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By Josh Black - North Park Community Church / Photo credit: Melissa Stottmann

In our Church ministries, the fall is such a busy time of the year. September, October and November seem to fly by, (leaving our ministries in their dust and struggling to recall all that they accomplished in 3 busy months!)

Although each year it seems that December will continue at the same pace, charging us into the New Year like a freight train, this year, I challenge each of us to make the conscious decision to slow down and commit Christmas to reflecting on all that God has done. When we take this very necessary time to reflect, we see how good God truly has been amidst the busyness, and how he continues to bless us with good gifts each and every day.

One way that our Jr. and Sr. High ministries at North Park reflect on God’s goodness is through our annual Christmas parties. These parties allow us to take time as a team to decompress from a busy fall, eat great food, play ridiculous games, laugh endlessly, and although it may at times go unsaid, celebrate relationships that have formed and hearts that have been changed over the course of 3 months all because of a blessed saviour that was born for our salvation.

The Jesus who transformed us, then charges us in Matthew 25: 40 to spread his love and message to our city. With this in mind, in a season that can often become focused on materialism, these gatherings also provide us an opportunity to switch our focus to those who are under resourced. Amidst the fun and laughter that the season brings, we’re able to remind ourselves that, even within the city of London, there are those that go without food, warm clothing and other basic necessities each winter.

This year, our students teamed together to collect over 20 care packages for Missions Services London, where they will be given to men and women that rely on Missions Services to stay warm during the winter. We have found that these initiatives usually result in our students looking for more opportunities to show love to those in their city and in the end they themselves are blessed because of it.

I pray that in the future the Christmas season can afford us all a chance to slow down, reflect on the accomplishments of the fall, as well as change our focus away from ourselves and onto God and the people he has called us to love. I believe that’s exactly what we need, and what God wants for our ministries.

Josh Black
Director of Jr. & Sr. High
North Park Community Church 519-457-1400 ext 251 |