The most important day of the year for churches is just around the corner. Christmas Eve, not Easter, is the most important day of the year to reach unchurched people. This fact has been true for decades but it is becoming more true today. So what does this mean for your church? 

One, if you care about reaching people far from God you begin preparing for this day months ahead. 

Two, keep in mind this will be your largest attendance of the year so provide the number of appropriate services. Many churches will have three to five services that night. The best times are early afternoon for children; and for adults around 7:00 and 9:00. If you have a large number of elderly people in the ares then you might consider 11:00. 

Two, you prepare the best music and message you’re capable of doing. Make sure they both reflect what people will see if they return a second time. 

Three, spend the largest part of your advertising budget on promoting the Christmas Eve services. Do something the entire month of Christmas. Our Youth Director had our students spend the three months prior to December hand addressing envelopes to send to a mailing list of 20,000 homes in the area and then stuff them with a Christmas card inviting them to our Christmas Eve services. 

Four, require every staff member to be present that night and keep an eye out for visitors and greet them. 

Five, prepare a strong method of collecting enough information to do a non-threatening follow up such as a text, email or better yet, a handwritten letter. My favorite response is to send a FedEx package including a brief introduction to the church and key staff and a $10.00 gas card. I know, that’s expensive but do you know anyone who doesn’t open a FedEx package?

Don’t procrastinate. If you haven’t started preparing you’re already behind. Remember- God put the church here to change the world. So get to it. 

Merry Christmas