Why We Do Jesus Is Born
An Article for Christians
Jesus Is Born began in 2004 as a way to invite the community to Champion Church
… and hopefully encourage them to make Jesus and His church family a regular part of their lives.
The 1st “JIB” was done before there was even a building on our property. It was lit by car-light as vehicles surrounded the area with their lights on! To our surprise, over 500 people attended that first humble production, in spite of the fact that they had to bring their own chairs! Our pastors would narrate the nativity as it was acted out, and we would have a choir singing between scenes.
Since those early beginnings, Jesus Is Born has grown tremendously and become a beloved family Christmas tradition in the city of Yuma. Year after year, we add new elements and surprises so as people return, there is often something unexpected for them to enjoy. No matter how much the production grows in size and attendance, we have never changed our guiding principles and purposes for doing Jesus Is Born.
The first and most important principle is: “Jesus Is Born is NOT planned, performed or produced for Christians!”
This may be a surprise to many, but Jesus Is Born is first and foremost an evangelist outreach event designed specifically to attract and relate to pre-Christians and non-church-going Christians. Our entire purpose is presenting the gospel, from the birth of Jesus to His sacrifice on the cross, to those who need to hear it the most.
Jesus said, He came to seek and to save those who were lost Luke 19:10. He said in Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
He told his disciples that He would make them “fishers of men” in Matthew 4:19, and in John 3:17 the Bible tells us, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
To His followers Jesus gave this Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” And this Great Commandment: Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Every Church and Christian is given the purpose and commission to be fishers of men, to win the lost, and to actively lead people to Jesus. Churches often neglect the most important purpose of the church by not intentionally finding ways to be relevant to the culture they are in and attract the lost and those looking for hope into their services.
This leads us to our 2nd guiding principle: “We never change the message, but we continually improve the method.”
The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16) and it is relevant and powerful in every generation, but how the gospel is presented must remain relevant and understandable to the culture we live in or the church becomes irrelevant and ineffective.
Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
Occasionally we receive questions from Christians about some of the elements in our production, like the inclusion of Santa, or the “modern family” scene. Even the Grinch makes it into the lineup. The simple answer is this: JIB is designed to reach our community for Christ in a way and a language they understand.
The average child knows very well that Santa is a fictional character (based on a Saint Nicholas, a Catholic priest who brought gifts to orphaned children at Christmas time) yet that is how our culture relates to Christmas today. These elements are added in a deliberate effort to include, attract, and reach a secular audience.
Unfortunately, one or two “Christians” invariably get up and leave when Santa comes on the scene, never considering the possibility that unchurched people around them may be actually relating to the presentation of the Gospel for the first time. The sad thing is, if they would stay to the end, they would witness Santa kneeling and praying before Jesus, along with the modern family, the Grinch, the shepherds, the wise men and the towns people. They would experience the final scene where Jesus restores a broken marriage, a homeless person, and a Marine facing combat, and where the entire audience is led in a prayer of faith to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Many people, along with their entire families, have received Christ, and had their lives changed forever at Jesus Is Born.
Jesus was often criticized for not appealing to the religious expectations of His day.
Matthew 9:10-13 tells us: “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
We hope that Christians who attend Jesus Is Born use it as an opportunity to bring their unsaved friends, co-workers, and loved ones to, with the purpose of exposing them to a presentation of the Gospel that they will understand and relate to, and very likely, receive Jesus as their personal savior.
Join with us, in reaching our community for Christ.