The True Gift of Christmas event
Project Ezra is dedicated to encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public, and what better time to do so than Christmas! Although many, if not most, cities and towns in our country have some kind of community Christmas (or “Holiday”) gathering or fair, these celebrations that have all the trappings of the Christmas season have often nearly or completely lost the essence of what the season should be; a celebration of the birth of Christ. Some cities have banned religious (Christian) displays such as Nativity scenes on public property, and those who have not have often pushed them to the periphery, or buried them behind piles of tinsel, pretty lights, and plastic Santas. Those of us whom God has called to public ministry need to be looking for creative ways bring the focus of the Christmas season back to where it belongs.
In an effort to do so, Project Ezra will be suggesting a very special reading event for this, and we hope many more, Christmases to come. We are encouraging Project Ezra members to gather a team to read the entire Gospel of John in public in the weeks before Christmas.
First, choose a public area in your town or city at or near one of your popular Christmas events. This could be a fair, a parade, outside your local mall on weekends, or any other place that will draw groups of people. You know your area, so pick a place you would want to visit with your friends and family.
Get together a group of like-minded believers to participate with you. This is the ideal time to get additional people involved, since the reading will be long and can be easily divided up. Call Christian friends and family, and see about announcing it in church on Sunday.
Bring a small ladder or box to stand on, and consider making a sign stating the name of our group and what you will be reading for listeners who arrive mid-reading. You may or may not use amplification, depending on personal preference and local laws.
Be sure to spend time in prayer as a group before you start!
Read of the entire Gospel of John, front to back. Consider picking one translation that everyone will read from so the reading flows more smoothly. You also might want to consider printing the book in larger type and putting in into a binder that can be handed from one participant to another. If you will be out in the evening, consider the lighting level too.
If you have a more experienced open-air preacher in your group (or even if you don’t) consider following the reading with a simple gospel presentation
Make sure you have plenty of tracts and bibles to hand out!
The event will be going up on our Facebook page soon, and we will be posting this note to our blog as well so you have someplace to send your friends for more info. Please let us know your thoughts, be sure to RSVP the event, and we look forward to lots of pictures, video, and stories!