Regardless of your affiliation, context or size, your church is going to need these ten things this December!
- Leaders in Good Moods
At Christ Church, the “Christmas Run” involves about 10 times the time, energy and effort of Easter. There are lots of extra services, staff is pushed hard and everyone is under time pressure. That being said, no one wants to hear you whine about it. A smile on your face goes a long way in December.
- Pro-Active Volunteers
It is often tough to get enough greeters, welcomers, ushers and nursery volunteers during the rush of Christmas Eve and Christmas services. Making time to serve is a wonderful to gift to everyone involved.
- Abundant Grace
Pastors, staff, volunteers, congregants and guests can get a bit stressed this time of year (we are human after all) so some “grace to the grouchy” is a blessing all the way around. Be kind.
I like to pray about attendance. If we are doing things, I want as many people as possible to experience them. I am praying for 6,000 on Christmas week. Special services require a lot of “above the call of duty” time, effort and energy. When congregants attend these services and experience God’s presence, it makes it all worth it.
Every church in the country needs a strong financial December. Keep in mind that the real need is always on the budget side. Christmas Mission Offerings and building fund donations are great, but don’t forget to make a generous gift to the day to day operation of the church! The budget is not always glamorous but nothing happens without it.
- Invitations to Friends Both Real and Virtual
People who don’t normally attend church are very receptive to invitations to worship at Christmas time. Many people are one invite away from attending church. Let that invite be yours! Invite in person and invite on line.
Make prayers for an unleashing of the Holy Spirit in your Christmas services a part of your daily routine. Prayer plants dynamite, Evangelism detonates it.
If you are going to do something, do it well in your context. It is better to do “less” really well than do “more” really poorly.
- Proclamation and Invitation
Pastors, make sure the Gospel is proclaimed and give people an opportunity to receive it.
- Follow Up
What is your plan for trying to connect guests to the life of the church? You have accomplished the most difficult thing of all; getting them in the door! Now get their information, give them something to come back for in January and get to know them.
Thanks to everyone working so hard to effectively reach people for Jesus in this holy season! For most churches, Christmas has replaced Easter as our best time to see new faces and Christmas Eve services often are larger than Easter services.
This reality is an opportunity!
Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997. He is the author of the “Trail Guide” series of New Testament commentaries.