Six Reasons Operation Christmas Child Should be a Part of the Strategy of the Church You Serve

By Dr. Jeremy Roberts

Recently, I walked through Hobby Lobby, and Christmas décor is already in some of their aisles. It is barely fall, but they’re getting ready for Christmas. All of us in local church ministry need to start getting ready for Christmas.


One of the greatest outreach strategies in the history of Christendom is taking place right now – Operation Christmas Child (OCC). Here at Prestonwood, we have been a part of OCC since it began in the early ‘90s. You should consider making OCC a part of the strategy of the church you serve. Here are six reasons.


  1. Any person can pack a shoebox.


This is a missional project that can be done by boys and girls, senior adults and everyone in between. If you are looking to have more interaction with various age groups in the church, this is an opportunity to cross the generational divide for people to work together to pack shoeboxes.


  1. Any church can gather shoeboxes.


Whether the church you serve is a new church plant with a handful of people or a large established church, the strategy is the same. Get a shoebox. Get the list. Pack the box.


  1. Operation Christmas Child spreads the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.


These boxes are shipped all over the world. They even go where there are no roads. According to the Operation Christmas Child Impact Report, “The Liberian villages of Vanyanpa and Bolo have only meager paths leading to them, but they are home to the Mano people – many of whom are animists and only 3% of whom consider themselves evangelical Christians. Operation Christmas Child ministry partners drove a four-wheel drive vehicle over the overgrown motorcycle path leading to Vanyanpa to deliver 40 shoebox gifts and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” At an outreach event in Vanyanpa, 70 residents accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.


  1. Operation Christmas Child is fun.


I really enjoy going to the store with my wife and kids every year to buy the items to put in our shoeboxes. We make an afternoon of it and celebrate that we are doing our small part to make a difference for Christ for some people across the globe.


  1. Operation Christmas Child gives small groups a centralized project.


Most groups are looking for a project of some sort behind which to rally. This gives small groups opportunities to rally around a goal just for their group as well as contribute to the overall church goal of numbers of shoeboxes.


  1. Operation Christmas Child is impactful.


Here are some statistics about the impact of Operation Christmas Child (source: Samaritan’s Purse Impact Report):


  • 250+ unreached people groups will receive shoeboxes by 2024.
  • 1,000 churches have been started around the world in the last year.
  • 1,000 Pacific islands will receive gift-filled shoeboxes in the next few years.
  • 188 million shoeboxes have been delivered since 1993, which equals 188 million Gospel opportunities.
  • 1 million shoeboxes were collected in 2020.
  • More than 100 countries receive gift-filled shoeboxes for boys and girls.


I hope you will consider making OCC a part of your strategy of reaching the nations this Christmas. Go to the OCC website and buy into this world-changing strategy today!