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October 30th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

28 comments (+ Add)

I’m Curious: Christmas Services

I’ve heard several pastors lately mention Christmas service preparations, and I’m curious about what you’re planning at your church … Are you adding services? How many will you be hosting altogether? And on what days will your Christmas services occur? Be sure to let us know where in the world you are!

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there are a total of28
  1. Oct 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

    We are having our normal three weekend services, and then adding a single Christmas Eve Service. (We really strongly debated on adding two Christmas Eve Services, so hopefully we’re not over-full Christmas Eve!)

    Located in the great state of Indiana.

  2. Oct 30, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    We are a new church plant in Kansas City averaging 520 a weekend, 2 services. We are hosting a Christmas Eve service and are debating whether or not we will take the following Sunday off to give volunteers a week off (like Northpoint does) Anyone out there doing that??? I’m really curious.

  3. Oct 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    We are planning a big community Christmas outreach service (6 actually) the weekend before Christmas (Fri, Sat, & Sun). We will do one pretty simple “Lessons & Carols” service on Christmas Eve.

    We also take the next Sunday off and it works great. We provide a list of other local churches to folks and encourage them to worship there. We also provide some “at-home” worship resources.

    Ben

  4. Oct 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Sorry… we are in Connecticut (St. Paul’s Collegiate Church, stpaulswired.org)

  5. Oct 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Because we currently meet in a school we will have one service, our family communion service on the 21st at Journey Church, Acworth, GA. A time of worship, short teaching and then all the families sharing communion. It’s an amazing time with the Lord.

  6. 6Jamey
    Oct 30, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Being a small church, we do have any extra services. On the Sunday before Christmas we have normal Sunday service only with Christmas carols … on Sunday night the youth put on their play (as a replacement of the normal night service). We are in Alabama.

  7. Oct 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Seven on Christmas Eve. Six on one campus and one on our second campus. And then one on Christmas day. Sunday we will be back to our seven services.

  8. Oct 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I can’t wait to test drive a SWITCH Christmas Experience this year… Tuesday the 23rd of December 7:00pm at the Northwest campus! Woo!

  9. Oct 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    One Christmas eve service. Going old school. Candle lighting and a laid back living room feel with real stories of Christmas, some Christmas worship and a clear message from the world!
    Maryland Community Church
    Terre Haute, IN

  10. Oct 30, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    We are doing a night of comedy. A “Cheech and Chong” theme. It will connect well! And there will be a lot of Laughter!!

  11. Oct 30, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Annual living nativity in the park, two Christmas eve services. Using the Advent Conspiracy for our series.

  12. Oct 30, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    We’re taking a big leap and renting out our city’s prime theater (for live acts, not movies) and doing one big Christmas Eve service on Dec.23!

  13. Oct 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    From the weekend before Christmas thru the weekend after, we will have 38 services across 3 campuses. We will do 1 service on Tuesday the 23rd and 3 on the 24th at all campuses. Gonna be a BUSY week. On the up side, we will see about 22,000 people come during our Christmas eve services.

  14. Oct 30, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I’m from Canberra Australia and we have one Christmas day service. As the worship director i’ve sought permission to try things differently this year but its not looking good. Unfortunatley we’re sticklers for tradition and even the mention of a Christmas eve service didnt fly too well. I’m trying to encourge our church to take the next Sunday off but that isnt looking too likely either i’m afraid. So I suspsect it will be the usual 1 hour service on Christams day followed by complaints about the ‘carols’ we did and didnt use… sometimes people just need to remember WHY we have Christmas and realise its not all about them…

  15. Oct 30, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    We are not having our normal four weekend services on the 20th and 21st but then start our Christmas Eve services on Sunday night the 21st. We will do two per night Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed.

    We are located near Lancaster Pennsylvania

  16. Oct 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Prince Albert, Saskatchewan CANADA
    We are adding three services. A lesson and Carols service Dec 14,Christmas Eve at 9pm and another Christmas morning at 10:30 am. After reading about the 22,000 Jason Cole mentions its humbling to mention three service that might total 300 people attending.

  17. Oct 30, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Here (outside Lexington, KY) we’re doing 2 Christmas Eve services 7pm and 11pm and then the normal 2 as well on the Sundays before and after.

