Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Welcome the Creasters
by Tom Goodman
December 9, 2009

Some call them "Creasters," and with sarcasm.

I first ran across the term a couple of years ago, and it was in reference to persons who only seem to show up for church services at the seasons of Christmas and Easter.  Throughout my ministry years I've heard the criticisms of such shallow interest in God.

But here's one pastor hoping to start a friendship with a few Creasters this Advent season.

Is it sufficient to worship with God's Family only once or twice a year?  Of course not.  Christ expects us to connect with a congregation and invest ourselves in the fellowship and ministry offered there.  A local church isn't like a restaurant that you occasionally patronize when you're in the mood for its cuisine.

So, why do I have room in my heart for Creasters -- and why should you?  Tony Woodlief hit the nail on the head in an article for World magazine:

It's easy for me to go to my church, but perhaps not for the Creaster.  Sometimes -- too often -- I come out of habit or duty, but sometimes I come out of the deepest yearning.  I wonder if the Creasters feel this, if it is why they come during this season and at Easter.  I wonder if they, in their alien state, don't come closer to a true heart than I carry most Sundays.  They come, though it doesn't fit their routine.  They come, in spite of the discomfort in not belonging.  They come because something draws them -- a faint sense of holiness evoked by the season, or because we are more inviting, or for the music, or maybe because the baby Christ [at Christmas] and the murdered Christ [at Easter] are images they can relate to best in their fear and need.  They come, with their doubts and their poor attendance records, and somewhere, most importantly, the hope that it isn't all just a myth, that the baby was and is Immanuel, God with us.

In other words, we welcome Creasters because we believe we should start with people wherever they are spiritually and then encourage them to move up to where they need to be.

To that end, this holiday season I hope you'll invite your Creaster friends to a Sunday morning service at 10, where the meaning of Christmas will be explained and celebrated.  Or invite them to our evening of Christmas music December 13 or our annual Christmas Eve service, both at 6 pm.

Wise men seek him still!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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