Last Updated: November 2016
So, we’ve given you a few Christmas service ideas, but maybe you’re just begging for something that is off-the-charts creative. Here are some awesome, amazing, and insanely creative ideas.
We got our heads together with Sharefaith member, Timothy Wyatt, worship and youth director at First Baptist Church in Sweet Home, Oregon, and came up with these awesome ideas. You may not have the time to prepare for all of these, but you can try one, and begin planning now for next year.
- Decorate the stage as a winter wonderland, then do an acoustical worship set with songs that go from the birth to the death and resurrection of Christ. Have the sermon be all about Christ no longer residing in a manger or tomb He is alive, and very present in our lives.
- Hanging of the Greens. Some churches have a “Hanging of the Greens” service in conjunction with their Advent observance. Hanging of the Greens involves a lot of involvement from volunteers and even children. The service involves responsive Scripture reading, carol singing, and hanging of wreaths and greenery throughout the church. See this guide for one denomination’s Hanging of the Green’s service.
- Get the worship team together and play Christmas songs on iPads with Garage Band! This is huge with youth! You can actually add this to any service throughout December. Be sure to practice.
- Write a skit or play, whatever you want to call it. You may wish to appoint three different groups to prepare for a skit, to have a total of three different skits. Between each, sing several Christmas carols.
- Christmas can be a powerful time of thanksgiving for the coming of Christ into the world. Provide an opportunity to your people to give thanks, using the SPOT method. SPOT stands for Speedy Proclamation Of Thanksgiving. Allow every person who is willing, to have 30 seconds to say what they are thankful for. This public and profuse giving of thanks can have a powerful transformation upon an otherwise slugging and unresponsive congregation. Isn’t it important to direct our hearts toward giving thanks in the midst of a hectic and sometimes selfish Christmas season?
- Chrismon Service. A Chrismon service involves decorating an onstage Christmas tree with ornaments of special Christian significance, such as the sign of the fish, a triquetra, the iota chi, or star of Bethlehem. As each ornament is hung, a member of the congregation can read an appropriate Scripture passage and explain the deep, Scriptural significance of the ornament as it is hung. Here is a church’s Chrismon service with an explanation.
- Instead of a candlelight service on Christmas eve, have a candlelight communion service. Worship in song, then celebrate communion. Give the congregation 10-15 minutes of quiet and uninterrupted time to focus on Christ. It is often very hard to take such uninterrupted time during the busy season. Providing it in church during a significant moment is a powerful time before the Lord.
- Get together as a church to distribute baked goods to members of the church, to nursing homes, police stations fire stations, shelter residents, or people in the residential community. Remember to tell them where you’re from, and give them your Christmas blessings.
- Caroling with fellowship afterward. If your church is of an appropriate size, organize a caroling service. You’ll find that a caroling service is a way of spreading blessing to others, as well as experiencing a major blessing yourself!
- Come together has a church family, buy, wrap, and deliver gifts to families that need the extra help. This gets you into the homes of families that really need fellowship this time of year.
- Instead of a Christmas spectator meeting, have a true Christmas service. We talk a lot about Christmas services, but how many of us are really serving? Maybe we’re serving with our musical talents or something, but what about doing something totally different? How about actually getting the whole church involved in serving others. It can be something as simple as collecting blankets and handing them out to homeless people. It can be an elaborate Christmas feast for the hungry in your community. It can be a massive volunteer day at the homeless shelter or children’s home. Do something like this in place of a traditional Christmas service. It will send a message of love and provide your people with a Christmas experience that they will never forget. After all, Christmas is about the incarnation — when Christ came in humility and served humankind.
We felt compelled to add a few more ideas to this list just in case you’ve already done everything on this list. Hopefully, we can help you find something or spark an idea that will make your Christmas service unforgettable.
- Create the opportunity to give. During the busy season, it becomes really difficult to stop and serve. Jesus came to us with the intent to serve us and not to be served by us. This is the message of Christmas that we remember others and value them over ourselves. By creating opportunities to serve as a ministry, people will inherently slow down and be able to enjoy the moment rather than rushing to the next event. Find local partners in your surrounding area that could use a hand.
- Integrate Social Media into your service. If you are active on Facebook, you have probably noticed the massive amount of random quizzes plastering the news feeds. You may have even taken a few to see how intelligent you really are, which of Snow White’s seven dwarfs you are most like, maybe you wanted to know who your best friend really is according to Facebook. How does this relate to your Christmas Service? Create a short poll or a quiz on Facebook that is Christmas related and poll your members. Maybe asking them what their favorite thing about Christmas is or what is their favorite Christmas movie. Interaction is a good way to bring the congregation in and perk up those ears for the message.
- Upgrading your worship service. Not saying your worship service is out of date but there are options out there that bring something different in terms of visual effects. Christmas Motion Graphics are constant moving images that loop throughout the duration of your song. The setup is very similar to a regular worship background. This is a great way to engage your congregation especially if this is something completely different for your service. But the main thing you want to remember is to use backgrounds that complement the entire service theme. If you already use motion graphics consistently, we implore you to continue learning and trying new techniques and finding new technologies that can assist your service.
Whatever your Church may do for special services throughout the year, remember this — be unpredictable. Don’t do the same thing every year. Sure, traditions are a great thing, and you can keep them and cherish them. On the other hand, it’s a great idea to add variety in order to make people stop, think, and reflect upon the true significance of each holiday observance.