Christmas Eve, the most important time of the year to reach the unchurched (yes, it’s more important than Easter these days), is fast approaching and far too many pastors will be enticed by their church leaders to make one of the most fatal mistakes possible. And this year that enticement will be even more likely because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday.

What fatal mistake am I talking about? Cutting back on the number of worship options on the weekend of Christmas. Instead of cutting back, you should be adding services and making them the focal point of the year. With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year offers churches one of the most unique opportunities to reach the unchurched. Don’t blow it by cutting back; instead add services. You might even add a service on Friday or Saturday and start advertising them early in the month. We found that the most productive advertising we did during the year was around worship on Christmas Eve. If you have money for only one outreach push during the year make it for Christmas Eve. You’ll be glad you did.

Excuses for Cutting Back

  • Our staff is tired from a long year of ministry.
    • Well then cut back on some ministries earlier in the year so that they still have enough energy left to pull off multiple services at the end of the year.
  • Our staff wants to be home with their family on Christmas Eve.
    • Ask them to have Christmas and Christmas Eve at another time. When I was a pastor, we had five services every Christmas Eve, even if it fell on Sunday, so I know how exhausting it might be, but a family who understands the Great Commission should be willing to sacrifice.
  • That’s too many services to do in a weekend.
    • What can I say – maybe it’s time to replace some people?
  • We’ve already had one or more outreach pushes during December.
    • As a leader, you should know that Christmas Eve is too important to jeopardize by doing too much stuff early in the month.

Don’t become a victim of these lame excuses. See them for what they are and add services this year.