I have been asked a few times recently 'what is the point is of sharing the message of Christianity, among the bling and razzmatazz of Christmas. Doesn’t it get all lost?'
I really can’t think of a better time to sow the good news into peoples lives, than this time. You see Christmas is about the most generous gift this world has been graced with. God gave his very best for you and me. This is a message to shout about and remind people that this whole season is the Christ-time. Or as the cheesy saying goes, this time is a time to help people ‘remember the reason for the season.’
When I came up with the idea of ‘Get in the picture’ it was with the hope that I could plant some seeds of a great message and meet people face to face. Little did I realise that 6 years later literally tens of thousands of people have ‘got in the picture’ through encountering groups from local churches with a makeshift nativity set and dressing up clothes!
‘Get in the Picture’ enables all kinds of people to be involved in the Christmas story by encouraging them to participate and experience being part of the nativity in an fun way.
After setting up a nativity scene in their local town, churches invite people from their local community to dress up and be part of the scene. A photo is taken and then uploaded to this website, so that each participant can find their photo – and then print it, email it to friends or share it on Facebook at no cost to themselves.
If you haven’t yet registered for a get in the picture project, it’s not too late or try it next year. There are 3 reasons why it works well:
1) It is fun:
Whether we realise it or not, most people in the UK have a bad image of what it means to be a Christian. I heard today someone say that television media portrays those in church leadership either as ‘more tea vicar or more sex vicar!
‘Get in the picture’ is about changing perceptions about what it means to be part of a church. Time and time again, mums and dads with their children who have taken part in 'Get in the picture' have made a point of expressing their thanks for the opportunity to have a free gift. ‘What a lovely idea!’ I have heard many times. When downloading their picture, people are able to find out about other Christmas services or events that the Church is putting on.
2) It shows good news:
I have been asked a few times by members of the public, over the years, how much it costs to get your picture taken. The free gift of 'Get in the picture' shows something of the free gift of Jesus. The vehicle of the message shows something of the outrageously absurd gift from a holy God giving his perfect Son, to an undeserving world. Furthermore, it really shocks people that it is free. When members of the public encounter ‘church’ sadly they often look to see where the donation bucket is. A free gift from church speaks volumes.
3) It is hands on:
Get in the picture is a simple concept. You join a Nativity scene and have a picture taken! It’s not a monologue or booklet, it’s visual and vibrant, you dress up as one of the characters and while doing so, I believe that this act of engagement speaks.
So, I hope that if you are doing 'Get in the picture' this year, you will have confidence to speak about the gift of Jesus. That you will see your role as skillfully planting seeds that will grow, for those who have yet to discover that baby Jesus was born for them.