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Christmas Service: The Super Bowl of Church Services
Christmas for the church is like the Super Bowl is for football.
Much how the Super Bowl attracts a viewership of millions who typically never watch football regularly... Christmas is a time when millions of guests come through the church doors to get their annual "fix" of religion. It's this understanding that should cause us to be intentional about how we develop a Christmas church service to be effective in reaching the families that make that visit. We want to take them from being a one-time viewer to a full fledged fan. Here are 3 ways to do it.
Tell A Story
Stats mean nothing to a non-football fan. You might as well start speaking another language to them. Unlike the regular season and playoff games, the Super Bowl focuses less on the stats of each team and places emphasis on the story of how they got there. They do this to make the event more accessible to a wider audience. Often times they'll talk about how the quarterback overcame an almost career ending injury or show a captivating clip of a lineman coming from a small country town to be the first college graduate of his family.
Stories are powerful and they resonate universally. The Christmas Story (not the movie but the one about Jesus) is about as powerful as it gets! Christmas services should emphasize the story. Chapters 1-2 of Matthew are read every year for good reason. They are a reminder of who Jesus is and how he got here. As cliche as it is... Jesus is the reason for the season.
The Super Bowl is filled with traditions unique to only the Super Bowl. Between the Roman numerals, funny commercials, half-time show and going to Disney World... the Super Bowl is the epitome of Tradition.
When it comes to tradition, Most families have traditions they do every Christmas season. My family does this weird thing where we hide a pickle Christmas ornament in the tree. The person who finds it gets a special gift. I know it's weird, but it's something that is unique to us and we always remember it.
Does your church have Christmas traditions you do each year that gives your people a sense of belonging and something to remember? If not you can start this year with making your own!
No matter who wins the Super Bowl, both teams get Super Bowl rings. Just making it to the Super Bowl is already a big enough deal! Out of the 32 teams made up of the best athletes in the world, the two teams are considered the best. Rather than having a celebration just at the very end when the winner is declared, the entire game is a celebration of the sport in its entirety.
Singing songs like Joy To The World or reading about the Good News in Luke 2:10 should be a great cause of celebration for us. The birth of Jesus as our savior is a BIG deal and it should fill us with a joy that surpasses all understanding. If we aren't celebrating at some point during our Christmas church service, we're missing the mark.
After It's All Over
The ending of the Super Bowl marks the beginning of the off-season for the NFL. For the church, there is no off season after Christmas. In fact, the time after Christmas can be one of the biggest times of spiritual growth for our people as a collective. The new year means new opportunities, new commitments and a clean slate. We can use our Christmas church service as an opportunity to energize the church to get back into the game.
One word of advice though...don't pour Gatorade on the pastor after the service is over. They well definitely not appreciate it. ?
One more thing...
Don't forget to collect those connect cards so you can reach out to those families that visited. If you haven't already, take a look at an older blog we wrote on "The Best Connect Card".