Celebrities are doing it, runway models are now modeling this season’s latest, and online merchants are popping up all over the web. Forget Elmo, the ugly Christmas sweater, it seems, is this season’s must have item. There are now books about the Ugly Christmas sweater. Songs have been created, and parties will be thrown nationwide this Christmas all centered around the ugly Christmas sweater.
I was recently in search of the ultimate ugly Christmas sweater. I discovered that the perfect ugly Christmas sweater is not something that just happens to exist, it must be created, much like my ministry. I’ve decided that I want my ministry to resemble the U.G.L.Y. Christmas sweater.
- UNIQUE: Each ugly sweater is a one of a kind. I don’t know how many times I’ve attended a conference or read a book and thought, “wow, we need to do that!” The problem is that ministry in my setting and in my church is unique. I can’t just expect to have a cookie cutter approach to my ministry. Cookie cutters are for bakers, not pastors. My ministry must be unique. Different is good.
- GENUINE: Perhaps one of the reasons we’re seeing the popularity of the sweater rise is because it “allows people to abandon their norms. People spend 364 days out of the year worrying about what they look like,” The sweater party gives them one night to look totally stupid, to feel like they fit in, no matter what they wear. All inhibitions are gone. They can be themselves. Oh how I want the same to be true of my ministry. If I strive to create an environment where people can fall in love with a genuine, authentic God I’ve done my job well.
- LIGHT-HEARTED: One of the great things about an ugly Christmas sweater is that it makes people laugh. I want my ministry to be a place where people laugh. A place of refuge for young and old to take a break from the stresses of daily living and experience a place filled with pure joy.
- YOUTHFUL: The popularity of the Christmas sweater has skyrocketed over the past 5 years. In order for our ministries to be seen as relevant and youthful, we’ve got to remain current with today’s trends. We have an age-old message that will outlast all time and trends. But, it is our responsibility to discover creative ways to convey this message. The more relevant we are, the more approachable we will be to those we serve.
My ugly sweater is daring, bold, and a whole lot of fun. How about you? In what ways does your ministry mirror the ugly Christmas sweater?
*article cited above ( http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/the-craze-behind-that-ugly-christmas-sweater/)
About Today’s Author: Jill Waltz
Jill Waltz is the founder of Imagine Family Ministries. She has been actively involved in Ministry for the past 17+ years. She served as a Children’s Pastor for 15 of those years. Her focus has become ministry to families and empowering the church in this area. Her desire is to equip the church to take ministry to families in their communities.