In my early 20's I realized the power the Christmas eve service had to engage newcomers and fundraise. I worked at a church that never had done a Christmas Eve service before because it gave the time off for the staff to be with their families.
I pushed back on the idea and convinced the senior pastor to try it. The others on staff were not happy with me, but I thought it was the best for the church.
It was a success… The church was packed with new people, and we had one of our best offerings of the year!
Since then, I have worked with many churches on their Christmas Eve strategy. These lessons are even more true during this pandemic.
First of all, if your church is not planning a Christmas Eve service, ask them to reconsider. And if they are, make sure they take these time-proven strategies to heart.
Warm and inviting is better than fast-paced and cutting edge.
Regardless of your church's music style, Christmas eve service works best when it's warm and inviting instead of high energy and contemporary.
So tone down the lasers and fog machine, and electric guitar solos and create an intimate experience that will allow people to connect emotionally with your content.
Use your Christmas eve service as an outreach.
Even more than Easter, Christmas is the day most people who don't attend church will make an exception.
But while people want to find hope and community, their main concern when visiting a new church is how relatable the pastor is.
Having the teaching pastor speak, even if for 10 minutes, is critical to help people connect with the church and not just to the "event."
Don't leave money on the table (or pew).
Christmas Eve can be a great fundraising day. The idea of bringing a special gift during the Christmas services dates back to the wise men's visit with the baby Jesus.
Having a project or cause you to want to fund with that "special offer" will make a big difference in your donations that year.
Trust me on this one; I have seen the power of Christmas Eve donations firsthand for many years.
Give them a reason to return on the first of the year.
People want to start the new year with purpose and meaning. You should give them a compelling reason to return in two weeks for something that will help them with that sentiment.
Promote your new year's teaching series. The more practical and helpful you can make it, the more return visitors you'll get. A well-produced video trailer is one of the most effective ways to promote the new series.
Plan ahead. You'll be glad you did.
While creating a successful Christmas Eve service is not hard to do, it takes vision and planning.
I hope your church will reach out to many who need to find a place to call home and create a compelling experience to get them back.
If you need help with your outreach contact us HERE.