I’m pretty sure that was the reaction most people had upon seeing Christmas displays in retail stores just after Labor Day. That’s still summertime!
As chagrined as most of us might feel about merchants stocking the shelves for a season still three months away, these months are the home stretch for many ministry leaders. Church teams are already in high gear, planning for the upcoming Christmas season.
As a former worship pastor, I’ve planned a lot of Christmas events. Sometimes my team and I were already out of steam by the time the event came around. For too many ministry leaders, the Christmas season is less about celebrating and more about surviving.
A lot of the holiday frenzy can be avoided with thoughtful planning. Whether your church’s Christmas events are simple or complex, your leaders and volunteers can enjoy the season’s special occasions when they know that the details are being taken care of.
It’s not too late to begin planning meaningful Christmas events for your church. (But don’t wait too much longer, or you’ll be able to sum up in two words the plan you will have chosen: winging it.)
Christmas gatherings, like most church events, typically need planning in these categories:
- Type of event. Will it be a concert? Worship service? Dinner? Party? Caroling?
Facility and resources. Where will your event be held? What rooms will you need to reserve? Will you need to rent facilities? Rent or purchase equipment? Will your event need extra funding? How will you raise the funds? Will you be selling tickets? How will you receive payment? How will you register attenders, particularly guests? Are online registration and payment an option?
- Volunteer recruitment. Will your regular ministry teams be enough, or will you need additional volunteers? How will you recruit them? How will you train them? How will you thank them?
- Publicity. How will you promote your event? How will you communicate with your teams?
- Follow-up. Will your greeters need training? Will your regular assimilation process work? Will extra team members be needed to follow-up on more guests than usual? The congregations that do the best job of welcoming guests and drawing them into the life of the church are those that make it an essential part of the church’s life.
Many churches struggle to follow up with their guests. Does your church have an effective assimilation process? Elexio’s Fusion provides resources to assist you with assimilation. In fact, Fusion has features to help you with every aspect of event management and follow-up.
There’s no denying that a successful Christmas event takes a good deal of prayerful planning and effort. Even a labor of love is still labor. So above all, be sure to plan for regular rest and spiritual refreshment before, during, and after the Christmas season.
Walking in Christ every day is the most important preparation of all.
How is your church planning to celebrate our Savior’s birth this year?