‘It’s a God Thing’, Gospel Drives Continuing Outreach & Christmas Eve Service
For more than a year, the baptismal waters at Trinity Baptist Church have stirred. Leaders say the same verb can be applied to the hearts of its church members. Gospel outreach remains the goal of pastors in Buffalo after gunman Payton Gendron pleaded guilty Nov.28 to domestic terrorism and murder in the killing 10 Blacks at a supermarket. And, the closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely it is church pews will be filled.
For more than a year, the baptismal waters at Trinity Baptist Church have stirred. Leaders say the same verb can be applied to the hearts of its church members.
In late October 2021 Trinity Baptist was still trying to recover from hurricane damage and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of those distractions, though, a continual emphasis on preaching the Gospel began to take shape in a just-as-continual stream of decisions for Christ.
That included training members how to share their testimony and Christ. Those steps, coupled with seeing someone step into the baptistry week after week, had an undeniable effect.
Gospel outreach remains the goal of pastors in Buffalo after gunman Payton Gendron pleaded guilty Nov.28 to domestic terrorism and murder in the killing 10 Blacks at a supermarket.
Mark Hamilton, senior pastor of Faithful Stones Church near the Tops Friendly Market where the crime occurred in May, has partnered with Send Network church planter Eric Napoli and the Frontier Baptist Association in spreading the Gospel alongside humanitarian outreaches that continued through Thanksgiving in the impacted community.
Hamilton and Napoli, who began partnering in the Gospel nearly a year before the shooting occurred, welcomed the guilty plea that reversed Gendron’s initial not guilty plea in June.
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The closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely it is church pews will be filled.
Half of U.S. Protestant pastors (48 percent) say a Christmas Eve service is their churches’ largest event during the holiday season, according to a Lifeway Research study. The frequency of the highest attendance events builds up to Christmas Eve and then tapers off into January.
Few pastors point to an event the first week of December or earlier (6 percent) or a service during the second week (10 percent) as their most well-attended. Around a quarter (26 percent) say an event during the third week of the month is top.
While it may not be true for most congregations, early December is the high-water mark for Christmas season attendance at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, Miss. Senior pastor Rob Armstrong said attendance starts off strong in December, with their Sunday services the first two weeks of the month being their most attended events.
High-attendance events during the Christmas season vary from church to church. Pastors in the South (39 percent) are least likely to say Christmas Eve. Pastors at congregations of fewer than 50 (19 percent) are the least likely to say they have the most people attend an event during the third week of December.
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