Simple Ways to Warm Up Your Church This Christmas Season
When unchurched people enter your building at Christmastime, what do they feel? Is Christmas an exciting celebration in your building, or does it feel busy, crowded, and confusing?
Because we Christians are Jesus-lovers, completely transformed by the birth that brought our Savior into the world, we are innately Christmas people. We should be the biggest celebrators of Christmas. We should be the warmest welcomers in this season. We should be the most creative storytellers and programmers because we have the God who wrote the Christmas story on our side. Church should be a beautiful and powerful place to be this time of year!
But, how do we begin to create that kind of warm and exciting atmosphere in our churches?
It starts by warming up the building for guests. This doesn’t mean filling our spaces with expensive, complicated, or commercial decorations. Making your church a warm space to celebrate and be changed this Christmas starts with friendly greeters, clear signage, and tasteful Christ-centered decorations.
Christmas is a huge invitational opportunity for people in your church to bring friends and family members. Your church may be sending out postcard mailers, passing out door hangers, and/or putting banners out front of your building. But, all this promotion is lost if they have a confusing or cold experience. If guests are confused, stressed, or uncomfortable they will miss the message about God’s saving love.
That’s why having Christmas-ready greeters, ushers, prayer partners, and parking lot team members is key. To make sure they provide the best experience for your guests this December, train them! Update them on any special events, review any changes, and continually point them back to their role in bringing people to Jesus.
Consider having a pre-December huddle with each of your teams to excite and prepare them for Christmas. During these (online or in-person) meetings, go over the events calendar, make sure everyone knows their schedules and assigned roles, review maps or parking flow changes, and talk about who may be receiving invitations to Christmas this year. Part of having a warm experience is defining what is expected of each person on your team, and giving them a clear picture of what needs to be sensitive to, in your Christmas guests.
Have some greeters wear masks to accommodate guests who may be tentative. Have your most out-going people be dedicated to smiles and hype, equip them with Handheld signs! Prepare some greeters to watch for prayer needs. Assign a few to be ready to lead people to Jesus, and let the others know where to send people who may be ready to receive Christ. Identify those who can deal with crises. Remind them that guests usually come early, so set a time for team members to arrive well before the crowd. And, encourage your team to hand out invite cards to your church’s next gathering or service as people exit.
Clear Directional Signage
At Christmas, we are telling the best story ever told! It should radiate throughout our entire guest experience, from the smiles on our faces to the signs in our hallways.
Take a walk around your building this week and look at it through newcomer’s eyes. If they have kids, is it easy to tell where to go? If they have a wheelchair, is it easy to see how to get around? If they are teens, is it easy to find the youth area? Is it smooth to park, enter, find restrooms, get coffee, and know where to sit?
If not, add directional signage. A classy indoor banner, a wall decal, a street sign, or a flag can be a simple addition to your space that makes the guest experience just a little less stressful. Anywhere someone may have a question, that’s where a sign needs to be. Do you need signs in your bathrooms? Does your children’s check-in area need a graphic that helps people understand the check-in process? Now’s the time to order those, so your building is Christmas-guest ready.
We want our buildings to be a part of drawing people to Christ, not distracting or deterring them from His saving love, so take time this week to identify anything you need to help your guests not get lost in your building this December.
Meaningful and Tasteful Decor
Having Christmas-excited buildings means we fill our spaces with meaningful decorations that turn hearts back toward Jesus. Here are some items to consider having in your lobby, entrance, children’s classes, and other gathering places:
- Impactful Stage Sets or Backdrops
- Scripture Wall Art
- Series-Themed Banners
- Christmas Trees
- Twinkle Lights
- Window Decals
Also, consider providing additional places for people to sit and gather between services and after events. Make coffee and snacks easily-accessible. With an atmosphere this inviting, you have a good chance guests will want to stick around and chat. This includes having clean spaces, particularly bathrooms. Clean spaces help guests feel relaxed, and the more excuses you can give them for lingering, the more likely they are to make connections, feel at home, hear the Gospel, and want to come back again.
For all of your church’s events this December, make sure your building is ready with friendly greeters, clear signage, and classy Christ-focused decorations, so that your guests can enter in and surrender to the wonder that God sent His Son to save them.
Your community is thirsty for a truly meaningful Christmas, and they don’t know that can only be found in Jesus Christ. A little intentionality and some simple changes can make your building a place where they can relax, receive, and be overcome by the Best Story Ever Told this year!