The Church Communicator’s Last-Minute Christmas Checklist

The Church Communicator’s Last-Minute Christmas Checklist

December 11, 2017 by

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The fire roars. The tree twinkles with lights. The presents are wrapped. And you—you’re ready to pull your hair out because you’re trying to make sure everything comes together at your church.

Christmas is a crazy time at church. I should know because the same things tend to sneak up on me every year. In the hope and spirit of the season, I’ve put together a church communicator’s last-minute Christmas checklist to help me, and possibly you, be less stressed and forgetful and experience this most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas is a crazy time at church.

Here are my 10 things to check off before Christmas and the winter break:

1. Design for Christmas

Part of Christmas’ magic lies in the decorations and design, so deck your church’s halls and welcome area. But don’t forget the less noticed areas or the ones that are so busy (ahem, kids) that they get lost. Write yourself a note or use this checklist to remember check-in desks, the green room, and even the paper towel dispensers.

2. Develop a Social Media Plan

Active and engaging social media is easy when you’re in the midst of a weekly. During the holidays, though…social sometimes goes to the backburner. Don’t let it. Schedule posts in advance and consider running a “Best of 2017” during the final week of the year.

3. Plan for a White Christmas

I live in Nashville, so we don’t think about snow. But growing up in Pennsylvania, we thought about it constantly. We also prepared, making sure the snowplow worked and salt was on hand. A white Christmas is beautiful but dangerous. Protect attendees from slipping on the sidewalk and getting stuck in the parking lot by keeping plows, shovels, and salt on tap.

4. Blow Out the Candles

This might not be an issue for you, but I’m the worst at remembering to blow out the candles after service. Please indulge me as I create this reminder for myself. I know many churches use candles for Advent or to create atmosphere. Blow them out—turn off lights and other equipment, too—before you head out to Christmas festivities and gatherings.

5. Prep the Office

You want to enjoy your time off, but if people drop by the church office, send emails or call constantly, you won’t disconnect. Because of that, print an “offices closed” sign, set your auto-responder, and change your voicemail for the holidays. Now, unplug. You’ve earned it.

6. Let’s Party!

At some point amid the Christmas fray and chaos, step back and party a little. Grab your teammates for a quick lunch out. If that isn’t doable, crank up the Christmas jams and host a spontaneous, five-minute dance party. Whatever you choose, just make sure Christmas at your church is fun to be a part of.

7. Appreciate Your Staff and Volunteers

Many staff and volunteers give up their Christmas Eve plans to make services happen, so show them some extra love. Remember, too, that some of your staff and volunteers may be single or can’t get home to see family. For these people, Christmas can be a miserable, rather than wonderful, time. Cheer them up a little by inviting them into your home for a church family Christmas celebration.

8. Merry Christmas…and Happy New Year!

Christmas usually claims everybody’s attention, but keep New Year on the radar. Brainstorm fun ways to ring in the New Year, such as a Facebook Live countdown or whimsical graphics for Instagram and Twitter. You could also encourage some of your staff to share their New Year’s resolutions on your social media and then ask your followers to share theirs.

9. Remember to Celebrate

When you work in the church, your focus goes to helping church attendees celebrate Jesus’ birth. But you should rejoice, too. Christmas is a time for all of us to celebrate and think through what Jesus’ birth means to our lives, so set aside the to-do list. Sit, listen, and praise the newborn King.

10. Come Back Ready to Go

It’s easy to think of Christmas as some sort of finish line, but we all know 2018 is right around the corner. And with it comes 52 fresh Sundays. Prevent the post-holiday “overwhelms” by looking at tasks you can complete before Christmas. Make a list of them and knock out what you can so that you reenter the church office stress-free in 2018.

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas season and remember all the things so that you can celebrate Christmas and relax afterward. What have I missed on my last-minute Christmas checklist? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

Image: Mike (Creative Commons)
Post By:

Taylor Snodgrass

Taylor Snodgrass is the multi-site creative director at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tenn., and a co-founder of Pixel Kit Media, which exists to help churches reach more people with great, affordable art. Taylor’s passionate about helping the church and people find excellence in everything they do.
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One Response to “The Church Communicator’s Last-Minute Christmas Checklist”

  • Ryan Haught
    December 13, 2017

    Pretty thorough list! Thanks for condensing things for us so that we can focus more on enjoying this time of the year!

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