  18. 18txmom4
    Oct 30, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Last year I was on staff at a very large church. I was getting ready for work one morning when the phrase Merry Christmas kept repeating over and over in my mind. I couldn’t understand why I was stuck on this phrase, and it was driving me crazy. So I thought about it and prayed about it, because God was obviously trying to tell me something (or so I believed).

    And then it occurred to me…the story of Mary and Martha! When Martha was freaking out trying to get everything ready and she complained to Jesus because Mary wasn’t helping her. He told her “Mary has chosen what is better.” All Mary was doing was sitting at His feet. There it was! MARY Christmas! NOT Martha Christmas!

    I know we all get so caught up in delivering the best possible “production” to please the people. We get so hyper-focused on wowing the people and impressing everyone. And I agree that this is one of those opportunities to reach the un-churched more than any other time of year. I just wonder if they would continue to come back week after week if we focused more on Jesus than we do on the stuff? More on the love than the lights.

  19. Oct 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    We are a church plant of 20 months. I am the student pastor, just joined staff 4 months ago. We do a Christmas Eve service in the local park. We reached over 400 people last year and we believe with our growth over the last year at the church we are going to double that. We realized early in the beginnings of New Community that if we do things off campus, we draw drastic amounts of unchurched or dechurched. It has been amazing what God keeps doing by the events we do in our community. We are the first rural city you come to north of Atlanta. The town is only 1500, but crazy things are happening!!!

  20. Oct 31, 2008 at 5:50 am

    We are simplifying this year. We are in transition with little money and also we have most of our church out of town at Christmas anyway - no one is FROM Madison, Alabama so they all go home for Christmas!

    December 21st we will do two regular Sunday morning services. On Christmas Eve we’ll do one service - packed maybe, but just one - 4:00 pm. It will be simple and only last 45 minutes to an hour. Although we normally have more production, we’ll really strip that service down to some basic elements interwoven with ways the congregation can participate.

  21. Oct 31, 2008 at 11:03 am

    We are holding 4 services on Sunday 21st. 3 morning services with a special Christmas presentation then a traditional carol service in the evening with a local brass band. Very old school. No Christmas Eve don’t really work for us in here in our part of UK. We will also have a 10 am Christmas Day service, lots of fun with the kids. Milton Keynes, England.

  22. Oct 31, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    We’re deviating from our single-event “big production” tradition and using three weekends leading up to Christmas as themed experiences all centered around finding Peace in Chaos, Complexity and Contentment respectively. Then 4 Christmas Eve services, one for travelers on 12/21 Sunday evening then 3 on Christmas eve 12/24 - all 4 focused on finding Peace and Hope at Christmas with candles and tradition that highlight the wonder and awe of Christmas.

  23. Oct 31, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    we are putting a Christmas tree together while on stage… then we are lighting it on fire and dousing it with gasoline while the children sing carols and dance merrily. the pastor will then pretend to put it out by spitting on it. the elders will hold hands and dance around it joyously. we will then write down all of our sins on sheets of paper and throw them into the fire. the fire department will come in, right on cue and put it out. we will siphon all the water from the puddles, bottle it, and donate it to charity. as you can see we have it all planned out.

    just playing. we will the christmas tree together and talk about the illumination and fame of Christ.

  24. Oct 31, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    just one service.

  25. Oct 31, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    How about you guys? Life Church doing anything?

  26. Nov 1, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    At Central we’re having 14 services at two campuses on Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve

  27. Nov 3, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Here in Cairo, Egypt, we normally have our four weekend services on a Thursday night and all day Friday. So this year we are having two Candlelight carol services on Christmas Eve (Wednesday), no Christmas day service (Thursday) and two services on the 26th (instead of our usual three Friday services). Many of our congregation will be away over Christmas and we want to make sure that the rest of us get as much family time as possible over this very busy season.

  28. Nov 20, 2008 at 2:55 am

    Our church does the traditional Christmas Eve service but our major Christmas Outreach is a “Christmas Cafe” that is hosted by our youth choir - the Agape Singers (http://www.abfagapesingers.com). It is a great way for church & non-churched to share in the christmas season