We're not saying, 'Don't give any Christmas presents this year' — that's not what we're saying," Nelson said. "We're just saying, 'Take a look at what you have already budgeted for Christmas, then ask God what percentage of that he wants you to give as a gift to someone in need.
SALT LAKE CITY – Dave Nelson isn't asking for much from the members of his K-2 The Church congregation this Christmas — just a revolution.
Actually, Nelson calls it a "luvolution," but the intent is the same.
"We're trying to make a dramatic change in the way things work," Nelson said from the second floor of the renovated warehouse that is the K-2 church. "When God's love meshes within you, there's a dramatic change in the way life works and your ideas about it."
In this case, the dramatic change Nelson and the rest of his staff are going for is in the way people approach Christmas. He cites statistics indicating that every year Americans spend $450 billion on Christmas presents.
"Think about that," he said. "If somehow every American decided just this one year we won't spend anything on Christmas and just spent that money on meeting human needs, we really could eliminate a lot of human needs.
"We're just trying to wake people up to that reality."
So for over a month the church has been challenging its members to experience a luvolution, or a dramatic change in the way they view Christmas.
"We're not saying, 'Don't give any Christmas presents this year' — that's not what we're saying," Nelson said. "We're just saying, 'Take a look at what you have already budgeted for Christmas, then ask God what percentage of that he wants you to give as a gift to someone in need'. We're not asking you to break your budget. We're just asking you to include God in your decisions about how you are going to distribute what you are already planning to give."
And if that means that your kids each receive four gifts instead of five, so much the better, Nelson says.
"You'll be shocked at how generous kids are — how much they want to give," Nelson said. "When my wife Susie and I sat down with our three kids to talk about this, they were on it! They are so excited about it. There is no sacrifice as far as they are concerned. They want to give."
Nelson and his staff have identified 10 possible charities that are in need of financial support. Members of the church who want to participate in the luvolution can designate which charity they want to give a gift of cash to, or they can give to a different cause of their choice.
"It doesn't really matter where or how or even how much you give," Nelson said. "What matters is that you involve God in the decision to change your way of observing Christmas, and that you follow what he tells you in your heart to do."
For more information on K-2 The Church and the luvolution go to www.k2thechurch.com.