1. Strategize ways to meet new people. Often churches and ministries stall in growth because they fail to have a strategic plan for meeting new people. Creating new relationships is the absolute key to growing your church or ministry. The holiday season is an amazing opportunity to connect with new people. Here are a few ideas to get you started: the obvious of course are Christmas parties. They are going on everywhere. This year make a point to get the names and contact information of the new people you meet during the parties you host or attend. Be subtle for sure but, assert yourself a little. You might be surprised how people will respond positively if you come right out and say, “We are excited to make new friends this holiday season. Tell me more about yourself.” Host a community wide church party. People come to these things. Encourage your members to bring a friend and have special door prizes for those new to the gathering. Make being new a celebration, fun and communicate value to those who attend.
2. Provide seasonal services to the community. As the salt and light of the world, the church is to be visible and influential in the community. This holiday season, find ways for your church or ministry to be engaged in the motion of the community. Find an event at which the church can serve. Offer free gift wrapping services or host a parents’ night out and provide free child care so parents can have a night to Christmas shop without the kids.
3. Realize that the Christmas story is the answer to the greatest questions of life. Answer the questions people are asking. Here relevance is king. The Gospel is relevant to every generation but it’s our responsibly to package it in a way that effectively answers the challenges of the culture in which we live and wrap it in a holiday package. Understand the culture, follow the trends and the language of the day, and don’t forget technology. People live in cyberspace. Christmas should be a huge celebration of the Gospel as the hope of the world.
4. People in the margins struggle especially during the holidays. Be a solution to someone’s problem. Seventy percent of people come to Christ in times of crisis and personal trauma. If we refuse to be involved in the lives of troubled people we effectively eliminate 70% of our harvest potential. This holiday season get involved with the community in ways that positively impact families. Get your church involved with programs designed to provide gifts for underprivileged children, be a blessing to family shelters, or treatment facilities. Anywhere families are the focus, look for opportunities to serve.
5. Make your Church Christmas program an outreach for new people. Christmas services and programs are the second highest event attended by the unchurched, second to Easter. Don’t miss the opportunity. During the program have a strategy for clarifying your connecting points. “Answer these questions in a creative way. What is the church’s ”why”. Make sure your values are embedded in your event. Help new people see that Jesus Christ and His church can add peace, meaning, significance and great value to their lives. Make them feel welcome and help them see themselves in the picture of the church.
Don’t let this Christmas be just another holiday for your church. Make it count. Give it the attention and effort to make it one of the strongest outreach seasons of the year. And watch your church grow as you demonstrate the real reason for the season. Your church will connect with lots of new people and your members will grow as they focus on others!