Imagine this scene: It’s after another praise team rehearsal, and we’re winding down with our favorite after rehearsal snack – sushi at the local sushi joint! As we gather around the table, one of our fellow worship leaders starts weaving a tale that captures the heart of why I believe Christmas Eve is so important to every ministry.
A Remarkable Redemption Story
It’s a classic redemption story. A few years ago he was far from God, leading a broken life, when he happened to be driving by the church on Christmas Eve and felt a pull he couldn’t resist (this is a megachurch is positioned on the exit of a major highway – he noticed a line of cars on the exit ramp!) He attended the service, ended up crying through the whole thing and gave his life back to the Lord. His world amazingly changed and he eventually ended up leading worship in rotation on the team. He even married one of the prettiest girls in the praise choir!
After I heard all this, I felt God saying to me “He’s a direct answer to your prayers!”
The Heartfelt Prayer Tradition
You see, when all the hectic preparation for my Christmas services were done through the years, my final touch would be to specifically pray that people would literally be drawn off the street to the church and meet Jesus. I’d usually pray this prayer the night before Christmas Eve as I’d be in the auditorium tidying up the stage, rearranging a music stand or moving a keyboard. Sometimes on my way out of the parking lot I’d even drive around the building a few times while I prayed over the building LOL!
For years, I’d been preaching about the importance of Christmas Eve here at Worshipideas, fueled by stories like the one I had just heard. But now, with a firsthand account in front of me, I knew without a doubt that Christmas Eve is hands down THE best time of year for people to have a meaningful encounter with Jesus. This is especially true for visitors, many of whom come with open and tender hearts.
Prayer and Preparation: A Winning Formula
As we approach this year’s Christmas Eve services, I urge you to do the same. Say a heartfelt prayer before your service(s), asking God to draw people to Himself. And when you see lives changed by His amazing power, remember that combining preparation and prayer is a winning formula for advancing His Kingdom.
Update 2023: This worship leader is still going strong, leading worship with his wife at church and at various church functions. Every time I see him post on Facebook about the wonderful, redeemed life he’s leading I think of this article 🙂