By: Mike Young– This is a busy season! Everyone feels rushed and hurried. Important things take a backseat to what appears to be urgent. Even Jesus gets pushed to the side. But, that’s how it’s been for him from the beginning.
And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Even today, in many well-meaning, faithful families Christ gets overshadowed by the stuff and noise of the cultural event that Christmas has become. We all feel it and feel guilty about it. Dad, you have God-given responsibility to keep your finger on the pulse of your family and lead in course corrections. That’s harder than any of us want to admit. We feel the pressure and tension but often aren’t sure what to do.
Here’s an idea that will produce fruit on many levels… Let’s Build a Manger!® You can turn that responsibility to lead into an opportunity for fun and activity!
Spiritual leadership for your family doesn’t have to be heavy or hard. As a matter of fact, God desires that our leadership in our families would be simple and routine; part of our daily lives…
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.
When our kids were little, we started a family tradition of building a new manger for Jesus every year. The manger became a centerpiece of our decorations and conversations about God’s great gift to us. With a manger sitting in your house, perhaps even being used as a bread basket or resting place for gifts, it’s hard not to talk about Jesus.
Building mangers became an idea and ultimately a resource to share with other men. Let’s Build a Manger!® is a kit that includes materials and instructions to build a small manger with your kids. But, what’s even more important are the hands-on activities that focus your family on Jesus and having some fun in the process.
Building a manger together…
- Is noisy
- Captures their attention
- Gives you something to DO with them
- Creates conversations and memories
- Provides a visible reminder for us to keep Christ in front of Christmas
Follow-up activities give you guidance in talking about prophecy, generosity, evangelism, hospitality and evangelism with your family. There are also some ideas about how to use your manger after Christmas to keep Jesus in front of your family.
I’m a dad too; I know being a spiritual leader for your family isn’t easy. I’m also a men’s ministry guy; I know I’m not the only one trying to walk with Christ and lead my family well at Christmas. Let’s Build a Manger! is a simple tool to help you get a big win this Christmas! You can nail this, Dad!
Keep Christ in front of Christmas for your family!
Check out the Let’s Build a Manger!® Kit at www.dadstools.org. Use promo code “nailitdad” for free shipping.
Mike Young is founder of Noble Warriors and president of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men. Mike and his beautiful wife, Stacy, have three sons (Tim, Zach, Ben) and a daughter (Hannah).