10 Ways to Sabotage Your Church Holiday Service Efforts

welcome Unchurched vistors

10 Ways to Sabotage Your Church Holiday Service Efforts

As stated in a previous post, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter are excellent opportunities to grow your church. But this won’t just happen. If proper care is not given to this day you can actually end up sabotaging your church holiday efforts.

We must remember that our target audience during this time should be our visitors, more specifically the UNchurched.

We need to design our services around the needs of our UNchurched visitor rather than our regular church attendees. The goal should be to make the service so memorable and impactful that your guests will want to return.

Below is a list of recommended DO’s and DO NOTs so that you won’t blow a great opportunity to grow your church. Let’s first look at some recommendation of what NOT to Do



  1. be unprepared and wing these services. It will no doubt yield you poor results.
  2. get someone to read that can’t read well or who reads in a boring monotone voice.
  3. read King James Bible.  It is written in ‘Old English.” Word such as: Thee, thou, beseech, oweth, shouldeth, will serve as stumbling blocks to your targeted ‘UNchurched’ audience.
  4. showcase a ‘newbie’ singer to lead a song on this day or worst yet showcase a singer who really can’t sing. You have 49 other Sundays to choose from.
  5. showcase unfamiliar songs that the majority of people have not heard before.
  6. use a lot of big words and too many spiritual terms. Stay away from words like propitiation, recapitulation, or exegesis, etc. The UNchurched will not be impressed with your extensive spiritual vocabulary.
  7. extend the length of your service by half hour or hour indicating that the Holy Spirit must have Its way.  Many times it is not the Holy Spirit but rather a ‘movement’ of our own agendas.
  8. Use these C.M.E. days to preach ‘deep’ sermons like the end of the world is closer than you think or sermons that provoke fear, guilt and condemnation, or highly debatable controversial sermons that stir up strong feelings.
  9. Talk about the C.M.E. attendee either negatively or positively. These attendees often times want to blend into the crowd. To bring attention to them can be counterproductive to your goal.
  10. Forget to follow up with visitors


  1. Plan your service.
  2. Get your ‘BEST’ readers to read scriptures.  These readers read with passion and keep listeners engaged.
  3. Read scriptures from modern day translation.  The UNchurched will understand and will be able to relate to what is being read.
  4. Pull out your ‘BEST’ singers, leads who are comfortable singing in front of and engaging large crowds.
  5. Sing songs that people are familiar with; catchy songs and songs with a responsive track record meaning every time you sing these songs people get up, clap and sing with you.
  6. Speak in everyday language. The use of stories and modern day events visitors can relate to will also yield positive results.
  7. Stay within a reasonable time frame with your service. Keep in mind your visitors, not your regular members. So 15 minutes over may be acceptable, but not a half hour or hour. It will be a stumbling block to your visitors.
  8. Keep your sermons within the theme of Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter.  It is always a winner in picking topics that provide, hope, joy and contentment rather than fear, guilt and condemnation.
  9. Let all your visitors know that you were glad they came.  Invite them back and tell them to pick up their special gift after service.
  10. Provide a visitor card so they can write their contact information. Collect cards during offering.  You can use this information to invite them to other services and events.


We must keep in mind that if we really want to yield positive results in terms of growth, we must keep our visitors and C.M.E. attendees in the forefront of our mind when designing our holiday services.

To review related blog entitled, “Improve Your Church Holiday Services by Planning Ahead.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on “10 Ways to Sabotage Your Church Holiday Service Efforts

  1. The last comment, We must keep our visitors and C.M.E. attendees in the forefront of our mind when designing our holiday services.

    Again the world seem to set the stage better than the church. Visit any mall and you will see the lights, hear the music. You will see their employees dressed to match the particular holiday. They realize that this will set the mood for their customers. Make them receptive to the different strategies they have employed to make you spend more money.

    We can use these holiday’s to promote THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
    One of your blogs mentioned — LIGHTS, CAMERA, & ACTION.

    • May24 There are different dyinmacs of pastoring in a small community. I am currently pastoring a church in a community of 1,400 and we just don’t have the resources that are available in a city or suburban context. The biggest thing that I have learned about serving in a rural church is that the people must know that you love them regardless and then and only then will they trust and follow your leadership. Too many pastors have used rural churches as a career building step and so there is an understandable lack of trust in many small rural churches as a result. Do not agree to pastor a small rural church with the intent to change the church it won’t work. You agree to pastor a small rural church because you genuinely love the people. Once they believe that then you and the church can grow together into a healthy church that reaches out and transforms entire communities.

  2. The congregation foollws their leader! Your messages are of hope, compassion, grace, wisdom and of staying grounded in ourrelationship with Jesus! You have truly been a blessing to Joe and I. More than you know. Thank you for all you and Kristen do!Our prayers are that the trip to Italy will bless you and Kristen!