There’s no doubt that Christmas is one of the biggest holidays of the year, in both the religious and secular worlds. The secular world puts the emphasis on present buying and family gatherings rather than Christ’s birth, but there are plenty of ways for your church to connect with the local community and remind them of the reason for the season.
Here are ten outreach ideas for your church to organize during the Christmas season.
1. Set Up a Christmas Bazaar
Take advantage of the gift-giving spirit and invite members of your community to your church for a Christmas bazaar or flea market. Members of your church can donate gently used items and you can sell them for discounted prices. The low prices will draw a lot of community members in; who doesn’t love getting a great deal on Christmas presents?
You can also sell baked goods and food, since these are always popular. This event is a great way to earn money for your church and reach out to the community at the same time.
2. March in a Holiday Parade
Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are usually community parades. Make sure your church signs up to participate. If the parade officials permit it, hand out pamphlets, books, or other branded church materials. A lot of families come out to holiday parades, so this is the perfect way to reach that demographic.
3. Host a Christmas Concert
Most people enjoy Christmas songs, even the religious ones. There’s something nostalgic about these classic tunes. Enlist your worship band’s help in organizing a Christmas concert for the community. This is sure to bring a lot of community members to your church! Try to keep tickets free and ask for donations to offset the costs.
Equip your concert with portable stages and risers:
4. Organize an “Adopt a Family” Gift Drive
There are many families that struggle during this season. Between the pressures of buying gifts and preparing meals for relatives, the financial strain can be a heavy burden. Help lighten the load of families in your community by organizing a gift drive at your church. Ask church members to “adopt” a family and buy gifts for them or donate gift cards to help with grocery shopping.
While the focus of this activity should be on selfless service to families in need, you can also keep your church top-of-mind for those you help. Tuck a business card or another branded material from your church into the gifts. The intention behind this is not to pridefully declare your generosity, but to let them know your church is there to serve their spiritual needs as well as their physical needs!
5. Hold a Toy Drive
This is a spin on the adopt a family idea. Your church could hold a community toy drive and ask everyone to drop off gifts for children in need. Be sure to label them “from Santa”!
6. Visit the Homebound or Imprisoned
Christmas is a difficult time for those who are homebound, either in their own house or in a nursing facility. Make an effort to connect with those members of your community. You could pass out Christmas cards or pocket-sized Bibles so they can read the nativity story. Anything you can do to spread Christmas cheer will be much appreciated.
Also keep in mind those who are incarcerated – this is a lonely time of year for them. Spread the joy of the season by visiting the inmates at your local jails. Ask the warden if you are permitted to pass out Christmas cards or Bibles, as this can be a great opportunity to bring the Gospel message to prisoners.
7. Cook a Christmas Banquet
Everyone loves a good hot meal this time of year. Invite members of your community for a Christmas banquet at your church. Instead of charging for tickets, consider asking for donations, so that those most in need are able to enjoy the food too.
8. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
As an alternative to the community meal, you can volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen. Ask for permission to hand out something with the meals – a Christmas card, Bible, or pamphlet advertising your church. Your church could even create branded business cards that list community resources, such as homeless shelters and food banks.
9. Rent a Stand at the Mall
This idea can be pricey depending on the rates at your local mall, but it’s a great way to get in front of a lot of community members. Recruit volunteers to work the stand every weekend leading up to Christmas, as well as Christmas Eve to catch last-minute shoppers. You can hand out branded materials for your church, flyers advertising your Christmas services, or anything else you can think of to connect with people. Who knows, your church might attract some curious visitors, or even a few new members!
10. Act Out the Nativity Story
This event can be held at your church, but if you really want to reach people, take it out to the streets! Children especially love getting involved with this activity. Cast a Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels, and use a doll for the Baby Jesus. If you want to get really creative, you could even rent live animals. This event is great for reminding people of the true meaning of Christmas.
Need Help Organizing Your Event?
Are you excited to organize one of these events, but not sure where to start? Check out our free guide to successfully planning a church event:
And if you need any seating or furniture for your event, let ChurchPlaza be your trusted source. We have folding tables, stages and risers, and event seating. Ask about our Quick Ship options if you need chairs quickly. Call us at 1-800-927-6775 to order, or fill out a contact form on our website.