Christmas Eve is a great opportunity to reach those outside the church that often goes unused.
I’m usually arguing with several pastors during this time of the year. Seems like every year I have to convince a senior pastor that Christmas Eve is a powerful and great opportunity for outreach.
Catholic churches have known this for centuries. Evangelicals are just now waking up to it.
Here are the top five mistakes churches can make when planning their Christmas services.
1. Give the staff Christmas Eve off.
That’s a critical mistake a lot of churches make.
Christmas Eve is a great opportunity to reach out to people who want to connect with God and their families and who are looking for an opportunity to do so. Done well, your Christmas Eve service could be one of the best-attended services of the entire year.
If you are in ministry, working on Christmas should be expected.
2. Have only one Christmas Eve service.
Different time options give people a reason to say yes to an invitation to come to your service.
Even if you only have two services, say one at 3 p.m. and another at 5 p.m., they give people a chance to come to church and then hit the road to visit relatives and friends without forcing people to choose between a church service and dinner at Grandma’s.
By the way, Grandma wins every time.
3. Go “Cutting-Edge” creative.
Well, if you know me, you realize I’m drawn to high-energy, creative environments.
But when it comes to Christmas, I’m looking for traditional, warm, chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire type of service. And most of everybody else is looking for the same thing as well.
A lot of people I talk with around Christmas time are displaced from most of their families and are looking to make traditions of their own.
Christmas Eve, for those of us, is a very sentimental time, and we want to feel like George and Mary Bailey and not like Homer and Marge Simpson.