Make a lasting Christmas connection
At Christmas, local churches connect with more people in their communities than at any other time. How will your church ensure it makes connections that last?
Christmas is a powerful reminder in the life of Christians and of the Church that “God is with us”.
Amidst the festivities, family events and consumerism, we should not forget that this message is still felt by large numbers in our communities who are not regularly part of a local church.
Services over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day double even the highest attendances at other points in the year. Add in all the other opportunities that people have to connect with a local church over Advent and Christmas – carol services, Christingle services, other hospitality – and church communities are reaching significant numbers of people, young and old, at this time of year.
How can we enhance the breadth and depth of this connection?
First, make sure that people in your community know about what you’re doing.
• Are your Christmas services advertised on a large poster (A2 minimum) outside your church and on noticeboards in the community?
• Have you dropped leaflets door to door in your parish?
• Is your website up to date, with Christmas services prominent?
• Have you added Christmas services to www.churchnearyou.com via your A Church Near You entry?
Second, give a warm welcome: hospitality, well heated buildings, personal welcomes all make a big difference.
Third, make sure what you do and say at your services and events is accessible to those unfamiliar with church. For example, explain what practices, language and concepts mean.
Fourth, give people something to take away that means they might come back before Christmas 2012: a leaflet with your services in the New Year; an explanation about how they can get in touch in order to explore getting married or a child’s baptism; your next Alpha, marriage or parenting course; upcoming social events. If your website is up to date, always give the web address for people to find out more.
Most of all, be sure to take the opportunity to communicate that although Jesus Christ was born at Christmas he still lives today in our communities.
Article source: Diocese of Bristol