By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—As much of the U.S. prepares to brace for a heat wave this week, Lifeway Christian Store employees are busy busting out Christmas decorations.
The reason for these yuletide displays is to celebrate “Christmas in July” service projects offered through Lifeway.
“The Christmas season is all about giving, but that spirit of giving should extend beyond the months of November and December,” said Nathan Magness, marketing strategist. “As believers, we should always look for opportunities to give back all year long.”
For each week in July, guests can visit any Lifeway store to build care packages for different mission or service-focused groups or organizations.
- July 2-7: Military servicemen and women
- July 9-14: Local homeless ministries
- July 16-21: Disaster relief efforts
- July 23-28: North American missionaries
Lifeway will provide hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, sanitizing wipes, and other supplies for guests to create care packages. Guests can also write encouraging notes, and younger children can draw pictures to send with the packages.
From July 16-21, Lifeway is partnering with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Send Relief to provide supplies for people in disaster relief areas. The following week, care packages will be created for NAMB missionaries.
As guests celebrate “Christmas in July,” at Lifeway stores, they’ll notice the festive trees aren’t just for decoration. The trees also hold Operation Christmas Child ornaments that provide an opportunity for guests to bless children around the world.
“We’ve partnered with Samaritan’s Purse for a unique opportunity,” said Magness. “During the month of July, customers can purchase a $6 ornament—the proceeds of which will provide a Bible and ‘The Greatest Journey’ to a child in need.”
The “Greatest Journey” is a discipleship course that acts as a follow-up for children who have received a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child.
Guests can visit their local Lifeway Christian Store each week in July to make a care package. Lifeway stores are closed on Sundays and on the 4th of July.
In operation for more than 90 years, Lifeway Christian Stores is the largest Christian bookstore chain in the United States with more than 170 stores nationwide. The stores are owned and operated by Lifeway Christian Resources with headquarters in Nashville.
Aaron Wilson is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.