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.