Three Creative Christmas Outreach Ideas

Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 65

Looking for some pandemic-proof ways to reach your community this Christmas Season? Look no further. We’ve put together three “out-of-the-box” ideas that your church could do without a big expense or need for tons of volunteers.

Let’s face it, in most parts of the country your traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas Season programming is not going to look like it usually does. Maybe you’re ok with doing it as close to normal as possible and just know that very few people will attend. Maybe you’re just not going to do anything. Or maybe, you’re ready to try something new and different to see if you can make lemons out of lemonade.

Here are a few TMG recipes for some delightful Christmas lemonade:

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All three of the ideas below have a couple of things in common. First, they are intended for your church to have people fill out a simple registration form to participate in. Why? So that you can reach out to them again later! The big candlelight Christmas Eve service may be a bust this year, but you can still start 2021 with new contacts to begin building relationships with.

The second thing you’ll notice is that all of these are young-family-focused. Maybe your church is already full of families and this will be an easy thing to get engagement with. Maybe you’re an older congregation and have wondered how you could ever get young families to look your way. Here’s your chance. Keep in mind though, what would you do with them if they actually wanted to visit in 2021? Be ready to receive them!

Let the Big Guy do the talking

Well, maybe not THE Big Guy, but one kids get pretty excited about this time of year. There are definitely no “normal” pictures with Santa happening, so how about a personalized video message from jolly ol’ St. Nick to the kids? You small-church folks can keep this simple, and those of you with more resources can fancy it up. A great-looking Santa with a cell-phone quality video to the kids will still look 2020 authentic, and when he mentions to little Emma or Aiden that Jesus loves them, well that will tie the whole thing together. Here is an example of a church doing this well – **Please do not use up their limited spaces for this service, just check out the page to see how they are talking about it.

Christmas lights scavenger hunt

You probably already have numerous people in your church that do some great Christmas light displays. Why not setup a scavenger hunt to have people drive around town from house to house, and have a gift at the end? The path could walk through the Christmas Story, or maybe require a keen eye to spot a character hiding in the scenery. Get creative! The gift at the end doesn’t need to be expensive. Some hot chocolate mix, a coloring book, or some other small toy may be fun, but don’t forget a great Christmas message and some information about connecting with your church.

Christmas Eve participation boxes

Consider a pre-recorded Christmas video focused on kids in which the boxed items are utilized. It may be filled with pre-made items or maybe craft materials to make popsicle stick figures or finger puppets of the cast of characters in the Christmas Story. The first part of the video could walk the kids (and parents) through preparing the items before cutting over to a song, and your pastor for a talk through the Christmas Story. Keep it short, not more than 20 minutes. Have instructions in the box to guide parents. Make the videos live a couple of days before Christmas so they have flexibility in when they watch instead of a pre-set live broadcast.

We hope that this list will at least get you thinking creatively, and maybe come up with something completely different.

It’s not too late to plan on making next year the best year ever at your church. Connect with a TMG Guide today to talk about how our Strategic Envisioning process can transform your ministry into greater disciple-makers.

A.J. Mathieu is the President of the Malphurs Group. He is passionate about helping churches thrive. A.J. lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, enjoys the outdoors, and loves spending time with his wife and two sons. Click here to email A.J.

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