The holidays are a time that we can sometime swing to extremes. As leaders in the church, we are not immune to the temptations. In fact, they seem to become heightened as we plan for the special services of the year. Questions are asked about maximizing impact and involving new people into the life of the church. Other questions sneak-in like how we make the music better, the service more memorable, and the like. Here are 9 ways to not goof up your Christmas service.
1. Don’t try to be so clever. The temptation is to do something “never heard of” that it gets all of the attention rather than the message of Christ.
2. Christmas carols. People know and expect traditional Christmas songs, so sing them. They are traditional but many are also deeply worshipful and theological.
3. Be humble. Do not brag about everything your church did this year in an attempt to win people into regular attendance. Take a cue from Jesus and be humble about how God is at work and we are recipients of His grace.
4. Tell great stories. Find ways for members of your church to tell the stories of how they met Jesus and He met their needs. Stories are always better than announcements.
5. Help your church be a happy people. The holidays are stressful and many people lose their joy. Remind believers that their witness of a joyful heart about Jesus can make a significant difference for others.
6. Let the kids sing. Teach the children of your church that they can point people to Jesus too. Help them to see that they are not just singing for their parents to see but helping their parents (and everyone else) see Jesus.
7. Show kindness to doubters. Tell them why Jesus is so worthy, why the kingdom is so wonderful, and why the life of faith is one of hope. Help them face the facts that the world is hard and sin is killing them. But don’t beat up people who are already beat up.
8. Offer hope. Clearly make the message (and the service) about Jesus. The whole point of it all is to offer the eternal hope of the gospel. Be intentional about every aspect of the service and the season.
9. Preach simply. Pastors sometimes feel as if they preach the same sermon every Christmas weekend. Yes. Do it again. Tell the story with the passion it deserves to people who need to be reminded and to people who have never heard it clearly.
The Christmas service is an exercise in understanding the “why” behind the “what.” The “why” must be to introduce the greatness of Christ and the truth of His gospel to people’s lives.