With the holidays right around the corner, you’re probably thinking of some ideas for what Christmas will look like at your church. If you’re making a list and checking it twice, there’s probably Christmas ideas for the families at your church – which is great. But what about your online community?
While navigating the challenges that COVID-19 introduced, churches big and small learned just how important it is to consider the ways people engage with church from beyond the building walls. This year, consider creating a Christmas program that can be enjoyed in-house, as well as online!
Why Live Stream Church Christmas Programs?
The real question is probably why not live stream your church Christmas program? There are many reasons to consider a virtual experience this Christmas season. Here are a few that come mind:
- Accessibility. Your community members will want to feel connected to your church family if they happen to be managing illnesses or injuries from home. This is also the case for people living with disabilities. It could be life changing for individuals if they could partake in your Christmas program virtually.
- Convenience. You may have members, volunteers, and families who want to remain in the loop while out of town during the holidays. An online church program might provide some flexibility to community members who are on the go.
- Outreach. There are individuals and families from all over who enjoy a good Christmas program. In this season, people might be looking for churches to belong to. Your church Christmas program will be great for the people that live near the place you gather. But imagine if someone could experience the Christmas festivities of your church from thousands of miles away.
Christmas Church Program Ideas
Is an online experience suddenly at the top of your church Christmas list? Below are a few Christmas church program ideas you can pull off this year. Try these:
- Streamable Songs. Add this to your Christmas ideas . . . some people enjoy playing music while unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. How cool would it be if your church community had some familiar voices to sing along with this year? If you can, gather some volunteers to record Christmas songs for community members to enjoy at home. You can provide streaming information or codes to download the music on your website and social media platforms.
- Pre-Recorded Programs. The convenience of virtual church Christmas programs aren’t always about the live stream. So much of what is consumed virtually is usually pre-recorded content. Families with young kids and teens typically stream the same content at home and your Christmas church program could rival the likes of Elf or The Grinch this year. Perhaps you could script and record a fun puppet show for a kids virtual experience. And for teens, why not parody a favorite song or show with a Christmas spin?
- Christmas Tutorials. Is there someone at your church who is really good at baking? How about a person that can create festive costumes? They’re the perfect fit for some Christmas tutorials!
- For cooking or baking holiday treats, you can provide an ingredient list on your website and social media platforms along with the link to a host teaching viewers how to cook or bake holiday treats.
- For creating costumes or crafts, simply provide a supply list and the link to a pre-recorded video you can create using friendly volunteers.
- Story Time Read-Along. Are there any educators at your church who enjoy reading books to kids? Someone who is animated and really good at character voices when they appear in storybooks is the perfect person for recording a story time read-along. Allow families to prepare ahead of time by giving them a booklist to go along with the readings you record. Make these videos available on your website or social media platforms for streamable Christmas fun this holiday season.
- Christmas Competitions. That’s right — you can make competitions virtual. Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Cookie Competitions can be leveled up when you get online viewers involved. Game participants can send in pictures and videos for you to include in the game, and voters at home can use platforms like Slido to vote on a winner. Whether competing or voting, this could be a creative way to get everyone in on the fun.
- Parody Competition. Invite your church community to create a funny Christmas video! This idea is perfect for when you’re short on volunteers, but still want to create a memorable and inclusive experience for your church Christmas program. After sharing community guidelines, compile a list of the funniest submissions and create one big video to livestream. Viewers will enjoy sharing this with friends and families when they see their clip has made the cut, so consider leaving the video up on your website or social media platforms for people to re-share!
Tips for a Successful Virtual Christmas Program
No doubt, you’ll do great at executing these virtual ideas while putting together your church Christmas program. As you prepare to pull off these Christmas ideas, consider these helpful tips:
- Conduct a test run of your live stream services. This is like a dress rehearsal, but for your internet connection. Contact your service providers and make sure that you’re operating on sufficient amounts of bandwidth for the Christmas program ideas you have planned.
- Make a social media plan. As the weeks wind down, think about the ways you’ll promote your virtual experiences. Consider an online countdown and creating an online event so people can RSVP and receive notifications as the day gets closer.
- Bump up your equipment. If the budget allows, preparing for your online experience could mean upgrading some of your favorite gadgets. Consider upgrades to things like cameras, microphones, or sound systems.
You can create a virtual church Christmas program that is fun, inclusive, and meaningful this year. If you’re intentional about including your online community, you’re sure to create a memorable experience for families this Christmas season.
We created Grow Curriculum — because we know goals aren’t easy to set or achieve without some help. The Grow Curriculum and Annual Strategy (now available for kids, students, or adult small groups) is designed specifically to help you set and achieve your ministry goals and more by giving you all of the tools, teaching material, discipleship activities, volunteer training, family resources, and planning assistance that you need.