I asked a good friend to answer a few questions about an Evangelistic Cookie Swap. – While here, don’t forget to check out Evangelism for the Tongue-Tied to help you talk about Jesus, the reason we celebrate.
What is a Cookie Swap?
An evangelistic cookie swap is a Christmas party in your home. It is an ideal way to reach out to the women in your neighborhood, women you work with, or other female contacts in the community (hairdresser? grocery store clerk? librarian?). The goal is to set up a comfortable and festive social event involving the exchange of holiday cookies. This setting allows for a simple reading of the Christmas story, a testimony of salvation, a reading of a gospel-centered Christmas story, or some other means of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
How many people does it take?
Besides the hostess, another Christian friend or two is helpful to give a hand, prayer support and make appropriate conversation. For non-Christians, as few as 3-4 guests would work, or up to 15-20. Carefully chose the Christians you invite. I never wanted the non-Christian neighbors to feel outnumbered.
How does it work?
Every woman brings about 4 dozen cookies and you exchange them with the other women, so each woman goes home with 4 dozen assorted cookies. Women enjoy having this assortment for their own families or for other holiday functions they might host.
What suggestions do you have to make it successful?
A festive setting, a warm welcome into your home, and some yummy party foods to snack on (foods other than cookies!) seem to open the way to discussion of spiritual things. Gathering everyone in the living room over food seems to be the best time to share the real Christmas message. Even non-religious neighbors seem to enjoy this holiday party. Some type of party favor including a gospel tract of the Christmas story is a nice way to end the evening (small candle, candy canes, etc.). I keep pretty high standards because I want to minister to the neighbors and have them realize that this night is important to me.
How do I prepare?
Pray about who should be invited and what story, poem or testimony would be best to share the gospel with your friends. Ask others to pray with you for the event. Encourage the Christians you invite to be praying and come prepared to reach out to the non-Christian guests.
What are the benefits of doing this?
In this busy and independent culture, just opening your home to neighbors breaks down many barriers to the gospel. Also, the sharing of a spiritual message communicates love and shows them you care about the “deeper things of life.” When a crisis comes into their lives, they may come to you for prayer or comfort. Of course, the greatest benefit is the gospel of Jesus Christ being preached in your home to neighbors and friends during a time of the year when spiritual conversation is socially acceptable.
What results have you seen?
There have been several positive results. Many see it as a special neighborhood time. Most women have come back year after year. Probably the biggest result has been to mark me as a “safe” person to talk to about spiritual things with. And it has encouraged my faith to be a public witness for Jesus. Every time the gospel is declared is a victory.