It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
For some churches, it is the craziest time of the year. Christmas Eve worship is one of the most attended church services of the year. According to Thom Rainer, while Easter services may have the highest attendance, Christmas Eve has the highest number of unchurched attendees.
While I am not a fan of the “unchurched” label, it can be a helpful delineator when planning. In this case, it helps us understand that Christmas Eve worship services are a fantastic evangelistic opportunity. A significant number of people who do not regularly participate in the worship life of a church, but do feel some connection to the traditions of the church, show up looking for something. Although many of those people may not appear again, or not appear until next Christmas, we have the opportunity to speak to them in a way that invites them to come back.
To answer the question posed in the title, it is not too early to start planning for Christmas Eve worship services. It’s not too late either. However, many churches began planning the first week of January. This blog series will cover five phases of getting ready for Christmas Eve: Plan, Invite, Prepare, Welcome, and Follow-up. Before we get into the nuts and bolts for planning this year, I want to invite you and your church to commit to planning for next year. Set a date right now in January. Put it on your calendar. Meet with everyone involved in Christmas Eve worship to meet in January to debrief.
Ask questions like,
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What are we going to do again?
- What are we going to do differently?
- When do we need to meet again to start planning?
Write all that stuff down and keep it for when you begin planning for Christmas 2018.
In my next post, I will discuss the pre-planning work you need to be doing now to get ready for Christmas Eve 2017. In the meantime, put that January date on your calendar. That way, you can say you are already planning for 2018!