I’ve been the first time visitor to churches during the Christmas season.
I have been the first time visitor to a Christmas Eve service where I didn’t ever want to go back.
On the other hand, I visited a church on Christmas Eve and was so impressed I wanted to invite friend the following week.
What will your first time visitors decide this Christmas season? Will your worship service fill them with such hope and comfort that they wan to bring a friend? Or will your church members ignore their presence and secretly hope those visitors won’t return?
Here are 6 Christmas strategies you can be doing to help your church fulfill its mission to share the gospel and change lives.
1. Make invitations easy.
Use the Christmas season to encourage your members to invite their friends to church. Here are a couple of ways.
- Tips on using Facebook for inviting people to Christmas services.
- Find ways to re-invite inactive members
- Update your church website for Christmas services
- Print up some invitation to Christmas Services in a business card size for members to share.
2. Find ways to bless your community.
As you bless the community during the Christmas season, your church will create good will in the community. Check out some of these ideas:
- How one church chose to bless the community and disrupted traffic instead
- Your turn: Share some of your Christmas Outreach ideas
- A Christmas Outreach in Small Town USA.
Each of these ministries are designed to not only bless the community, but seize the opportunity to share information about Christmas services.
3. Encourage your members to have parties with their neighbors.
Christmas is full of parties and celebrations. You can encourage your members to be intentional in spending time with their neighbors or co-workers, and look for those moments to share some of their own personal faith journey.
- Christmas Party Spiritual Conversational Starters
- How to destroy a Christmas Party with evangelism.
- Christmas Party Game Ideas that prompt spiritual conversation
4. Review and update your church welcome practices.
Have your hospitality coordinator or ministry leader do a quick review of your church’s welcome, and then empower them to make some quick and easy changes.
For example, you might have former members who only attend your church on Christmas Eve. What can your greeters say to welcome them? (Help Don out: what would you say?)
Check out these other ideas
- Clean up these 5 areas before your Christmas visitors arrive.
- Review your hospitality prior to the Christmas rush.
- How to welcome church visitors during Christmas.
Download the Church Hospitality Audit. It’s free. Pastor Ford said:
I downloaded the audit and forwarded it to our hospitality leader. We work hard on developing hospitality in our church and yet there were a couple of things I learned from the audit that we have not done. I would recommend everyone downloading it.
5. Create a comeback sermon series
You could print up some business card size series promotional for members to share, just like you may have done for your special Christmas services.
It might be a series tied to new year resolutions that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in changing us. You might do a sermon series on dealing with sin in relationships. You want to plan an attractive series that will make it easy for your first time visitor to want to return.
You’ll need to help newcomers and non church goers discover value in attending church.
6. Plan your assimilation steps ahead of time
With the comeback sermon series, you’ve made the next step easy to follow. However, churches that fail to plan their assimilation strategies generally won’t see growth. Take the time to review your intentional pathway to help returning visitors build relationships. The goal is creating space for relationships to organically develop.
- 6 Ways to Follow Up on First Time Church Visitors
- Help new church visitors build relationships
- What if your visitor keeps returning?
- Church Visitor Assimilation Training Class
- The Best Church Visitor Assimilation Tool
- 4 Ways to Keep your Visitors Coming Back After Christmas
Candle Photo Credit: Flickr, via blacklord
Excellent post, Chris! Lots of great advice!