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Last year, on Christmas Sunday I was visiting a new thriving church in the Twin Cities.

I was surprised to see Santa in the lobby. Kids were waiting in line to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and to get their picture taken. I have never seen Santa at church before and didn’t even know that he was a believer.

Admittedly, Santa is a controversial figure in the church world.

I discovered this early on when I announced to the 200 kids in my Sunday School class that "everyone knows that Santa isn’t real." I was really popular the following week as I received more letters and phone calls than the lead pastor did. Apparently all the kids in my class did not know that Santa was pretend. Some of them thought he was real, that is, until I spilled the beans.

After this joyful holiday experience I decided not to talk about Santa at church as folks have some strong opinions. Some parents enjoy playing the "Santa Game" while others feel that it is lying to their children. It was much easier for me to just pretend that Santa did not exist in the church world.

So you can imagine my surprise to see kids getting their pictures taken with Santa at church, but then I thought, maybe this is a good idea.

Our goal for Sunday morning is to get un-churched people to come to church and Santa is not a controversial figure with un-churched people.

After ignoring Santa for over 30 years I invited Santa to come to church.

Copyright ©  Mark Harper Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mark Harper
Web site: Mark Harper Ministries
Pastor and Leadership Coach, Mark Harper has 35 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark's ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families. Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team. He also recently released the Amazon Best Selling book The Red Book: The Lifeblood of Children's Ministry.

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