Unchurched people are very receptive to coming to church during this time.
Plan for these important, but sometimes overlooked, elements of welcoming on Christmas Eve:
- Remind the congregation to greet old friends, who may be home for the holidays, AFTER they practice the “Rule of Three.” (The “Rule of Three” covers the first three minutes after the service ends – a prime time for newcomers to dash for the door. Talk only to people you don’t know during those three minutes, so you can welcome a newcomer before he or she leaves.) In the welcoming congregation, old friends will understand the importance of making new friends and will wait to be addressed. Learn more about welcoming new visitors in our article: “Roll out the welcome mat this Christmas.”
- Enlist parking attendants to serve that night and help manage the traffic. Newcomers will be especially unsure of where to park and how to get inside.
- Remember to schedule ushers and greeters to serve on Christmas Eve.
- Schedule childcare helpers! Remember to mention childcare in your publicity and your evening worship program.
- If your church office closes early for the holiday, ask some loyal volunteers to answer the phones that afternoon and evening. People without a church home may decide at the last minute to get out to worship that night.