Simply Still: A Different Kind of Christmas Event

In our complex, digitized, hyper-programmed, and supersonic-paced world, the challenge to turn off, dial down, and pull away seems insurmountable. Sisters, let’s not accept frenzy as an inevitable force that can’t be overcome. Jesus affectionately showed Martha (and her modern-day look-alikes!) that there is a better way. Tethering our hearts to Jesus in stillness and prayer will anchor our souls in turbulence.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her”  (Luke 10:41–42).

Our souls yearn for simplicity, but we’re often at a loss of how to gain it. What if the church could be part of the solution by offering one simple step in the right direction?

A Different Kind of Women’s Event

In place of this year’s usual tea or dinner event, why not consider hosting a unique (and did I mention easy?) event that refreshes a woman’s soul called Simply Still. It’s a set apart time that is welcomed any day of the year, but no more so than before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when women tend to shift into high gear. Invite women to one hour of being still before the Lord, soaking in His Word, and creating space for intimacy with the Father who loves them.

The aim of a Simply Still event is to restore a fresh wonder of the gift of God’s grace embodied through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The impact of sixty minutes spent alone with God without distractions (it can happen!) rekindles a gospel love that bursts to live out the true meaning of Christmas. In the quietness of Simply Still, there’s opportunity to embrace God’s heart and mission. When encountering the rest of God, women are spiritually strengthened and can refocus on eternal matters.  

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isa. 30:15).

Keep It Simple

We recommend hosting Simply Still in the sanctuary or another worshipful, intimate environment in your church. No decorations are neededexcept the beautiful Christmas decorations if they’re already in place. Candlelight is highly effective in setting a reverent tone.

  • Pray and select four to five Scripture verses for meditation surrounding a theme such as “Behold,” “Adore,” “Magnify,” or “Attributes of God.”
  • Enlist a Scripture reader and hostesses.
  • Choose instrumental hymns as background music so nothing detracts from the Lord being centerstage.
  • If there is a soloist, consider having her sing from the balcony or another place hidden from view.
  • Prepare a simple program that guides participants and offers space for reflection. We’ve provided sample programs from our friends at Christ Community Church in Zion, Illinois and Northeast Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

An Uncomplicated Agenda

Assemble women outside the meeting space first, with the doors to the event area closed. Hostesses can urge women to power off their electronic devices before entering. In a quiet tone, tell women to enter in silence and spread out around the room to sit alone. Plan an uncomplicated program in keeping with the spirit of Simply Still:  

  • A brief welcome, remarks, and opening prayer by a pastor or women’s leader.
  • A solo to prepare the heart for worship and prayer.
  • A time of stillness, with a Scripture reader reciting one verse at a time five to seven minutes apart as women listen, reflect, and record thoughts and prayers in their program.
  • Conclude with Silent Night performed by a soloist or exit to sing corporately with a candle lighting under the stars.

Create Your Own Version

Does Simply Still sound like a much needed corporate sigh . . . exhaling and breathing in heaven’s air for one sacred hour? Talk to your pastor, and start to dream up your own church’s version of being still before the Lord. The variations are limitless, and so are the spiritual possibilities when we come to Jesus.   

Be still, and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).

We’d love to hear about your Simply Still event! Don’t forget to send pictures and reports to LBennett@ReviveOurHearts.com or post them to our Facebook page.

We’re sending a shout out to Christ Community Church (Zion, Illinois), Northeast Presbyterian Church (Columbia, South Carolina), First Baptist Church (Cassville, Missouri) and Prairie Flower Bible Church (Neosho, Missouri) for contributing to this article. Do you have a women’s ministry “best practice” to share that would inspire another leader? Send your ideas to Leslie Bennett.

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About the Author

Leslie Bennett

Leslie Bennett

Leslie Bennett served as a Director of Women’s Ministries for a dozen years prior to joining Revive Our Hearts in Women’s Ministry Initiatives. She is also the content manager of the Revive Our Hearts' Leader Connection blog and editor of two ebooks: Women’s Ministry Leader Survival Guide and 10 Truths to Set Leaders Free.

The Lord captured Leslie’s heart for biblical womanhood and revival at the national True Woman conference in 2008. Since then, she’s been spreading the message of how a woman’s femininity adorns the gospel wherever God sends her. Spend a few moments with Leslie, and you’ll catch her passion for the Word, prayer, revival and discipleship. She and her husband Mac live in the S.C. Lowcountry where she loves drinking sweet tea and encouraging women to treasure Christ above all.

Contact Leslie at LBennett@ReviveOurHearts.com

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