The Christmas Store Story
At North Church, our mission is to grow together as disciples and to go together to make disciples of neighbors and nations. One way we minister to our neighbors is through the Christmas Store. The concept behind the Christmas Store is to support parents of children from the community around North by providing gifts they select to give to their children on Christmas Day.
Several years ago while attending another church, I was asked to oversee our Christmas Project. The church had always filled boxes with toys and personal items. Then ministries around the city distributed the boxes to children in need in their neighborhoods, and several groups in the church would adopt families in need and take toys over to the children the week before Christmas. As I began to research what the ministries would like us to provide in the boxes, one of the leaders told me that they were not interested in the boxes anymore because they wanted to support families in need in a different way. This leader had gone with one of the pastors and some folks from one of the church to deliver a box of presents to a family in need and witnessed something that changed the way he believed the church should provide. As the church folks handed out gifts to the children, the parents sat back watching how excited the children were to receive the toys and gifts. The father stepped into the kitchen, holding back tears. The pastor followed him, expecting that the father was overwhelmed with joy that the church had done such a great thing for his children. Instead the father expressed his sorrow that he was not able to be the one giving gifts to his children.
So the Christmas Store was set in motion to give parents in need the opportunity to be the gift giver while the church provides support to them. We have given invitations to three elementary schools that will be passed out to the parents with the greatest needs. They will be invited to walk through the store and pick out gifts while their children attend a Christmas Party. These families will be loved and cared for as they spend time with us Saturday, December 10. As we walk the parents through the store, we will ask how we can pray for them and serve them. While the children do a craft project together, those of us helping with the party will share the real meaning of Christmas. Each year, it is surprising how many children hear who Jesus is for the very first time.
Church, join us as we share the Gospel with our neighbors. If you haven’t already signed up to volunteer, please come be part of this special day as we minister to our neighbors this coming Saturday from 9am to 1pm.