Kyle Nickel • December 10, 2015
Every year, millions of Americans pile into their cars and head to church on Christmas Eve. Attendance can be so high at this time of year that some ministries will hold several services - some as many as five or six - to ensure that everyone who wants to worship can.
As a leader in your church, putting adequate time into preparing for the Christmas Eve service can ensure that it has the greatest impact possible. Below are the three reasons that if done right, this service will leave a lasting impression on both your church body and surrounding community.
You have 52 weeks to pour yourself into a majority of the families in your church. But most of us are familiar with the families that only come to church a few times each year - the people who make an appearance on Easter or on a random Sunday when they visit with Grandma. Despite their track record, you can be fairly confident that these congregants will join you on Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Throw in a fair amount of curious first-time visitors from your community and you’ve suddenly found yourself with the busiest day of the year.
As every seat in your sanctuary becomes occupied, your opportunity to affect lives and share the gospel of God has never been greater. Everyone will join together to sing the familiar carols and hymns that we know and love, giving you a unique opportunity to engage believers and non-believers alike. Church shouldn’t feel like an obligation. This evening is a special time to share what it means to bring God and faithful community into their lives.
December is one of your ministry’s craziest months and it can become easy to be so consumed with our culture’s Christmas frenzy that we forget that Christmas should be a party! Most everyone knows that Christmastime brings gifts, but we must all remember what - and why - we are rejoicing. Christmas is the day that our Savior, the Lamb of God, our Messiah, incarnated Himself to save mankind. That’s something worth celebrating!
Make sure that your ministry taps into the joy of Christmas: let the trumpets sound, roll out the red carpet, and prepare to celebrate the coming of the best person that will ever walk this earth. Finding unique ways in your ministry to rise above the cultural noise of the holidays and create an atmosphere of joyfulness and thanksgiving that those in attendance will talk about for weeks to come.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in my ministry is that sometimes what you can learn from your personal study is just as significant as what you share with others. You might find that the ancient lyrics in an old Christmas hymn touches your heart in new and meaningful way. Or perhaps, while laboring over scripture, you’ll find that God reveals Himself to you in a way that you've never before experienced. Treasure these moments, but consider sharing them with your church community. Your congregation will take note of your reflection, and might even be inspired to seek God diligently in their own lives.
Ultimately, we all know that Christmas should center on Christ. To make this year truly meaningful, spend time with our good God and give thanks to Him for the gift of His son. If your heart is in the right place, then your Christmas service will always leave a lasting impression on those who join you in the celebration.
Once you've prepared your sermon, read this post to ensure that it's engaging: Are Your Sermons Actually Engaging? Here's How to Check.
Image Source: Kelly Roselle