I wish when I was pastor I had taken advantage of Easter and Christmas opportunities more than I did.  They are the two times a year when people feel like they should be in church.  Why not make every effort to get them under the truth of the gospel? 

Christmas Eve

As for Christmas, I have watched a few churches use the Christmas Eve service very effectively.  This works very well when you have a large Roman Catholic community because they are used to attending Mass on Christmas Eve.  A recommended service would be a candle light service with quiet Christmas music, special readings about Christmas and a short message from God’s Word.  Gather the church in a circle at the end and sing.  Some churches prefer to have the Lord’s Supper on Christmas Eve, but if you are using it for an outreach, it might not be the best to have a multitude of unbelievers present.   

Sunday School or Children’s Program

I remember vividly the Sunday School Christmas Program when I was growing up.  A few things stand out:  first, every child was anxious to be part of the service.  Second, parents and relatives were willing to come and see their children up front, and third, we received a box of mixed candies at the end.  I would hope that we not minimize the children’s ministry, and especially at Christmas.  I’d make it a “big event,” especially the Sunday before Christmas day.   

Musicale

If your church is able, a musicale is in order.  Add drama, and it is a hit.  People love music.  Although it is a lot of work, this is extremely effective.   If you do extensive decorating, the whole church can get involved.  Having it on Friday or Saturday night allows people from other churches to attend, and often, neighbors are looking for something to do on the weekend.  First Baptist of Elyria, where I attend, has effectively used this method of outreach.  They will get almost 3,000 people over the three nights. 

Live Nativity Scene

A church plant in Northeast Pennsylvania effectively used this method of outreach, and it worked so well that the local police had to call in extra help to cover traffic control.  The real laugh came when the sheep escaped and the local paper said, “Pastor is seeking lost sheep.”  Anyway, the church people really got involved, and after driving by the scene, everyone received hot chocolate, cookies and a packet from the church.   Great idea! 

I encourage you to do what I didn’t do, really use the Christmas season to “reach out” and touch lives for Jesus Christ.  God bless you. 

Dave