The Best Little Sunday Christmas Morning
Have you heard the news? Christmas IS ON A SUNDAY this year! It doesn’t happen again till 2022 and then again in 2033,2039 and 2050. But like it or not, it’s a reality in the here and now. So what are you going to do about it?
The last time Christmas was on a Sunday was in 2011. Back then a LifeWay Research poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors, 91% were planning on having a service of some kind on Christmas Sunday morning. While 69% said they were also going to have a Christmas Eve service. Of the estimated 9%, who were not planning on having a service, some made national headlines when they decided to cancel.
You might have noticed the term, “service of some kind,” as many churches had modified their regular activities to allow for people to participate in both their family traditions and attend a church service. Many had elected to only do one “family service” (which offered no separate children’s programs) held later in the morning. This was to minimize the demands on volunteers but also to be together on a special day.
This was the approach that my church took in 2011. To say the least, I was a bit skeptical at first. Thinking that few would come and after all the work that goes into Christmas Eve I was not excited about showing up early the next morning. But I can honestly say it was one of the best Christmas’s. First of all, we left everything in place from the night before so we didn’t have to set anything up. Then, like I previously mentioned, the service was later in the day, which allowed for Christmas morning traditions, presents, and breakfast. So that after the wrapping paper had been torn to shreds we actually had something to do. The service lasted about an hour. The worship team did two Christmas songs, we had the kids do a few special songs to tracks, which all the parents and grandparents loved (also brought their family out to church) and didn’t require a bunch of prep or costumes. Our Pastor shared a short message of hope. Not to sound overly spiritual here but it really was a very spiritual moment to be in church on Christmas. After the service concluded we exchanged Christmas greetings with our church family and then headed home to play with new toys, eat again, and spend the day with family.
No matter what you choose to do this Christmas, we just wanted to make you aware it was coming so you could plan. Also wanted to share some thoughts and experiences, but we really wanted to get the conversation started. What did your church do on Sunday Morning Christmas 2011? What worked and what didn’t? What are you going to do this year?
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