Andy explains why Christmas is a great time to share the Christian message and connect with local schools through music

Andy’s story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of

Thanks to Wendy House Music for letting us show material from the fantastic projects they’ve done in Suffolk over the years, supporting Tearfund and the spread of the Gospel.

Growing up I was fascinated by song writing and I believe God's given me some abilities and a passion in the area of music, so it's kind of natural that I've tried to take that to help share the Christian message especially at Christmas
My name's Andy
This is my story
So, for the last 20
something years we've been working with schools across Suffolk
We've been getting them to record and film singing Christmas songs and raising money for Tearfund
The three key aims we had with the projects are one is actually sharing Christian message at Christmas
Two is fundraising and thirdly is strengthening those relationships between schools and churches and between different schools as well
So, for me, Christmas seems to be the one season where people are still very open to the Christian message
So much of people's expectation is set up to almost hear a message, so that build up to Christmas is absolutely the key time to be telling the Christmas story
In terms of messaging, what we've tried to do is craft the Christmas story into accessible, small elements
The last but one project was called "Waiting for Christmas" and it studied the five key characters in the Christmas story and how each of them was waiting for Christmas in a different way, so what we've been doing is using existing well
known, traditional, seasonal Christmas songs but also writing a whole load of new songs that convey the truth of the Christian message through the message of Christmas and it's just been incredibly rewarding to hear thousands of children across this area singing those songs
And my experience of the way the children react to being part of a media experience and being part of singing fun, up tempo songs has meant that those have been very, very good ways of gaining people's interest and engaging them and drawing them in
Do what you can do and do it well because I think doing something that is credible is incredibly important and I've seen many things where people have tried to do things that are too adventurous and when you lose credibility I think that doesn't help sharing the message
One of the amazing things that's been an outcome of the project is seeing some children and families get much more involved in church and also come to faith as a result of having been involved
There's one particular family who got involved because their daughter was involved dancing and because of that they came along to the project, they started coming along to church and they came to faith as a result of that
Jesus is the light of the world and I think we as Christians are called to share that light wherever we go and through these projects, this has been a fairly large
scale way that I've found in this area have been able to share the truth and the light of Jesus to these communities nearby