Christmas Production: Plan, As Much Hangs In the Balance

It might not seem right, or even, legal, to start planning for Christmas and Christmas Eve services while it might be 90 degrees outside, but there is room to make a case for early and diligent preparation.

Christmas Production: Plan, As Much Hangs In the Balance
When it comes to a Christmas production, such as this one pictured at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, planning for it requires months of planning, as too much hangs in the balance.

Christmas Production News

December Is Here, With Some Christmas Production Ideas
Christmas Production: Setting the Stage for Christmas
Christmas Production: Plan, As Much Hangs In the Balance
Christmas Production: If You Build It, They Will Come

Team Management Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
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Who are we kidding? It’s 90 degrees outside.

I’m suffering from fall allergies. The leaves are still on the trees.

There are Halloween decorations everywhere (since June), but our staff just finished a Christmas service planning meeting.

It’s not right. It shouldn’t even be legal.

Then again, this is a different kind of year.

This is the year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. We normally have three Sunday morning services and we normally have four Christmas Eve services. But there is no way we can (or should even attempt to) have 7 services in one day. So we have to plan, and meet, and pray, and plan some more, and overcommunicate with each other and the congregation, early, often, and a lot.

That said, the calendar should not be the primary catalyst for us to prepare early.

I know I’m preaching to the choir, and that every reader is already engaged in preparing for the season of Advent and for Christmas. I believe there is still however room to make a case for early and diligent preparation.

We prepare early because God deserves our best. If you work in a church and are involved in any way in the preparation and planning of worship, think of yourself as an Old Testament priest, where your offering is the best worship you can present to God, on behalf of the people. If that is the case, I am then reminded (and haunted) by the first chapter of Malachi. The prophet reminds the priests of their offering practices. Instead of bringing their blue ribbon offerings, they look among their flock for the one eyed, three legged lamb. The one that is leaning against the post. The one that is easy and quick to catch. The one they can spare.

Finding the perfect lamb to offer takes time. It required the priest to roam around the flock, spending time with the sheep, narrowing down the options, examining for imperfections, and finally bringing the absolute best to the altar. In the same way, the worship planner needs to carve the time, become familiar with the tools and worship elements, try out combinations, carefully examine new songs, video packages, sermon illustrations, printed material, in order to present the best we have been given.

We also prepare early because it is incredibly difficult to focus a consistent message when you’re fighting the clock. Let’s face it. The weeks leading to Christmas Eve are incredibly busy. Not only does church staff have to deal with Advent, candlelight concerts, staff parties, and all sorts of deadlines, but there is also the reality that church staff and volunteers are people too, with families to visit, gifts to wrap, dinners to plan, etc.


More About Greg Stovell
Greg Stovell serves as the Lead Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pa., a 2,000-member congregation outside of Philadelphia. He has served congregations in New Jersey and Illinois. While Greg’s undergraduate studies were in Electronic Engineering and Math, his seminary education was earned at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a Masters in Divinity with a concentration in New Testament. In addition, he has a Doctoral degree in Preaching from McCormick Theological Seminary. He also has been a recipient of the VanderZyl preaching award and his sermons have been published in Homiletics Magazine. Aside from his call to ministry, Greg freelances as a 3D character animator, video editor and 3D architectural visualization artist.
Get in Touch: grstovell@icloud.com    More by Greg Stovell

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.


Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Christmas Eve · Christmas Production · Diligent · Halloween · Imperfections · Preparation · All Topics

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