Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 11 Strategies to Help You Leverage Christmas to Reach the Unchurched

11 Strategies to Help You Leverage Christmas to Reach the Unchurched


Sure, maybe you don’t have the bandwidth to build fresh websites. Just do it for free using social media. Create a Facebook event or promoted posts. Use all your social media channels and get the word out.

Encourage your people to share with their friends. They are your number one source when it comes to promotion because they’re already invested and engaged.

Do a Photo Booth at your church that will create some fun Instagram moments with dressed up kids and people holding a “Join us for Christmas Eve” signs.

When people share your story on their own accounts, it’s far more effective than when a church shares it on its account.


Why not ticket your Christmas services? Free tickets, of course, but tickets help create demand.

They have also helped us manage fire code. Eventbrite is an inexpensive and easy solution we’ve used for years now.

Plus, having tickets drives decisions and commitments to attend.


This year, we’re attempting to once again increase the amount of money we normally give to our community partners like the local food bank, right before Christmas.

We’re also participating in local Christmas parades and community events in ways that show our community that we’re for them and that God is for them. 

Love makes a pretty irresistible force when it’s unleashed on a city. And generosity makes an impression on unchurched people.


Every year, without hopefully sounding like a commercial, we invite people back for January.

They get a card explaining the new series and dates, times and locations. Last year we even played the trailer for our January series during the services (here’s our 2017 kick off series promo), even though it was anything but “Christmassy.” Because our January series dealt with a felt-need (people don’t like their jobs and find life overwhelming at times), it created a huge buzz and many guests returned in January simply because they saw the trailer.

I know inviting sounds basic, but you’re dealing with unchurched people. Think about it, you would never go to a party unless you knew you were invited.

Unchurched people don’t know they’re invited unless you invite them. So invite them.


God’s grace is sovereign. We’ve had people commit their lives to Christ during volunteer events and during series about tithing. So God can do anything.

But you need to do your part. Don’t let people walk away bored or with just a big warm fuzzy. Challenge them. People will leave mostly unchanged unless you create a different expectation.

Almost every year, we give people an opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus…and it’s amazing how many people do. And when we invite them back and offer them steps to take in the new year (like beginning Starting Point), Christmas starts a journey for them that often ends with them surrendering their lives to Christ.


Getting ready for the rush of Christmas is one thing, but how do you avoid burning out, taking shortcuts or otherwise ending up in a place you don’t want to be?

That’s what my new book, Didn’t See It Coming, will help you navigate.

Of all the mysteries we try to crack as leaders, the mystery of leading ourselves is one of the greatest.

Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor of Central Church, Las Vegas, called Didn’t See It Coming “the most important book you’ll read all year.” Brian Houston and Andy Stanley call it “powerful.”

Check it out for yourself and pick up your copy here.

In the meantime, anything helped you reach your community at Christmas?

This article originally appeared here.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.