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September/October 2021

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The simple beauty of Christmas

Hardcore planning seems a bit less necessary that it did a couple of years ago. Is it that we’ve gotten more flexible and more adaptable as a result of living through the past two years? Or is it that we’re trusting God more deeply because we’ve all been so heavily reminded that we aren’t in control? It’s probably a little of both.

But where there’s change and challenge, there’s ingenuity — perhaps nowhere more than in the role of the church tech.

In an interview for this issue’s story, “Tactics to Strengthen Your Storytelling in Filmmaking and Live Production,” visual storyteller Jesse Henning told our writer and managing editor that Christmas this year is a story that’s already perfect. The beautiful truth of the story of Jesus’ birth is the same all throughout the ages.

So why do we put such pressure on ourselves to tell it differently each year? “It can be tempting to figure out something completely brand new,” as Henning puts it. “The sky’s the limit. And we burn so much time just trying to come up with new ideas.

In Judah Thomas’s Back Talk contribution this issue, “Home for Christmas,” he hits on the same sentiment, saying, “It is important for us all to remember that it is Jesus who is building the Church, and not us.”

So while Thomas advocates for going all out this year for Christmas services, he tempers that advice with this explanation: “I am not implying that Christmas worship experiences need to be all flash … This needs to be a service that offers hope to people who have likely grown stagnant in their relationship with God. This needs to be a time when the prodigal is welcomed back home. This is a time for the weary to rejoice.”

Whether you’re a small church, medium-sized, or vast like Impact Church in this issue’s feature, you will all tell the same story this December 25. And no matter how ostentatiously or simply you tell it, no matter with what tools or technologies or lack thereof, the birth of the Father’s Son will resonate across the land.

Christmas 2021 will be a time for us all to rejoice, and rest, together.

Best regards,

Brian Blackmore, Editor & Publisher / bblackmore@pmipub.com

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