4 Reasons Churches Are Not Ready for Christmas


According to LifeWay Research, a group of 1,000 Protestant pastors indicated Christmas is the second most attended service of the year. Every Christmas or Easter churches are filled with people whom only attend church twice a year. This is exactly ‘why’ churches must be prepared for each of these guests.

Here are 4 common mistakes churches make preparing for Christmas:

Lack of planning

Let’s be real … church leaders are the ‘busiest’ people during the Christmas season. Think about it … your regular ministry roles do not cease as your calendar is jam packed with Christmas parties, events and gatherings. One of the main reasons the church is not ready for Christmas is due to a lack planning.

The lack of planning time is devoured by busyness. To be fully prepared for Christmas it is necessary to eliminate every distraction. If you want to be ‘ready’ for Christmas, meetings are required.  These meetings help you think ahead and aligns your team and volunteers.

Lack of communication

The attention span of people is insanely short. During the Christmas season their attention span is drastically decreased with shopping, dinners, travel, etc. This is one of the best times to communicate clearly and precisely as a church.

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to communicate with people who do not attend your church is through your people! People want to attend church. Check out this stat -

“Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.” – Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door

However …

“Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.” – Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door

Being prepared means you are giving your church members easy ways to communicate with their friends, family and neighbors.

Lack of follow-up

Follow-up? Yes! The churches who are prepared are ready to connect with people beyond the Christmas service experience. What if tons and tons of people attend your church and have a great experience?  Are you ready to follow-up with these guests to ensure they return?

I get it … After the second, or third, or fifth service you are ready to deflate and relax! However, hundreds of people are seeking a reason to come back to your church.  By planning ahead your church can integrate systems to follow-up with guests while you enjoy your break!

Lack of praying

Although planning for, communicating to and following-up with people is advocated and needed; praying for people and your services trumps any strategic action.  A fancy sermon, well-executed creative element, astounding children’s program will not break the hearts of people.  Only, the Spirit of God will break the hearts of people.

Prayer is the real work.  Again … I am a huge fan of being prepared for the Christmastime.  But, please do not allow planning, preparing and promoting quench the amount of time you spend praying for people and your Christmas services.

What would you add to the list of common mistakes in planning for Christmas?

Guest Evaluation Resource

You have approximately 3-4 weeks to plan for your Christmas services. But, you need to start preparing now. Download my checklist and evaluate your Guest Experience this weekend and make improvements to make sure the Christmas experience is memorable!

Honestly … You can spend hours creating an experience evaluation checklist or you can download the done-for-you evaluation checklist I created for $20.

Download Checklist Here


  • http://www.happybulletin.com/ Bryan Chalker – Happy Bulletin

    Nice points on this article, especially the initial statement about the bi-annual attendees. Another issue many churches (esp. the larger ones) seem to get wrapped up in, is the focus on style. The attention to detail in the “theatrics” can – and does – distract from the true reach of the message. Easter and Christmas should have the single greatest focus on the WHY and opposed to the HOW…especially in light of the bi-annuals who need the message. Just my two cents.

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein


    One thought, one question.

    Thought :: If a church wants to reach the Creasters they need to do something that matters to the creasters. They don’t care about what’s coming up. They don’t care about how good the christmas eve service is. They don’t care about what songs you sing. What they care about is how is can their life be better than it is. If you expect to land those who rarely attend you’ve got to change what you’re doing and make a personal connection with what is important to them.

    Question :: What’s one tactic church leaders could use to help their people communicate?

    Great stuff Tim, as always. Greatful for you.

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