Christmas Eve and Easter are the 2 times a year you are going to get a lot of new faces at your services. We want to have maximum impact at these services. What are some things that we can keep in mind while we plan these services? Let’s get plugged into leadership and find out!
1. Set a Target Audience
“Connecting is never about me. It’s about the person with whom I’m communicating with,” are wise words from John Maxwell. Words that I needed to hear and wished I heard years ago. When planning one of the biggest services, it is helpful to apply this idea across the board. Start with the audience you hope to have in the seats. Who are your people most likely to invite? Think about the people group you have a heart and passion for reaching, and also look at whom do you already attract at your weekly services. The wider you open your net the larger the chance no one will be deeply impacted.
2. Ask, “What can we do well?”
It is tempting to take this chance to try all of the things you have wanted to do all year. RESIST! When you have a room full of guest, it is best to put your best foot forward. How many times have you been invited to someone’s house and they tried out a “new recipe” and it sat mostly uneaten? I am not saying don’t try anything new, but maybe limit it to 1 or 2, and if you can maybe try to amp up a successful idea from the past. You want people to leave wanting more, not happy to just get out of there.
Try to answer these 3 key questions:
Who is the best person to take this idea on?
What resources do we possess that will help us?
What will this take financially?
3. Set a budget and stick to it!
Hopefully, you put together a budget for the whole year and you include your larger services in that. But if you don’t this should be at the top of your list of things to do before you get too far. It is a huge momentum killer for your team, to come up with the ONE amazing thing you are going to do, only to find out that you can’t afford rent to a haze(fog) machine which is critical to pulling it off. As the leader, you are charged with “Charting the course” to quote Maxwell again. Part of that course must be gathering resources and making sure they get to where they need to be. Also, the budget will help you make decisions about what you can and cannot do. Be diligent about sticking to it. Things you might want to factor in are: Food for your teams, Thank You cards and a small gift for your team leaders, invite cards, last minute snow removal(if you are up north), clean up crew and Christmas decorations.
4. Make a plan, with the Holy Spirit, and stick to it
After you have set your target audience, figured out what you can do well, and made it work within your budget you must stick to the plan. But what about the Holy Spirit? Ok, fair point and one that is asked a lot. If you are seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit before you start brainstorming I doubt He is doing to change it up on you last minute. God is not a God of confusion. Mystery, sure but confusion, not at all. Psalm 127:1, do not build this house without the LORD, and this will make sticking to the plan so much easier!
5. Do NOT plan and carry out the service alone
Part of being a leader is being able to relate other’s vision to your vision. When you look at our church think about the people that are passionate about serving. Empower them to take on part of the planning. Start by listening to their ideas and what they would like to see the service like. Then grant them the authority to carry that out. “If your natural inclination is to build and hold onto power, then you must undergo a paradigm shift to become an empowering leader.” John Maxwell 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Believe in people and they will rise to your expectations of them. This post about when to empower others might be helpful.
Also, if you need help planning your Christmas Eve services, I am always willing to help. I offer consulting, personal coaching, and group coaching, to help you prioritize, stay on schedule, stay on budget, and get through it on top. Do not hesitate to reach out.
I offer a free 1 hour session of one on one coaching so you do not have to do it alone. Contact me via the contact page to set one up.
6. Have Fun!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Do not let this time become the most awful time of the year for you and your team because you didn’t take the advice of this post.
With proper planning and preparation, your Christmas Eve services can be low-stress and high-success. Christmas is still a few weeks out, so there is still time to get everything in order as you get excited for a merry and joyful holiday season.
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