The holiday season is upon us. Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, and just a few short weeks after that, Christmas. Holidays bring a special opportunity to churches. It’s a time when many people are thinking of more spiritual things and looking for a place to go to celebrate them. Yes, there are some who only go to church on Christmas and Easter, but why not reach out to them and encourage them to come more often?
Let’s talk about some things your church can do to reach out at holiday time. A special Thanksgiving service or Thanksgiving “eve” can be a great thing to do. We used to attend a church who had a service on the night before Thanksgiving, and everyone who came to it was given the chance to say what they were thankful for. It was a time to give thanks to God, but also to connect as a community of believers.
Many churches hold Christmas Eve services, which has become a long-standing tradition in our home (and our church.) It’s wonderful to gather together to sing some Christmas carols, hear an inspired message and close with a candlelight version of Silent Night. It’s become a very special time for us.
Your church may also want to hold a Christmas morning service, giving the change to start the day off in a time of being together in God’s house.
The holidays also provide a wonderful opportunity for outreach in the community. Going as a group to serve at a homeless shelter or visiting those living in a senior facility can bring joy and encouragement to those who are served.
Our church does those things plus we participate in Operation Christmas Child, sending off shoe boxes to children in poverty areas who may have never received a gift before.
There are many ways your church can get involved in reaching out this holiday season – just look around.
Let Others Know
Be sure that you let others in the community know about any special services or outreach projects your church is taking part in. There may be people wanting and waiting for a chance to live a little differently in the coming month, but they may not know what to do or how to get involved.
Your website is a great place to advertise what’s going on at your church this holiday season. Many of our websites have a slider where you can display different images, and it’s easy to change the images for seasons or events at your church. This would be a great place to tell about your Christmas Eve service.
There may be a local newspaper that lists services in your area, and your church could be included there.
Take advantage of Facebook and Twitter to announce your special events. It’s an effective and easy avenue for communicating with your followers.
Let the holidays be a time when your church reaches out to your community – just be sure to let them know about it!
By Laurie Neumann