A busy and festive time of year, it’s always a good idea to get your plans in order ahead of time when it comes to helping your congregation get in the mood for Christmas. If you’re a pastor, priest, or other church leader wondering how you might get your congregation in the mood for some celebrating this upcoming season, read on for a few ideas to consider.
Decorating for the Season
A sure-fire way to get people in the mood for the holiday season is to start with simple Christmas decorations like LED lighting, garland, poinsettias, and more. In pulling out that nutcracker or nativity set, you’ll be directly signaling to your congregation that it’s time to start thinking about Christmas and the religious meaning behind it.
As you begin to make plans for the holiday season, consider taking an inventory of your stock of Christmas lights, candles, ornaments, and other decorations you regularly use to give your church the Christmas look and feel. If you’re lacking in holiday decor, need a new artificial Christmas tree, or just want new Christmas ornaments and decorations for your parishioners, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. In the middle of a global pandemic, there could be shipping delays or other issues with stock. Taking a close look at your outdoor Christmas decorations now will pay off later, too.
Marketing Events and Festivities
By the time fall arrives, it’s a good idea to get your church members’ interests going by advertising ideas for festivities, celebrations, and caroling, or other activities for the holiday season. Think about putting a list of your regular events in church bulletins or asking your favorite parishioners to form a Christmas and holiday season planning committee. The sooner you start marketing your plans, even on websites and social media, the sooner people will get excited about the holiday season ahead.
Getting the Congregation Involved
The more invested people feel, the more likely they are to participate in any sort of holiday planning or other events. One way to get your church community in the mood is to ask them for their help from the start. Something as simple as a survey of churchgoers could get the congregation talking and sharing ideas. You could get people invested by assigning specific tasks to churchgoers who’ve shown interest in helping to plan your church’s Christmas festivities this year.
Acts of Charity
A big part of the Christmas spirit begins with altruism. Consider arranging a charitable event your church community can get excited about. From holiday trees with gifts for kids in need to letters to troops or the elderly, there are many ways you can share the Christmas spirit outside of your congregation. Think about toy drives, food pantries, children’s homes, and even animal shelters in your area.
Consider reaching out to community agencies to learn about ways your church could make someone else’s holiday season better. In reaching out to your community, you’ll be giving the gift of the season and strengthening your relationship with your religion, too. That is, the bible encourages acts of service and good deeds. Incorporating that into your church’s plan is a fantastic way to celebrate Christmas.
By the time Christmas arrives, your parish, congregation, and group community will be in the mood for the holidays whether you get them involved with outreach or DIY Christmas ornaments. By planning ahead just like you do with an advent wreath or calendar, you’ll put you and your church community in the position of extending the spirit of the Christmas season even longer. Happy planning to you! Don’t forget to put out that nativity scene!