Holidays affect the normal flow of church life whether intentional or not. Pastors, teachers, ministry leaders and workers should be aware of the effects of holidays, prepare for them, and make the most of them. Remember that we are exhorted to make the most of every opportunity (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5).
Holidays Effects on Attendance:
Holidays often bring a fluctuation in attendance. Regular attendees might be absent due to travel and visitors might be present as they are spending the holidays with your church member families. Tips:
- Be prepared for a different group dynamic.
- Be sensitive to newcomers.
- Use it as time to share the Gospel.
- Don’t bemoan who isn’t there but rather, remember them in prayer and maximize the time with those who are there.
Calendar of Events Over the Holidays:
Holidays often pull focus and resources from normal church life onto planning special programs and emphasis. Tips:
- Use holidays to bring home points not usually covered throughout the year but remember that there are still on-going needs and ministry to be addressed.
- Build margins into your schedule to be available for on-going ministry unrelated to the holidays.
- Don’t lose focus on the essentials of life in Christ in the busyness of the season. Continue to nurture your own walk with God and encourage others to do so as well.
Holiday Effects on Giving:
Holidays often bring a fluctuation in giving, sometimes more and sometimes less. Tips:
- Establish a means for those traveling for the holidays to still give to the ongoing work of the church.
- Plan for ways to use extra giving beyond the budget for special projects, benevolence, etc.
- Don’t pressure people but at the same time, keep stewardship and the vision before them.
Holiday Effects on Church Members’ Lives:
Holidays are often a more stressful, busier, and even an emotionally difficult time. Tips:
- Be sensitive to people’s schedules and distractions in the way you plan.
- Be available for counsel, to pray with and assist them as needed.
- Don’t add more stress and turmoil to their lives.
- Be a beacon of light and comfort to help them navigate these times.
The next post will look at how the holiday season can affect our lives. Subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts.
The holidays can also affect the teaching-learning process in Sunday school or other Bible classes. Prepare your teachers to turn these intrusions into opportunities by ordering this two page teacher training document: Intruders in the Classroom that Steal & Vandalize: Holidays & Other Special Events