Christmas Roundup: Ideas for Next Year

Christmas Roundup: Ideas for Next Year

January 30, 2013 by

Christmas is long gone, but it’s never too late to store up some ideas for next year. There are a lot of churches that had successful Christmas experiences this past December. We wanted to highlight a few of those in this Christmas roundup.


Elevate Church – Morton, Ill.

  • Handed out 2,000 invites to attenders to give to their friends.
  • Put up two billboards in high traffic locations.
  • Had volunteers post invites with mini disco balls onto public bulletin boards:

The Orchard Community – Aurora, Ill.

They went a more grassroots approach with using word of mouth, website and social media. No mailers. No invite cards.
They packed out all five of their Christmas Eve services.

The Fields Church – Mattoon, Ill.

  • Created a float for local holiday parade and passed out packets of hot chocolate attached to invite cards.
  • Sent out a mass mailing to anyone that had attended in the past five years.
  • Hand delivered a dozen cookies and invite cards to 200 families that attend regularly inviting them, and encouraging them to invite others.

Rockford First – Rockford, Ill.

  • A Mass mailer 8.5″x5″ Postcard
  • 4″x4″ Handout cards for church members
  • 30 second radio spots
  • Evites from the dedicated webpage
  • 4’x4′ signs road side signs
  • In house video announcements/slides
  • Produced a 25 minute short film for their annual TV special on local networks.


AFC Church – Eagle River, Alaska

  • Held a pajama party for their Children’s ministry with homemade ornaments and a VeggieTales movie.
  • Photo booth for families with a decorated backdrop, santa hats, antlers, lights, naughty/nice signs. And posted the photos on Facebook.

Northside Christian Church – Wadsworth, Ohio

As people came into the service they were handed a simple 2″x2″ brown box, a gift, and were asked to hold onto it until instructed to open it. Inside was a prepackaged communion wafer and juice. They wrapped up talking about God’s perfect gift and asked everyone to open the gift and partake of communion together.

Pure Heart – Glendale, Ariz.
On Christmas Eve weekend, they trucked in 50 tons of snow for the kids to play in. They are in Arizona.


Newbreak Church – San Diego, Calif.

Created a sub site for their Christmas Eve services.

The Crossing – Chesterfield, Mo.

The Crossing in the St. Louis area had 21 Christmas services across three campuses themed “The Best-est Story Ever.” They produced a mini-website and flyers to promote the services.

 What cool ideas did you see this Christmas? We’ve got more stories in the Church Marketing Lab.

God Rest Ye Stressed Communicators: Planning Christmas for Your ChurchMore Christmas Ideas:


Post By:

Evan Courtney

Evan Courtney is a family life pastor and communications director in the middle of the Illinois cornfields at The Fields Church. He’s a graphic designer, media consultant and social media manager.
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7 Responses to “Christmas Roundup: Ideas for Next Year”

  • Marc
    January 30, 2013

    We held our main Christmas program over four services on Sunday, and chose not to have another service actually on Christmas Eve or Christmas. This was a new direction for us and an experiment in some ways. However, we still wanted to connect with our church family on these days so as families left the Sunday services, they were able to pick up a ” Christmas Eve Kit”, free of charge.

    In the kit we included a dvd of a “mini service” designed for Christmas/Christmas Eve. It was about 15 minutes long and included our worship team leading out in a few traditional carols, a brief message from our senior pastor, and ways that our church community could connect with others around the city who were using their Christmas Kits at the same time. We also included prepackaged elements for communion and candles for each family to have a candlelit moment during Silent Night.

    The response was overwhelmingly positive and is something we’ll definitely be revisiting again next year!

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  • Christian
    January 30, 2013

    So while a lot of these are fun, I read this admittedly-creative roundup and wonder: “If I was unchurched, would any of these carve out a spot in my heart enough to make me want to go back?”

    We want visitors who come on Christmas Eve to have more than a one-night stand with church.

    We all know Christmas Eve/Christmas services are our highest-traffic times, but what are the retention rates of a party-at-the-church Christmas marketing style? Particularly with the really over-the-top elements: How do we differentiate trucking in 50 tons of snow as work done by the Church in Jesus’ name, and not the sort of gimmick a mattress-sales store might try?

    All to say that I hope there’s at least as much work on the back end of the service as went into the promotions; for all I know, there was. Even so, the message of Advent is radically counter-cultural; do we representing that authentically when we play the same marketing hand as everybody else?

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 31, 2013

      I think a lot of that depends on your perspective. Some people who see 50 tons of trucked in snow as a gimmick. Other people would see that as an honest-hearted effort to create a Christmas moment. As a Dad, I can see that being a huge win for anyone with kids.

      No matter what any marketing effort has to be backed with authentic, caring people.

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      • Joel Perkins
        February 1, 2013

        It was a blast to watch the parents play with their kids in the snow. In AZ, we have a ton of transplants from around the US who sometimes miss their White Christmas. I’m not sure if the parents or kids enjoyed it more…

        I do agree with Kevin and Christian; as church communicators or marketers, we always walk that fine line of intriguing those outside our walls enough to pay attention but also making sure we show that true, intentional kind of love while we have their attention.

        Great insight and great ideas!

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  • Chuck Scoggins
    January 30, 2013

    Christian – I really appreciate your perspective! Speaking on behalf of the Crossing…they were very intentional about balancing the hyped up Christmas service with giving folks an authentic feel for what they could expect should they return in January.

    And in terms of ‘being the church’…they/we participated in Advent Conspiracy ( where we agreed to spend less and give more presence. The entire offerings from all 23 services totaling over $400,000 went entirely towards clean water through Living Water International.

    I’m proud to be a part of that community because they live out the kind if counter-cultural faith that you’re referring to!

    Again, great perspective!

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