Love Week is one week a year that we highlight what we do year-round – love God, love people, and love our city. We do that primarily through outreach projects held all around Knoxville with our local outreach partners. This year we have 22 projects set up with 9 different partners. And the goal is 100 volunteers giving a total of 500 hours and $3,000 to those partners. That’s a lot of love!
I hope you had a very fun and rest-filled Christmas. If you’re like me, you need the Christmas break to recover from the weeks leading up to Christmas! Especially if you had the privilege of being a part of A Downtown Christmas.
A Downtown Christmas was a HUGE success. It was also a big event and production, with lots of moving parts and lots of man-hours, and every hour of preparation was worth it! The smiles on faces said it all: Christmas Eve was more than a fun event, it was a homecoming for many people. The love, the gifts, the experience, and the word were life-giving. And just like the love of the Father, it was all free! That may be my favorite aspect of the night – providing everything for free, and letting it speak volumes to our guests..
As with every gathering our family has, the purpose was much greater than putting on an excellent experience. Our goal was not to entertain people, or even to get them to make some religious decision or commitment that we could count for our satisfaction. Above all else, the point of A Downtown Christmas was simple:
Welcoming God’s kids home.
And we did it. High-fives for everyone. That being said, let me say this: The mission is not accomplished.
Just got back from grabbing some lunch, and between the restaurant and the walk home I had a chance to invite 3 people to A Downtown Christmas! And then I wondered, why is it so easy to invite people this time of year?
The answer is because most people’s Christmas plans include church. And if they are specifically invited somewhere, statistics show that they will likely choose the invitation over the non-invitation.
I’m a church nerd – it’s kinda my job – so I frequently come across church statistics. (In fact, someone I was inviting yesterday was telling me they always hear me quoting some stat.) But the statistic I’m about to show you says it all, and explains quite clearly why we’re doing Christmas Eve…
On Thursday many people got together with their extended family to eat too much and watch football as a way to show their thanks. (Because that makes perfect sense.) And on Friday many people got up (before God) and went out to spend money on themselves (yes, don’t feel bad, no one else bought gifts for others either) ensuring their favorite merchants made it “into the black” (meaning profitable). Then they did the same thing again online yesterday.
“So when is “giving” part of this Thanksgiving season,” you might ask?