A few years ago, we were looking to revamp our annual Christmas party. We had done the ugly sweater party that cleaned out our local Goodwill, the scavenger hunts, and other commercial-grade, pre-packaged parties. Our problem was that our Christmas party was stale and we wanted to really to amp up the night and make it ours.
As we looked at our students’ life outside of church and what got them really excited, we found two classic events that average every high school student experiences: The homecoming dance and Prom. They loved getting together, getting really dressed up, eating nice food, and making special memories. The question then became how do we make prom night youth group friendly?
Making it Classy
Then it hit me one night as I watched one of the greatest TV shows of all time, The Office, we would call it Classy Christmas. It would be a night where we ask the kids to get really dressed up, have our parents come together and provide an amazing meal, have a photo booth for everyone to take pictures, and play our traditional gift-swapping game. It had the potential to be both amazing and memorable!
Making it Spiritual
But what about Jesus?
Did we want him there?
Did we need him there?
What does Jesus look like at a Classy Christmas party?
Of course we wanted him there, and we weren’t going to do it without him.
I love Jesus. I love how you don’t have to dress him up. You don’t have to put a bow on top of him. You don’t have to wrap him in Christmas lights to make him appealing.
Jesus is the most appealing person by simply being himself. There is nothing more he could be for us, and it is our call to always present Christ as simply Christ.
So we did just that!
After the amazing meal, the photo booth, and the gift game, we presented Christ as simply Christ. We focused on how amazing the gift of his birth was for all of us and what he brought into the world on that starry night in the Middle East. We showed that even though he was a King, he came in lowly manger. We told the beginning of his life on this earth and then went to the end of his time with us on earth. We presented the gospel as our guys stood in suits and our girls in beautiful dresses. We didn’t hold back. We told them that when God calls for our best, it is our hearts he’s after, not our outward, polished, appearance.
Beginning and Ending with Prayer
Our Classy Christmas party started with a prayer. We prayed that this event would be an open door for students who don’t usually spend time with us. We prayed that this event would be one where our students felt more comfortable to invite their friends, and their friends felt more comfortable to come. We prayed the Holy Spirit would have control over this dressed up party. Then we stepped back as the night started and loved as Christ has loved us. Then we stood up and focused the night on nothing but our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As the days after the event passed by, the new year came, and school started back up there was one thing that remained with us from our Classy Christmas party. It wasn’t the food. It wasn’t the photos. It wasn’t the gifts. It was the stories! Stories of life change and stories of students surrendering to Christ. It was the stories of students growing in faith by breaking the mold, stepping out of comfort zones, and walking unashamedly in faith!
Sometimes it’s good to switch things up for the sake of switching things up. Let us not allow the good things we do, as a student ministry, to rob us of new opportunities that God has in store for us so that we may do more presenting of Christ, as simply, Christ.
In every event, every day, every season, from cradle to ascension, let it be Christ.
Image attribution: Mike Watson Images / Thinkstock