We’re into Advent, which means for many churches the Christmas plan is starting to roll. While it’s not a time to unravel your months of planning, there are still some tweaks you could take on to make the season more impactful.
Evaluate sharing tools. Personal invites are the most powerful way to get new people into your church. Why? Friends trust one another. How are you equipping your congregation to share your church’s Christmas events with the people in their lives? No matter the tool, whether they are handouts, social media images to share, conversation starters or a tangible gift, think of low-barrier ways to help your congregation have an easy conversation with friends about Christmas festivities. This is a time of year when folks are more open to going to church, so help your members reach their friends.
Clearly communicate what each Christmas event will be like. Having an invite tool is good, but it only works well when your congregation knows what to expect at events. Don’t keep the whole season a surprise. Be honest and clear about the emotion, music or activities going on at your church. People in your congregation don’t want to be embarrassed by bringing their friends to an event that is nowhere near what they expected.
Equip volunteers. Your volunteers are your front line communicators and tone setters. While they should be in the loop every weekend, Christmas is a time to make sure greeters, ushers, welcome teams and every other volunteer knows exactly what’s happening. They should be ready to answer questions people might have about upcoming events. Plus it’s a great time to remind volunteers how important it is to be welcoming and friendly.
Believe in what you’re doing. For church staffers, it’s been Christmas since July. Planning the season starts early and by the time Christmas arrives, some don’t have much joy left. Yet it’s the time of year pastors and other communicators need to be excited and upbeat when talking about Christmas events. Even if you’re burnt out, your congregation is just gearing up. Commit to being enthusiastic about the season.
Schedule time for you. This might seem impossible for some of you to fathom. Christmas is a busy time of year for people outside of the church let alone those working in it. But it’s important for you to find peace in Christmas, too. Be intentional about attending an event as a participant or at least find part of a service where you can truly take in the season. You need the joy of Christmas, too.