Shaun King, senior pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, talks about how to confront the craziness of Christmas in a new online video interview with EthicsDaily.com.
King is currently leading a Wednesday night series called "Confronting the Christmas Crazies: Practical Tips on Navigating the Holidays." In the interview, he shares some of the series' framework, responses and paths forward.
Shaun King on the Christmas Crazies from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.
The Christmas season, King says, often begins with a "tug to pull our consciousness, our awareness, in a way that is away from all things manger" and toward cash registers and overpriced gifts. Enter the current series at Johns Creek.
"Part of the focus of these conversations before Advent is really just to prepare the mind and heart of our people to enter into the story of Advent well," he says.
The series isn't just about rampant commercialism.
"One of the highlights of the Advent season for us is our annual Blue Christmas service," he adds. It's a service of hope and encouragement for those who grieve.
"Christmas is not the same experience for everyone, and maybe that's part of the diverse cast of characters that we see in the Christmas stories," King says. "We come to Bethlehem from many different places."
Those who have attended the series have welcomed the conversation, King says, because they're aware of how stretched they are at this time of year.
The series offers them some practical insights - like entering into a gift exchange that emphasizes gifts of presence, not presents, and the investment of time in and with other people.
"We talk about relational gift-giving," he says.
Watch the entire interview for some of King's tips and suggestions for a more meaningful holiday season.
Watch the interview with King at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/king
Learn more about King and Johns Creek Baptist Church at www.jcbc.org
Watch other EthicsDaily.com video interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily