Christmas remains as popular as ever in China, and Christians continue to use that popularity as a means to share the gospel. In the article below, originally published in and translated by Christian Times, we learn about how churches and individual Christians are using social media to spread the word about the true meaning of Christmas.
We live in the age of social media. For the Chinese, 2015 has been a year of WeChat and Moments; this has added a new feature to Christmas. Many urban churches and Christians have been using unique and interesting E-invitation cards to invite family and friends to celebrate Christmas.
With the rise of social media, e-invitation cards have become popular. Currently there are at least ten free software programs that can be used to make mobile invitation apps. Consumers can make cool invitations using Microsoft PowerPoint.
This year, during the Christmas season, Chinese churches are making use of this popular technology. Since the beginning of December, urban churches in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Hangzhou have been sending out Christmas E-invitations.
These e-invitations have titles such as "The Christmas Worship Invitation from XX Church," "The Christmas Concert on X/X," "You Have an Unread Invitation." When you click them, a PPT slide appears with a hymn playing. The slides are filled with beautiful photos and warm, lively words of invitation.
One invitation from an urban church in Shanghai says, "Friends! Christmas is coming! What is Christmas? What's special about Dec. 25? Christmas stockings? Discount season? Surprise? Snow? Gifts? The real meaning of Christmas is the birthday party of Jesus."
These Christmas e-invitations reflect the appeal of e-invitations in general: they are simple, but rich in content. A Christian sister says she really likes e-invitations because they are “environmentally friendly, fashionable, and practical. “ There is no need for churches to print gospel tracts or invitation cards, which cost money, and there are many templates to choose from which carry more information than a single tract can.
One of the biggest traditions for Chinese churches at Christmas is to attract seekers who want to know more about Jesus. Many churches prepare for various Christmas performances a month ahead and encourage believers to invite their family, friends, and seekers to attend the celebrations. With the rising use of social media in China, in addition to verbal invitations, these new electronic invitations have become a new tool for the spread of the Gospel.
Original article: 今年“中国式圣诞”新特色：善用电子邀请函欢迎更多慕道友 (Christian Times)
English translation: E-invitations: A New Feature for Christians in China (China Christian Daily)
Adapted and reposted with permission.
Image credit: Joann Pittman, via Flickr
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