Browse
Balancing Christmas Tradition with Creativity

Balancing Christmas Tradition with Creativity

Posted December 10, 2015 by Jerod Clark

Planning for Christmas can be tricky for church leaders. There’s a sense of wanting to do something big. We know this is a prime time for people to come to church and we want to deliver an experience that’s memorable and different from what people expect church to be. It’s a time where church leaders put a lot of pressure on themselves to do something different.

Yet I think the average Christmas churchgoer is looking for something familiar. There is a certain expectation of what Christmas should feel like. It’s warm and cozy.  It’s a time of cheer. There are songs people know, love and look forward to singing.

Holding on to the traditions of Christmas are important, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. The two are not mutually exclusive. 

  • Be watchful of going over the top. Veering too far away from who you are comes with a cost of decreased engagement. I used to attend a fairly large, contemporary church. One Christmas, they decided to make the whole Christmas service a drama. While the church was contemporary, it was never good at drama. This play dragged and missed any element that resembled what a Christmas service typically looked like for this church. 
  • Don’t experiment too much.  Something I heard Stephen Brewster, the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee, say has always stuck with me. “We have 50 other weeks to try something new.” He shared this when talking about how he almost ruined Easter at his church several years ago. They tried something very experimental, but it lacked the basic truth that hope comes through Jesus’ resurrection. Big weekends at churches, like Easter and Christmas, are times to avoid experiments.
  • Do something your congregation can trust. As churches, Christmas is a time where we want people to invite their friends. But if your church does something outside the box every year, can your members trust that what you’re going to do isn’t going to embarrass them in front of their friends? There needs to be some level of consistency and familiarity from year to year so people are comfortable inviting people to join them at a Christmas service. 
  • Find something that’s sustainable. Oftentimes at Christmas we go big and do extra work to make our holiday service something amazing. That’s great. Christmas is a special time. But also remember the weeks that follow it. Will people who visited on Christmas be disappointed that the rest of your services aren’t anywhere close to being as impactful or well done? Consistency is important. Think of ways you can make Christmas special, but also something that isn’t disconnected from what you do week-to-week the rest of the year.
  • Remember the joy. Christmas is an upbeat time. Scripture talks about Jesus’ birth being good news of great joy. Yes, the holidays can be tough for people, but churches have an opportunity to inspire and give hope. Don’t create a Christmas experience that’s a downer.

How do you balance creativity and familiarity at Christmas?

Filed under: Communications, Holidays, Christmas, Creative Process, Worship Service

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Raising the Evangelistic Temperature
Raising the Evangelistic Temperature
0

Posted February 22, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Every pastor wants to see their church family make an impact on the surrounding community. Here are some easy steps you can take to train your people to actively invite their friends and neighbors to church.
The Communicator
The Communicator
0

Posted February 20, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Gone are the days when everything can be communicated effectively via the church bulletin. In a world of full of competing messages, it’s time that churches start investing in people who can help the church be more effective in its messaging.
Jumpstart: A One-Day Event in Vancouver
Jumpstart: A One-Day Event in Vancouver
0

Posted February 14, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Jumpstart is a one-day event for church communicators.
Are Your Sunday Services Guest-Friendly?
Are Your Sunday Services Guest-Friendly?
0

Posted February 13, 2018 by Bryan Haley

For a lot of churches, guests do not feel welcomed on Sunday morning. Are your Sunday services guest-friendly? Here are some things to think about.
How to Achieve Your Church’s Vision with Volunteers
How to Achieve Your Church’s Vision with Volunteers
2

Posted February 8, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Tons of churches struggle with building volunteer teams. We want the congregation to get involved in the ministry of the church, but how do we relay that desire?
Facebook: From Calendar to Community
Facebook: From Calendar to Community
1

Posted February 6, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Many of your members, regular attenders, and guests are on Facebook. There are ways to make your church’s Facebook Page a place that they will like to visit.
Making the Audience the Hero of Your Story
Making the Audience the Hero of Your Story
0

Posted February 1, 2018 by Robert Carnes

The Hero’s Journey is a storytelling framework that’s been used since ancient mythology. You can use this same method at your church to make your audience the hero of the story.
Why Every Pastor Should Blog
Why Every Pastor Should Blog
2

Posted January 30, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Why should I, a busy pastor, take time to write a blog? What purpose could this serve?
You’ve Got This: A new book for church communicators
You’ve Got This: A new book for church communicators
1

Posted January 24, 2018 by Bryan Haley

You’ve Got This is a pep-talk for church communicators in book form.
Hosting a Legal Super Bowl Party
Hosting a Legal Super Bowl Party
0

Posted January 23, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Many churches plan to host a Super Bowl party in the coming weeks. But what can you do to avoid trademark infringement and ensure your party is legal?