It’s December, which means that many church communicators are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Do you feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle details and announcements together for special events connected to Christmas, New Year’s, end-of-the-year, and the beginning of a new year? All this on top of trying to effectively communicate the church’s regular happenings. With everything you have going on, I thought I would give ten quick ideas (along with helpful resources) to help you maximize your last-minute Christmas planning:
Don’t skip out on the Advent season. This season of longing and expectation is a great momentum-builder as you head into the thick of the holidays. The first Sunday in Advent may have passed, but it’s not too late for your church to get engaged in the season. Create, or share, Advent devotionals with your church. Talk about the season throughout the week and on Sunday. Build into your Christmas Eve/Day services and use the season as an opportunity to invite your church into deeper relationships with each other and with Christ. Need help with content? Search Today devotional’s archive of devotions for timeless Advent content.
CREATE A CHRISTMAS LANDING PAGE
This time of year, people are searching their community for special Christmas events and services. So, you may find an increase in web traffic over the next few weeks. Even your own regular attenders may need to check on the times and information for your special Christmas weekend service times. Creating a landing page specific for Christmas allows you to lay out all the basic information a potential guest would need to know. Details like service times, parking, location, childcare, length of the service, and more are all great things to include on a Christmas landing page.
CREATE A PRE-SERVICE PLAYLIST
It’s time to get into the holiday spirit, and that starts even before your worship service begins. Creating a pre-service playlist allows you the opportunity to introduce new songs that you may be playing over the next few weeks, or just help people get into the spirit of Christmas with some holiday classics. Here’s a Christmas playlist I put together on Spotify.
UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES
You decorate your house for Christmas, right? Probably the church building too? Why not decorate your social media presence with some holiday flare? You don’t need to go over-the-top with holiday eggnog and yuletide joy, but creating a little fun, holiday freshness on your social media pages can be a welcome sight for potential guests (and members too). Keeping the imagery consistent across social media, web, and print also helps convey your message well. Here’s a collection of seasonal images and graphics that we put together.
CREATE AN ENGAGING CHRISTMAS GRAPHIC
The right graphic will invite guests into your Christmas message and can be used across social media, web, in services, and will be something that your members will want to share with their friends. Make your Christmas graphic relevant to your theme, accurate to your identity, and easily identifiable where people will begin to make the connection to your church. If you need help, here’s our guide to help you easily create great graphics.
GIVE YOUR CONGREGATION A TOOL TO INVITE OTHERS
The right Christmas graphic can also be a tool your members can use to invite others to your Christmas services and outreach events. Members can share invitations online or you can print it out so that people can invite people they interact with on a daily basis. Business cards, postcards, or small fliers can go a long way. Tip: Many printing websites will rush orders during the days and weeks before Christmas, but if you’re too late for that, local print shops can often turn around orders quickly, and for a good price (and you’re making a connection in your community).
ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
A lot of churches struggle with the purpose of social media and how to use it effectively for the sake of the Gospel. During the holidays, encourage your members to re-post or share your social content. It can be as easy as asking a question that invites engagement. For example, ask about favorite holiday traditions and share ways that your church celebrates the season. Or ask a question that ties-in to your Christmas services. Encourage others to find out more by attending or listening to the services online.
PRINT FLIERS AND POST AROUND TOWN
Remember that engaging and creative graphic we were talking about a few points above? Another great use for that same graphic is to print fliers or posters. You can print them in your office or at a local print shop, then go around town and ask area businesses if you can post them in the window or on the community board. This helps get the image out there (another point of connection), while also showing you have an investment in the community and care about the people in your town or city.
PAY FOR FACEBOOK ADS
You’ve already created those engaging social media posts and those Christmas service invitations, now is the time to pay to promote that information. Facebook ads are a cheap, yet effective, way to reach your community with your information. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but every dollar helps reach more people with your posts. Check out tips for using Facebook ads and targeting a local audience here.
BUY A GOOD CHRISTMAS VIDEO
In preparation for your Christmas services, start searching around for a quality video that supports your theme or central message. Maybe you’ll hit the jackpot and find something free on YouTube, but chances are you will have to pay to get a good, high-quality video. And it’s worth the small investment! Adding a simple element like video (if you have the capability) is a great opportunity for your church to step up its tech-game without seeming disingenuous. Don’t know where to start? Check out WorshipHouse Media or Shift Worship.
Church Juice is a ministry of the CRCNA, focused on helping congregations energize their marketing and communications. For more from Church Juice, and to subscribe for the latest, click here.