Does your church do something for Christmas with the kids?
My guess is your answer is “Yes”; Christmas is a great opportunity to include kids in the broader church!
But does whatever you do sometimes seem (especially on your bad days) to take more effort and energy than it’s worth?
Does it seem harder to get momentum behind it each year?
Do many of the kids seem to miss more practices than they make?
By the end is most everyone stripped of joy, just wanting to get it over with?
Some (or all) of those questions might resonate with you; I know they did at our church.
So we decided to try something new: do a kid led Christmas service and have just one practice.
We piloted it last year, and it went so well we’re doing it again this year!
Here are the benefits we found:
- More kids can be involved because they only have to commit to one weekend (Sat/Sun).
- It doesn’t burn your volunteers out because they only have to commit to one weekend.
- It doesn’t burn you out because you only have to coordinate and commit to one weekend.
- Kids and parents get excited about it just as much as other things we’ve done in the past that required a lot more effort.
- Parents get a Saturday to themselves to go Christmas shopping or enjoy some quiet time.
- The performance is more authentic because kids haven’t spent months over-memorizing the material.
- We’re able to work within whatever Christmas series our church is doing.
Now here’s what the whole process of putting on the kid led service looks like:
We do the kid led practice the Saturday before they take over our adult services so everything is fresh.
We ask kids to arrive at 9 a.m.
We have a quick breakfast of cereal and milk.
And we actually start at 9:30 because most of our kids are late (is that just a problem we have?).
From 9:30-10:00 we gather all the kids together and let them decide which parts of the service they’d like to participate in.
In the kid led service, some things involve all kids, some things involve just a few, and some involve just one child.
All Kids Practice
From 10:00-11:00 we practice all the parts of the kid led service that include everyone.
We have all kids participate in a song.
We have all kids participate in an introduction skit.