9 ways to make your Christmas more Connected

Christmas in the office
Use your imagination! Like this celebration round a 'fire'!

Christmas is a great time to share stories and encouragement from your Connected Church partner with your church and wider community. Read on to find nine ways to make your Christmas more Connected...

So easy, even Scrooge could do it

1. Send a message to your partner
Spread some Christmas cheer to your church’s Connected Church partner - log in to the website and send them a message via their page. They love to know that you are thinking of them. You might be surprised how encouraging it is for them! Try praying beforehand and see if God gives you a verse or word for them - remember you are their partner too and your prayers are a vital part of their work.

2. Share your impact
Log in to the ‘Your Impact’ page on the website and see the difference your support has made in the last year. Let the rest of your church know in a service, on social media, or through your newsletter.

3. Write cheques not cards
Instead of sending Christmas cards to people you see all the time, donate the money you would have used to buy the cards to your Connected Church partner. Some churches we know have done this together, having one big card at the church that everyone writes in, and pooling their money for Tearfund!

Christmas service in Nepal
Santa has even made his way to this church's Christmas service in Nepal!

Recruit some Christmas Elves to help

4. Pray for your partner in a service
Make some space in your Christmas service to lift up your partner in prayer. Whether this is during a time of intercession, or led by a worship leader, use the time to remind your church that you are part of a global family. You can find the latest prayer requests from your partner on their blog.

5. Create a Christmas display
Do you have space in your church for a display all about your partner’s work? Why not print off some inspiring quotes from the latest stories, as well as some of their photos? Log in to the website and on your partner’s page you will find a library of images you can use.

6. Make prayer paper chains
Either in a prayer group, a service, or as a children’s activity, make a string of paper chains with prayers on for your partner. Give each person a strip of paper - in an appropriate Christmas colour of course! - and ask them to write a prayer for your partner on it. Then attach them together with staples or glue, and string them up around your church!

Carol concert in the office
Carol singing in Nepal
Christmas carols
There are lots of ways of hosting a Carol Concert: outside with a brass band; accompanied by a guitar; or with a choir singing beautiful harmonies.

Super Santa levels of commitment

7. Relocate your nativity!
Do a bit of research into your partner’s home country and try setting your nativity there. You could include elements like their local language and their national dress.

8. Host a Carol Concert
Is your church holding a carol concert this year? Try combining it with Tearfund and Hope’s Christmas No.1 carol service. You’ll get carol booklets for everyone at your service, and a whole host of other resources. Don’t forget to take a collection for your Connected Church project.

9. Host a Christmas Fair
A bit more effort, but totally worth it to spread the joy of Christmas and Connected Church to your wider community. Host a Christmas fair in your church, with games, stalls, cakes, and of course mince pies! Have a stall all about your Connected Church, and donate the funds you raise at the fair to help your partner make a difference through their work.

However you celebrate your partner this Christmas, we would love to hear about it. Post a message and your photos to your partner’s Facebook group, or email us at churches@tearfund.org.

Caroline Barnard
Caroline works for Tearfund in the Connected Church team. She loves reading stories from partners about how they are bringing transformation through their work.