nativity Story film, or the “Always Winter, Never Christmas” youth meeting/Bible study from interlínc’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe movie guide. You’ll also find a youth meeting guide for Owl City’s song “Light of Christmas” that features a VeggieTales video. There’s no reason for you to have to wrack your brain to create awesome holiday meetings for your group!
Yeah, getting through the next couple of weeks will be a challenge. I really do hope that your load will be a bit lighter from reading this article. I’m certain that God will use you and your efforts to encourage young people to worship the newborn king.