Three Exciting Christmas Parties

After we featured ideas for a Christmas Party about Christmas in the Q Place blog, stories of parties and December events have been filling my inbox! Maybe ideas from these excerpts will help round out plans for an event that you will have in the next few days. Have a wonderful celebration of Jesus’ birth!

Fran Goodrich
Q Place Blog Editor

Party to Start a Q Place

In January, Shirley B. and Susan R. are planning to start a Q Place in Illinois. By inviting friends to a Christmas Party, they are finding that the stage is set for that plan.

Our Christmas party went well! In the end, three people joined us, and five to six others we invited showed interest in getting together in January to see what it would be like to be in a group for discussions about spiritual questions.

Everyone at the party seemed relaxed, and we all really enjoyed the evening. We had lots of food and lots of time to visit and play games. The last game we played was asking about Christmas traditions and the other questions Q Place has for a Christmas party. We had put the questions into a hat. As everyone drew a question to answer, many also elaborated on the question that others had. We all got to know one another at a deeper level and it was lovely to sit back and relax and reflect on memories of past Christmases.

This led us into explaining what Q Place is about and how it would look. We read a few questions from the Tough Questions book to give them an idea of what types of things we might discuss, and they all appeared interested in trying this in January.

The Q Place Christmas party was a great idea!

Connecting with Parents at Christmas

Suzanne and her triad in Colorado have been trying to connect with parents who drop their children off at church for a children’s program. They would like to start a Q Place with them, so they had a Christmas Party! Here’s what happened.

We had a great time! There were almost 20 parents who stayed with us and many of them really seemed to have a good time. Many of the parents seemed to believe in Jesus at some level, but there were others who got quieter when we started talking about Jesus. At least one of the families came to church on Sunday and I invited several to Family Night.

Thanks for your encouragement! To God be the glory!

Christmas Gathering in a Colorado Neighborhood

Larry K. and his wife hosted a neighborhood party on a large scale, and it was a success! Larry's report on the evening includes lots of details that may help as you think through logistics for a party with a lot of people.

The Christmas Gathering last night went great! Of 28 that said they were coming, 27 showed up. Plus we had a family of five that came unexpectedly for a total of 32. God must have known just how many we could fit into our living room! If any more, we would have had to remove the furniture and sit on the floor!

We had a two-fold strategy with invitations: posting a general invitation on Next Door [a neighborhood website] two weeks ahead of the party, and passing out printed invites to neighbors that were closest to our house. At first the response was discouraging. I sent out several reminders about the party through Next Door, and as we got closer to the day, many people started to respond yes or no.

We didn’t ask the guests to bring food, but some did and we had plenty of everything—including a wide variety of hot and cold drinks. We had about 45 minutes to get refreshments, meet others, and get a seat in the living room. It was like “herding cats” to get everyone to sit down, but once I started talking, everyone settled in.

We kept the intros pretty brief. Then I asked a series of general questions that just required raising a hand or shouting out. Since the audience was primarily over 55, one fun question was how many grandchildren do you have, and I asked it as a series of questions…. Anyone have 20 or more grandkids? 15 or more? 10 or more? etc.  One older gentleman not only had grandchildren, but great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild! We all clapped for him.

We then offered four holiday tradition questions to respond to, including “What does Christmas mean to you?” The first person to answer gave a short personal testimony about Christ changing his life. Nobody seemed to be put off and others answered that question differently.

Then we read the Christmas story. I had divided the reading into three parts and printed off three sheets using The Message. I asked everyone to imagine they were hearing this story for the first time. The first reader was a young girl about ten years old and everyone clapped for her when she finished. Two others also volunteered to read. When the reading was done, one Hispanic woman asked if she could have the sheets to share with her grandkids! We discussed two questions together: (1) What was your initial reaction or what stood out for you, and (2) What questions did the story raise?

After that time together I thanked everyone for coming, telling them to stay as long as they wanted, eat more food and get to know neighbors. And they did!  The party was supposed to end at 8:30 PM, but the last guests left about 10 PM. For each guest, my wife had made a little gift bag with candied pecans. I also left a contact sheet by the door for them to leave their email and phone numbers, and I told them I would type up the list and mail it to those who attended.

We’re excited about the success of this party and new friends that we made. Some came from far away with only an invite through the Next Door website, while others, who literally lived next door and got a personal invite, did not come. I felt that who came was really the work of the Holy Spirit, since we would never have predicted the outcome. I think we are pretty well positioned now to launch our first Q Place group.