Christmas Is Coming: 8 Things to Consider as You Plan
By the beginning of December, you need to be ready for your Christmas services. By the end of October, that leaves you with about 50 days to plan for one of the biggest Sundays of your year. Take out weekends and Thanksgiving break and you’re down to about 45 days, but you still have a dozen or so services to plan between now and then.
So basically, by the beginning of December, you would have about 30 days left to:
Plan your sermon or sermon series.
Decide on the design or theme. (we've got some options here).
Choose your worship set.
Plan promotion of your service.
Plan and advertise special events leading up to Christmas.
& other things that we are probably forgetting.
Before it gets to that point, here are some things you should probably start thinking about as you plan your Christmas services:
1. WHEN WILL YOUR CHRISTMAS SERVICES BE?
A lot of churches typically have an alternate schedule for Christmas services, but with Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, does it make sense to stick to your normal Sunday routine? If your church normally does a Christmas morning service, but nothing on Christmas Eve, this may be the year to change that.
02. DIGITAL VISUALS: WHAT WILL YOU SHOW ON YOUR SCREENS?
The looks you use during your service can be the thematic centerpiece for all of your Christmas season visuals. Coordinating them with your print materials and decor can add a cohesive, professional feel to the whole experience.
Do you want a modern, traditional, or somewhere-in-between look? Will you observe advent leading up to Christmas? Then you may want a collection that includes both Christmas and Advent title graphics so you can keep the cohesive look.
Check out our Christmas collections for full sets of related media you can use to that end.
03. TRADITIONS: WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU
DO EVERY YEAR WITHOUT FAIL?
The great thing about traditions, from a planning perspective, is that they don’t require a lot of creative energy—if you keep them the same. But how can you make them better? Or, are there any that you’re still clinging to that have lost their meaning and need to be abandoned altogether?
04. PROGRAMS/EVENTS: ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING OUTSIDE
OF YOUR NORMAL CHRISTMAS SERVICE?
Will you also need to plan for a children’s Christmas musical? Does your church want to do Operation Christmas Child this year? Maybe you’re doing a live nativity? All of these things require time outside of normal service planning and are happening days or weeks before Christmas. Don’t worry—you still have some time, but not a lot.
05. PROMOTIONS: HOW ARE YOU LETTING PEOPLE
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING THIS YEAR?
Christmas and Easter are low-hanging fruit when it comes to your members & regular attendees inviting people they know. Use a video in early December to start encouraging them to start looking for invitees. Other relatively easy & inexpensive things you can try this year are:
Create a social invite for your attendees to share with their friends and family. Or find one on Igniter Media.
Create a reel or short video of your teaching pastor or someone on staff inviting people to join you for your Christmas services. Here's a good example from Watermark Community Church.
Putting up an outdoor banner announcing service times. You can find vertical and horizontal options here.
Printing invitation cards that the people in your church can hand out. We've got those too.
06. PRINT NEEDS: SPECIAL PROGRAMS, INVITATION CARDS,
INDOOR & OUTDOOR BANNERS.
All of the outside-of-the-norm things you’re doing will probably create some outside-of-the-norm print needs. The typical purpose of printed banners is for the function of communicating information, but consider that they can also serve as seasonal decor around your church building. Check out our Print-Ready category for a ton of Christmas print media options.
07. DECOR INVENTORY: TAKE STOCK OF WHAT YOU
HAVE AND WHAT YOU’LL NEED.
Everyone has experienced the frustration of untangling Christmas lights only to find that only half of them work. Now’s a good time to raid the Christmas decorations closet to see if there’s anything you’ll need in the coming months. It’s also a great time to consider if you’ll want to update your church’s stage design. (Church Stage Design Ideas has an entire Christmas category with some great ideas).
08. SUNDAY AFTER: DON’T FORGET THE FOLLOWING
SUNDAY IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY.
Obvious? Sure. But you’ll be spending a lot of mental energy and time on your Christmas service—don’t forget that there’s another service just a week away. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll be down staff and/or volunteers who will be out on vacation. We've got plenty of New Year's media for you to choose from. What are some other things that always take more time than you expected, or always forget about until the last minute?