12 Signs Your Church is Trying Too Hard to Make Its Christmas Eve Service Appealing to Visitors

Last week in the blog article Church Web Design Part 14: 10 Ways to Maximize the Christmas Opportunity, I was describing my church’s upcoming Christmas Eve service and wrote.

“This is not your typical Christmas Eve service where the congregation sings the same carols every year, teenagers play with hot candle wax during Silent Night, and everyone speculates as to whether this year the soloist will be able to hit the high note in Oh, Holy Night.”

Some people thought I was taking shots at traditional Christmas Eve services.  That was not my intention.  Traditional Christmas Eve services can be great as long as the traditions don’t become more important than the Christmas message.

On the other hand, some churches try so hard to attract visitors to their Christmas Eve services that entertaining guests becomes more important than the Christmas message.  So, in the spirit of the “12 Ways to Ensure Easter Attendees Don’t Come Back to Your Church Next Week” published earlier this year, here are…

12 Signs Your Church is Trying Too Hard to Make Its Christmas Eve Service Appealing to Visitors

1) 50 Cent was hired to rap the sermon and give the service “street cred.”

2) When a recent visitor asked about advent services, a confused volunteer gave her directions to the nearest pharmacy.

3) Thanks to a new title sponsor, the service was renamed “The Starbucks Christmas Eve Extravaganza at Springfield Community Church”

4) Hannah Montana offered to sing in the service but was told she is “too over the hill.”

5) The sign language translator was sacked and replaced by someone who instant messages the sermon text to the PDAs of the hearing impaired.

6) The entire Christmas Eve service was sacked in favor of an American Idol-style contest to determine who will sing in the ensemble next year.

7) The lyrics to “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” were changed to “Yo, the Bling Wings Sing.”

8 ) Someone on the programming team suggested scheduling breaks in the service every 10 minutes so people can update their blogs.  The idea was shot down by another team member saying “Who wants to wait 10 minutes?  Plus I can Twitter from my iPhone during the sermon.”

9) Discussion groups were organized to take place in the church’s coffee bar after the service.  Topics include “Immaculate Conception: God’s Endorsement of In Vitro Fertilization?” and “Is God sexist for not sending wise women or is the Bible sexist for not mentioning them?”

10) While shaking the senior pastor’s hand after the service, a member of 3 years exclaimed, “Dude!  So, you’re the dude who does the sermons I listen to on my iPod.  Nice to meet you.”

11) Correction, that wasn’t the senior pastor shaking hands it was a holographic projection of him transmitted from the church’s other campus.

12) This year’s Christmas Eve service is being held in rented facilities thanks to the pyrotechnics display in last year’s Christmas eve service.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

18 Responses to “12 Signs Your Church is Trying Too Hard to Make Its Christmas Eve Service Appealing to Visitors”

  1. ElderElderBob Dec 6, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    I suppose there will be those who don’t see the sarcasam or “humor” in this. Maybe it’s because it hits too close to their church’s mannerisms and practices. Too bad! I think this is a great reminder of what our attitude should really be.

  2. The article is simply in bad taste.

  3. I agree with Deacon Jim…

  4. I get the spirit that the article was intended and it was fine for those who needed to lighten up a bit.
    And for those who found the article in poor taste,…lighten up.

    In His service for life,
    Deacon Neal, First Baptist Church of Saltillo, PA

  5. I also agree with Deacon Jim.

    God must be taken seriously, for our God is a consuming fire! Hebrews 12:29

  6. jmarie - ordained elder Dec 9, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I thought this was hilarious. God does have a sense of humor. I am so glad He does because some of us don’t.

  7. Leonard Gibson Dec 9, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Great! I thank God that, although He is “a consuming fire,” He sent His Son to die in my place so He would not have to consume me! Besides, if God didn’t invent laughter, who did? The devil? I don’t remember any scriptures mentioning laughter in hell.

  8. I have to comment just once more after the last few I’ve read.

    God must be taken seriously, He is our Father. Abba, Father. I take my Father seriously because I am his son. My Father would never consume his son but he would an imposter. My Father and I cry together, we laugh together, and we worship together. I love Him and He loves me. My Father took on human flesh and died in my place to paya debt that I could never pay myself. That is very serious. He also tells me that He is Love. That is very serious. He brings me great Joy and great Happiness, and yes, sometimes great laughter.

    Por taste is not knowing Abba,Father wll enough to know the difference between a Dictator and a Loving DAD.

    Praise Him who first loved us.

  9. Ummm, not an elder, deacon, or ordained, But I still have to say, even though your Christmas service isn’t perfect, if you feel the love of Christ in your heart, Christmas will always leave a warm glow. Jesus came and died for sinners, that means we actually need Him, all of us. Merry Christmas everyone.

  10. Gently, let me just say that there are a few people off-topic here. This blog is intended to light-heartedly point out that some churches are more focused on attracting non-believers than worshipping God. It does not imply that anyone should regard God or what He does in or around us lightly. If you want it to be serious instead of humorous, however, here is my translation :-)

    How to encourage non-believers to come back to your church after Christmas:

    1.) Require your church leaders to meet regularly, pray continually, and seek fresh encounters with Christ daily, so that their ministries are filled with a passion that is as close as humanly possible to how passionate Jesus is about pursuing us.

    2.) Make sure your church is preaching and singing God’s truth directly from the Word of God, and don’t exclude topics you think might make someone question their actions or motives – that’s called God at work.

    3.) Challenge your pastor(s) and worship team/choir to unashamedly worship God at every service. This is how non-believers realize they are missing something.

    4.) Let God do the rest. You can’t bring someone to Christ if God is not calling them. Seeker-friendly services are the same as any other service, except they use words unchurched people can understand.

    5.Challenge your church to invite at least one person to church on Christmas Eve.

    6.) Pray corporately on Sunday morning for the Christmas Eve service.

    7.) Have the leaders get together before the service to focus on God, commit to serve Him with all their mind, heart, soul, and strength, and then go worship Him with great joy! After all, that’s the main purpose of the church!

    May God bless you richly as you put all other things aside, and focus on telling others about Him who is the cause of all our joy! In His love and mine, Donna

  11. God tells us in His Word that we are to make a “joyous” noise unto the Lord. This includes laughing, folks. Throughout scripture, we read about David and others in the Lord dancing, singing, and having fun.

    When we get so legalistic that we forget that God wants us to be joyous and happy, that’s when we need to get down on our knees and ask God to renew our spirit.

    By inserting some humor in my Sunday services, my congregation will sit and listen to the sermon for 2-3 hours.

  12. I know God has a sense of humor…. look around! I see the viewpoints of all the bloggers, so if I can see it, I know God can. Laughter to the soul is good medicine! But I do realize that our society including us Christians laugh at some of the most ungodly things… peer pressure? fleshly release? doesn’t matter, the truth is if “it” goes against God’s word…. forget about it… ask for forgiveness and move on… if “it” doesn’t laugh until you’re blue in the face!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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