23 Creative Ideas For Your Christmas Eve Service
Planning for your church's holiday services is a time filled with endless creative possibilities. How do you create a unique service for your church year after year while remaining true to tradition? How can your Pastor engage the local congregation while also reaching out to the community? These are the questions that keep Pastors and Creative Arts leaders up at night throughout the Christmas season.
Consider the following ideas as you enter this holiday season and look to inspire and engage your congregation.
Don’t neglect traditions.
1. Sing Carols. Christmas carols carry with them a lifetime of memories, and it is important to remember that. Sometimes, for the sake of creativity, Worship Leaders and Creative Pastors have tried to change or rewrite carols. In my experience, people want to sing and be reminded of what they know - especially during Christmas - and altering a Christmas carol's rhythm too much can backfire. Let the singing of age-old carols be a runway toward the sharing of the gospel message towards hearts ready to receive it.
2. Candle lighting can be a powerful moment. Consider lighting candles on stage or having individual candles lit all across the room. In many churches, this is a beautiful memory-maker that families look forward to year after year.
3. Display an Advent wreath somewhere in your church. This is both a beautiful decoration and a remembrance of the true meaning of Christmas.
4. Communion is a time to remember. Allow the taking of the communion elements to usher in remembering Christ’s birth and sacrifice for you personally this holiday season.
Engage the family.
5. Tell the Christmas story and have a simple book for kids to follow along with during the service.
6. Create a coloring book for children that connects with content that can be seen on the video projection screens. Have stickers for them to place when they see certain items or hear certain words or songs in the service.
7. Have a kids' story time where kids come up to the stage for a special 5-minute engaging time with the Pastor.
8. Get kids involved in the service either through a special song, drama, reading, or a children’s choir.
9. Make your message memorable with visuals and props. People of all ages will remain more engaged in the message and story when visual aids are used. Consider teaching from within a nativity or with a life-sized visual to represent a key point in your message.
Utilize creative set designs.
10. Experiment with creative lighting design, LEDs, or environmental projection for your Christmas services.
11. Utilize themes such as Christmas trees, winter wonderlands, or candles.
12. Get creative with a special item such as coroplast or wooden pallets.
13. Turn your stage into a different time or place such as Bethlehem, a living room, or a nativity scene.
14. Seize the opportunity to buy additional items for your set design that you can use creatively now and throughout the new year such as new soft goods or truss.
Create an opportunity to give back.
15. Plan for a designated mission offering and cast the vision for the giving ahead of time so people are prepared to give when they arrive for the Christmas Eve service.
16. Offer opportunities to give to designated ministries both inside and outside the church with local partners.
17. Participate in a coat drive for a local shelter. Create a special location for drop-off so that families can see the impact that one coat can make when combined with a local church body.
18. Start a canned food drive and have the congregation drop items off as they arrive for the service.
19. Find ways to incorporate the giving and serving elements into your service programming so that you can maximize both continuity and impact.
Keep it fun.
20. Have a photo booth in the lobby for family pictures along with fun props.
21. Serve hot cocoa and cookies after each service to allow time for people to linger. The holidays are busy and sometimes the best gift can be time. The added benefit is that the smell of cookies will also usher in the season and welcome guests.
22. Produce a fun opening song and video. Consider having congregation members send in their Christmas cards and use them as backgrounds on the screens. It will be a welcome introduction to your service as people walk in and see themselves and their friends and family.
23. End the service with a fun and memorable moment. Consider creating a winter wonderland indoors and having it snow as people sing a final song.
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