Protecting the Love and Joy of Christmas

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Holidays spent with family can be wonderful, but they can also be a lot to handle. This week, John Bailey and Mark Renfroe talk about how they keep things positive and Christ-centered when family tensions make the holidays feel less than festive.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • John Bailey and Mark Renfroe discuss ways to create a positive holiday experience by reducing stress and minimizing family tension.

  • We must remember that Christmas is about Christ and everything else is secondary.

  • This holiday season set your focus on hospitality, not entertaining, because with entertaining comes an expectation of perfection, which can sap the joy out of Christmas.

  • Emotions can be heightened during the holidays. Use wisdom and discernment when it comes to discussion topics at holiday gatherings.

  • Mark Renfroe shares some practical advice that he and his wife use to help minimize the stress of finances and gift buying during the holidays.

  • Let’s keep our focus on Christ’s eternal gift of salvation, not the temporary material gifts we give and receive at Christmas. Jesus didn’t come so we could stress about Christmas gifts and go into debt.

  • Rather than trying to force Jesus on your unsaved family and friends, authentically demonstrate Christlike character to them and allow the Holy Spirit to provide opportunities to share your faith with them.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Proverbs 15:1; Luke 2:1–21

About John Bailey

Pastor John Bailey serves as the Chief Operating Officer at World Challenge. John came to know Christ in jail after some difficult struggles as a young man, and God has done a powerful work of transformation since! Spending 13 years in Next Gen ministry, he excelled in discipleship and helping young leaders discover giftings to serve God. John was called next to serve as a missionary and pastor in Western Europe. John and his family then returned to plant the Springs Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, the church is a thriving body of believers excelling in outreach and missions. John has now brought his giftings and vision to World Challenge, accelerating the spread of the gospel in America and around the World.

About Mark Renfroe

Mark married his college sweetheart, Amy, with whom he has four adult children—one girl and three boys. The Renfroes have been involved in field missions work for 30 years. They served in the Arab community of San Francisco for four years before becoming foreign missionaries in 1995. Mark was asked to serve as the Area Director for Assemblies of God World Missions in 2007. As part of his role, he led missionaries and interfaced with national church leaders in the 18 countries of the Arab World. In 2017, Mark created Reaching Africa’s Muslims, an initiative to mobilize, equip, and deploy indigenous African missionaries to reach Muslims on the continent. Mark has graduate degrees in Intercultural Studies and Executive Leadership. He currently serves as the Chief Missions Officer for World Challenge in Colorado Springs.