Bring good news of great Joy to new people…then bring them back!

With Christmas Eve fast approaching, it’s not too late to prepare for what historically is the service with the highest number of visitors all year. Many of these folks who attend will have limited or no church experience. Indeed, the “Nones” (people with no religious affiliation) are more likely to attend your Christmas Eve service than any other service of the year. There still is time for you to send a welcoming e-invite to your contact list and encourage those who receive it to share it with their friends.

You want to make a great first impression on guests every week, but it’s particularly important on Christmas Eve. You can’t control how many guests you’ll have this Sunday night, but you can control how well you prepare for them.

J-umpstart Your Hospitality Team

Here are some tips to help share the joy of Christmas with all who step through your doors.

This Sunday night should be all hands-on deck! Every one of your members should be encouraged to be a gracious host that is “on duty” prior to, during, and following your Christmas Eve worship service.

Position friendly greeters in your parking lot, outside your main doors and in your lobby. Your greeter’s primary ministry is to extend a hand, a smile and a warm greeting to break down a first-time guest’s apprehensiveness. Attending a church for the first time is likely the scariest thing someone is going to do all week, so you should make that experience as comfortable as possible. The #1 reason why people do not return to a church they have visited is poor hospitality.  

O-btain Your Guest’s Contact information.

Provide a gift to all first-time guests who will fill out a Connection Card, (a pew pad does not get enough info)

Offer a valuable door prize (a well-stocked Christmas gift basket on full display in the lobby) that requires a completed registration as an entry.  

Create a Photo Booth with a beautiful background setting. Have a photographer on hand to take a portrait photo of the families. Gather contact information from your newcomers and inform them that there will be a free framed 5×7 copy of the family photo at the Welcome Center the Sunday after Christmas. Post your member’s photos on social media and ask them to share their photos with their contact lists.

Y-our Next Message Series and Other Upcoming Activities Promoted During Announcements  

Think about how broadcast T.V. networks promote their new shows during big television events. People who are visiting your church for the first time will be more likely to come back if you get their attention by positively promoting the new things you have going on in the New Year.

Publicize your January message series that is focused on a relevant, need-meeting topic and preview it during Christmas Eve announcements. Remember, Christmas Eve is your church’s prime time event, use it as launch pad for your church’s growth in 2024.