Just some quick thoughts to think about if your church is planning a Christmas Eve service this weekend:
- Pray about it as much as you prepare for it. I've seen too many churches prepare much, and then only briefly ask God to bless their work.
- Enlist a "follow up" team to contact guests and returning church members who attend. If you secure contact information but never follow up, you'll have missed an open door.
- Have greeters everywhere from the parking lot to the parking lot—that is, from the time folks enter the lot to the time they leave. Be friendly.
- Consider asking everyone to wear a nametag. Knowing names facilitates conversations and makes the evening more personal (and, if you assume that everybody will already know everybody else, you're probably not using the evening evangelistically).
- Ask everyone to complete a registration card. When everyone does it, guests are typically less reticent to provide information you need for follow up.
- Don't forget about the kids when you preach or tell the Christmas story. Intentionally draw in the children, and you'll draw the adults in, too. The opposite is not always true.
- Use older adults in the program, too. If your church is a multi-generational church, let the community see that reality on the platform.
- Be clear, and be clear again, about how folks may contact you if they have questions about the church or the gospel. Many may not respond to the gospel that evening, but still have questions in the days to come.
- Think about taking a benevolence offering for the needy in your community. This is a season of giving, so do something that will help your church give to others when Christmas is over.
- Evaluate the service as soon as possible. If the Lord doesn't return in the next year, Christmas Eve will come again. Celebrate it better next year because you've evaluated it this year.
What other thoughts would you add?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.
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