Christmas Eve Prep by Cory Mansfield, SermonSearch Staff
It’s here. Christmas Eve service is just a few days away. Are you ready? Well let’s go over the checklist: Music team in place? Check. Bulletins printed and folded? Check. Presents bought and wrapped for my kids? Che…wait. Don’t get distracted. Back to the service. Sanctuary clean? Check. Wife’s present ready…wait. Focus, focus, focus. Oh my goodness I can’t focus!
Ha ha. Be encouraged my friend, you are not alone if you have a few extra things on your plate. The Christmas season is truly a wonderful, joyous time of year, but along with it comes an increase in roles and responsibilities. So let’s chat for a minute and brainstorm a few things that might help you out as you prepare for your Christmas Eve service.
Let’s not forget that Christmas Eve services are not about…you. It’s not about presents. It’s not about food. It’s not about a perfect service, or a perfect anything for that matter. I mean all we have to do is look at the story of Mary and Joseph to remind us of this truth. 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem...while pregnant…riding a donkey! Need I say more? Let’s not lose perspective that the Christmas Eve service that you are working so hard for is for Jesus and His glory, not for a perfect service.
So let me ask you, what is your goal for your Christmas Eve service? Why are you going through all the hard work, the logistics and details to have this service? Let me encourage you to state your purpose. Know exactly why you are doing what you are doing. I would dare say you are doing it to bring glory to Jesus Christ. You are doing it to create an environment where you and your community can gather together to worship our newborn King. You are doing it to see people drop to their knees as the wise men did in recognition of the Lordship of Jesus.
When it comes to pulling off a Christmas Eve service, sometimes the logistics can be overwhelming. Please, please, please don’t do it alone. Let me encourage you to involve not only your staff, but your congregation as well. This is the perfect time to encourage people to serve who are normally not involved. One way to do this is to make it a family time of service. Encourage mothers and fathers to include their children whether folding bulletins, buying and setting up flowers, decorating the sanctuary, or setting up a long line of greeters at the door to welcome people to the service. It is a great time to include the entire family. An added bonus is that by encouraging others to serve, you immediately help others to break the materialistic, self-centered focus that can sadly seep into all of our lives this season.
Oh, and speaking of people, this is one of the few times a year that some people choose to actually go to a church service. So now is the time to call your church to action and have them invite friends, families, neighbors, coworkers, or anyone they can think of. Pray for standing room only. Go for it! Fill your sanctuary. And then preach the Gospel with passion and pray that people will choose Jesus this Christmas.
Last but not least, let’s talk about prayer. We all know the importance of prayer and its value, but in the midst of to-do lists a mile long including services to prepare, bulletins to print, gifts to buy, presents to wrap, food to prepare, etc., it can be so easy to forget to take time to commit this service to God. As Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” So let me encourage you to slow down and take the time to drop to your knees and simply enjoy being with Him.
All of the work you are doing during this beautiful time of year has eternal value and purpose. What you are doing brings glory to Jesus. So keep pressing on during this season knowing that God is faithful and that He is absolutely deserving of our time, energy, and praise.
I’d like to thank you on behalf of SermonSearch and Salem Church Products, for all that you do to serve your church and community, and to bring honor to Jesus, our newborn King. Merry Christmas!