Revive Community Fellowship in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, partnered with Tamaqua’s Spirit of Christmas Committee and a missions team from Highland Baptist Church in Hickory, North Carolina, in hosting a Christmas in July.
The celebration experienced a couple of bumps in the road due to weather and COVID, but Revive’s Pastor Steven Gintz and his team recalibrated their plans and successfully brought the event indoors.
With the assistance of a Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey evangelism grant, visitors were treated to a photo station, candy, games with prizes, crafts, giveaways, chalk art evangelism, witness dolls and lots of food including hot dogs, cotton candy.
The gospel was seamlessly interwoven in creative ways throughout the event, beginning at the registration table where tracts and Bibles were distributed.
Since the event’s theme was Christmas in July, Revive used the birth of Christ as a tool to share the gospel — through crafts and one-on-one conversations.
‘Message of Salvation’
“The missions team made and handed out witness dolls, sharing the gospel through the colored beads on the dolls’ necklaces,” said Gintz. “There were also many individual conversations with people and opportunities to be able to share the love of Christ and the message of Salvation.”
One team member, who is a retired pastor, shared the gospel while drawing beautiful pictures of Christ with colored chalk. “During this event he explained to people watching how the Holy Spirit inspires him to draw these pictures of Christ and explained what Christ does for you when you accept Him as your personal Savior,” explained Gintz.
Revive also used prizes and a winter hat and glove giveaway to share about Christ. When visitors asked about the cost of these items, the church was able to explain that they were free, just like the gift of salvation.
The event proved to be an emotional outlet, allowing people to share how challenging this past year has been. “There was one lady specifically that was really struggling in her life. She had lost her dad a few months ago and recently just lost her mom and said was really struggling just to get back into the groove of life,” said Gintz. “We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her and pray with her. She stated she knew Christ as her personal Savior, but was starting to lose hope. She said that by doing something like this it really showed her that people are there for her, love her and care for her. She said she now wanted to come back to Jesus by seeing this love of Christ shared with her through this event.”
Christmas in July was followed by a second missions team coming the following weekend to do evangelism.
God did some amazing work over those two weeks. “It’s amazing how God is continuing His work here in Tamaqua to reach an area that is so hurting and struggling, just sharing with them they are cared for and loves just like Christ does for them,” said Gintz.
There are so many creative ways to reach the 14 million individuals in PA/SJ for Christ. Revive Community Fellowship used Christmas in July.
BRN launched the #LovePASJ initiative earlier in 2021 with the intent to Love Pennsylvania and South Jersey.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by LaVeta Jones, communications consultant with the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey, where it was originally published.