As a leader, you have the awesome opportunity to see the big and small needs in your church every day. Those needs are even more glaring during the Christmas season. There’s only one problem: The season is often so crazy busy—with planning Christmas Eve services, end of the year reviews, parties, counseling and trying to carve out time for your family—that your personal giving can take a backseat… or no seat at all.
Don’t let this season go by without doing something—or many things—to bless others. Not as a ministry, not as a program, but as a personal act of worship and obedience.
Here are some super simple ideas on giving to others, as a leader, this holiday season. I truly believe that if you take action on at least one of the ideas on this list, God will use it—both in your life and the lives of others. *Many of these can be done anonymously.
1. Put a $50 bill in an envelope and slide it into someone’s Bible on Christmas Eve.
Identify someone in need beforehand and do your best slight of hand to place the envelope in the Bible without being detected.
2. Buy 25 Chic-Fil-A sandwiches and pass them out to the homeless in your city.
You could even enlist some family members to help out. Don’t make it complicated. Just buy sandwiches, pray and be on your way.
3. Invite someone over for Christmas dinner who doesn’t have family nearby.
Don’t make a big plan for this—just pray and ask God to open your eyes over the next few days and make the ask. Keep it simple.
4. Visit someone in prison and bring them a Christmas gift bag.
*Make sure and call the facility to clear the items before you purchase them.
5. Buy dozens of doughnuts on Christmas Eve and hand them out to workers.
Take them to people working at gas stations, 24-hour grocery stores or any other establishment that stays open over the holiday. Sometimes it’s powerful just to know someone is thinking about you.
6. Visit a widow in your community with no other agenda but to be present and be a friend.
You could even bring your family over for a game night, take over gift cards or give them some surprise gifts (with a little digging you should be able to find out what their greatest needs are before the visit).
7. Give an extra gift—anonymously—to the person in your church who feels like an enemy.
You know, the person who calls you out at meetings, is continually suspicious of your leadership ability and decision-making and always feels like a thorn in your flesh. That one.
Because God’s desire for you as a leader is not just to encourage your people to give, but to create a culture of generosity and compassion and that will only happen if you’re a secretly incredible leader—when no one is looking.
If you have another creative idea to add—share it in the comment section below!