A Christmas Conundrum

Ah, December, what a great month to do ministry. People are more cheerful, they’re more giving, and they’re more likely to invite their friends and family to church, especially for Christmas. But what do you do when Christmas day happens to fall on a Sunday like it does this year?


The simple answer would be to go ahead with service as usual. I mean Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’s birth.

But it’s not that simple because you and I both know that a large percentage of people will not show up to church on Christmas day.

So, what’s the answer? I think you have four different options this Christmas.

  • Celebrate on Christmas Sunday.

It makes sense to go ahead with church on Sunday. You’d be hard pressed to find a better day to worship Jesus. You realize your crowd is going to be down, but it will be an incredible blessing for the people who are there.

  • Celebrate on Christmas Eve.

More and more churches are moving to Christmas Eve services, and some would argue that Christmas Eve can be a bigger day for your church than Easter. That hasn’t been the case at the church I serve, but I can see how this makes sense for some churches.

  • Celebrate on Another Day of the Week.

We’ve decided to hold our Christmas Services on December 23rd the past few years. This gives our staff, volunteers, and congregation the 24th and 25th off from church to spend as they wish. We believe we get a higher attendance this way because people don’t have to decide between church and family obligations.

  • Celebrate the Sunday Before.

Some churches elect to cancel services for Christmas weekend, and celebrate Christmas the weekend before. This does give your staff and congregation time off, but you also lose a week’s offering by doing this.

Some churches can afford to do this. We’ve never been one of those churches.

I don’t think any of these options are better or worse than the other. The important thing is finding out what works best for your congregation.

Christmas is a great time of the year, and I hope your church makes the most of it, whichever day you choose to celebrate it.

So, I’d love to know, what day are you celebrating Christmas? What have you found that works best for your congregation? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and if make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox every week.

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4 thoughts on “A Christmas Conundrum

  1. Pattie

    Why is Christmas being on Sunday such a problem? What are we celebrating?- the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What better way to celebrate. Are we more concerned with our convenience than with worship? How sad is that. What are we teaching our children? As for our family, we’ll be in church.

    1. tds0249

      Thanks Pattie for the comment. I don’t think you have to be in church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I can do that with my family in my home on Sunday, and I get to celebrate it with my church on Friday night.

  2. Kerry

    Let’s see. How does that go?
    Remember the Sabbath when it’s convenient. No…
    Remember the Sabbath when it doesn’t fall on Christmas day. Don’t think that’s it…
    Remember the Sabbath plus or minus. Doesn’t sound right…
    Oh yeah –
    Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. ”

    Keeping the Sabbath holy takes priority over convenience, holidays, time off, attendance considerations and every other excuse.

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