8 Ways to Make the Most of Christmas Services
The Christmas season is a time of great opportunity for your church. As its leaders, we should plan on how to be faithful to the Gospel and how the church can be fruitful with ministry. Allow me to offer a few ways to navigate the season with worship and mission held together as the twin goals of the season.
1. Be insightful with your messages. Honestly, those of us who preach face a temptation to move away from the typical Christmas passages of the Nativity. And that is fine if that is what your church needs. But take care that you don’t over-clever the message that people miss out on the actual birth of Jesus.
2. Sing the Carols. From the most traditional to the future-facing, most Americans want to sing traditional Christmas Carols during this season. Pick those that will engage your church family in worship and will reinforce the great truths of the Incarnation.
3. Be happy. The holiday season is filled with opportunities for joy so embrace it. There’s no need to be dour just to make the point of the seriousness of the Incarnation.
4. Embrace lament. For many, the holidays is a time of great sadness because of deaths in their family. Grieve with people who are grieving and point them toward eternal hope.
5. Be kind to skeptics. 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. Show them the kindness of the Gospel.
6. Be humble. Make Jesus the focus of what happened over the course of the year both in your life and in your church. Don’t make it a bragging opportunity in an attempt to win people into regular attendance. Just point to Jesus and let His life do the convincing.
7. Offer hope. The whole point of the Christmas season is to offer the eternal hope of the gospel. Be intentional about every aspect of the service and the season. These are the days when people can move out of darkness and into light.
8. Invite everyone. Create a culture of invitation in your church. Remind your regular attendees that this is a natural and easy time of the year to invite their friends and neighbors to two places: worship services and their homes. Encourage the church to see their homes as a primary place of ministry that creates a bridge to the life of the church.
Christmas services are an exercise in the Who, why, and what of our faith. As you lead people to the Who of Jesus then they will understand the why of mission and what is disciple-making.