If you are like me, Christmas is one of your favorite times of year. I love watching children get excited about Christmas, hearing Christmas music play 24 hours a day on the radio, and yes, I even enjoy Black Friday shopping with my wife. With all of the traditions that Christmas holds, it also provides children’s leaders some unique opportunities for ministry.
While serving full-time on church staff, my wife and I began a drop-in open house for our preschool and children’s leadership. We invited everyone who served in our ministries to our home for food and fun. The first year was a learning experience as to what to do when 75 people show up at your house at the same time, but the second year began the questions, “Are you going to have the open-house again?” Each year we have continued the open house with ministry leadership.
A second event my family has enjoyed hosting is a class party for the children in the class I currently teach. My family hosted a “Parents’ Morning Out” allowing the parents to bring their children to our home for several hours. We play games, sing Christmas songs, read and talk about the true Christmas story, as well as make gifts for the parents. I’m not sure what it is about kids being in my home, but they talk about the experience for weeks. (It also gains points with the parents.)
Throughout December we are provided with ongoing ministry opportunities such as outreach to families through postcards, emails, and home visits. I currently have a child in my class who has asked me for the past three weeks, “When are you coming to my house?” My goal is to visit his home this week and fulfill his wish of him showing me his new home.
With the numerous Christmas programs many churches provide, look for opportunities to encourage adults to take their children with them to the services. Choir programs, handbells, and other “non-traditional” worship service times are great ways to begin incorporating children in corporate worship.
Providing Advent calendars and daily devotional readings for families to use during the Christmas season is another way to minister during December.
Many times parents purchase Bibles for their children at Christmas. Provide assistance on selecting a Bible.
Help families focus on the gift of giving by encouraging families to reach out and minister to families in need. Contact your church office or associational office for names of families for which you can provide toys, clothing, and food. Include your children in shopping and wrapping the items. Talk about how your family is helping another family during the Christmas season.
Above all, help families focus on the real meaning of the Christmas season. Many department stores and society in general will do everything they can to remove Christ from Christmas. Make sure when families come to church, they experience the real meaning of Christmas. Avoid mixing fact and fantasy by talking about Jesus and Santa at the same time or showing pictures of Santa kneeling at the manger.
My prayer for you and your family is a blessed Christ-filled Christmas. Remember God so loved the world He gave the greatest gift ever. Help someone experience His gift this Christmas.
From my family to your’s,
Margo, Children's Ministry Academy
I, too, absolutely love Christmastime. It’s a time of giving and laughter and happiness. And you’re right—it’s definitely a good time of year for more ministry opportunities. Thank you for reminding me of all the help that people need in our communities. I’m going to search for more outreach opportunities that I can participate in.