“I can’t believe it’s December!” I’ve heard it more than once. Time flies when you’re having fun and things really ramp up in the church during this season. Maybe you’re behind in planning. Or maybe you just want to do something a little different. Here are five high impact ideas that you still have time to pull together this Christmas!
Pick a date in the next two weeks, clean your house and have a Christmas Open House. If your church is small, invite everyone. If that doesn’t work, pick some groups to invite – your Bible Study class, your church staff, or your church leadership team. Sunday afternoons from 2:30 – 5:00 pm seem to work well. Provide a few snacks and sit back and enjoy conversations. As with any open house, people can come and go and it’s a great opportunity to visit with people outside of the church building.
Gifts For Leaders
Who are your key volunteers and leaders? Someone probably comes to mind – someone who has stepped up this year to provide ministry leadership in a pinch. Maybe you have a new staff person or a new office volunteer. You probably can’t buy the whole church a gift card, but investing a couple hundred dollars from your equipping leadership fund can go along way to help people feel like they are appreciated. think about pockets of people – you’re paid staff, certain leadership committee folks, etc. Ideas may include $5 or $10 gift cards to Starbucks with a nice note; a candy bar or Christmas candy with a nice note; a gift certificate to a restaurant, a short Christian leadership book, a CD or any number of other things.
Christmas Eve Communion
On Christmas Eve, we offer a short communion service between two of our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The brief Communion Service is at 5:15 so people attending the 4:00 service can stick around afterwards and people attending the 6:00 service can arrive early. Some people choose to do 5:15 Communion Service only. The service is about 25-30 minutes, includes one hymn, the communion ritual and prayer.
Community Outreach At Santa’s House or Nursing Home
Call your local Santa House to see if you can offer hospitality one evening! Gather a few folks from your church, buy cookies and drinks and take the church to the people. It’s a great opportunity to love the community. Another community option is to visit a nursing home. Sometimes churches get a bad rap for only thinking of nursing home ministry at Christmas! But that shouldn’t stop us from going. Take a small team to carol at the local nursing home, pass out cards, etc.
Help a Family
Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. Does a family come to mind that is in special need of a gift this Christmas Season? Buy gifts for the kids. Receive a special offering and pay their rent for the month. Make a significant, over the top investment for a family in need. And don’t worry about any return.
For those of you reading this blog who are not pastors or church staff, be sure to bless your pastor this Christmas Season. Growing up in a pastor’s home, it was always a treat to know the church cared. Gifts ranged from lamps to gift cards to popcorn tins to candy, and they are all appreciated!
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