A few years ago, five pioneering pastors encouraged their congregations to move away from the culture of consumerism at Christmas. By choosing to give simply and more meaningfully—gifts of time and presence—we’re freed up to offer more of what Jesus asked for, like clean water for the least of our brothers and sisters.
The now global movement, known as the Advent Conspiracy, is based on four tenets: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. Since 2006, our fellow conspirators have raised nearly $10 million for safe water projects in Jesus' name. Join them by making the Advent Conspiracy a new tradition in your church, family, or small group. Advent begins Sunday, November 30—conspire with us using the resources below!
Worship derives from Old-English words meaning "worth-ship." What we give worth to is what we worship: possessions, God, shopping, children, money, Jesus. We worship all the time. Advent is a time to consciously direct our worship towards Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. A time to worship fully.
When we spend less anxiety, energy, worry, and money on things that don't matter, then the things that do will come to the surface of our lives. Seek out a few people you trust and agree that this year you won't commodify your love for each other. Figure out how to give each other time, attention, and love, then channel the money you save to something that reflects the heart of Jesus.
In the greatest Christmas gift of all—Jesus—God gave us a relationship with a person. Giving ourselves to others is the original Christmas tradition. We're giving when we give our time. Hand-make a thoughtful gift, spend time with the kids, or write a poem. By giving time, you'll spend less. You'll be free to give away a little of what you saved, and God will multiply it.
The Christmas story is a love story. Beyond the white-noise of holiday frenzy, God has never stopped inviting us into his heart. We tell the story of Christmas with our lives. It's not that there's something wrong with the shopping mall—it's that the better story is about loving all.