Preparing for Advent and Christmas Visitors
Rev. Joshua Patty
Regional Minister and President
Many congregations see more visitors and guests in November and December, including Christmas Eve. Is your congregation ready to invite people and welcome them?
Plan ahead. Now is the perfect time to finalize your plans for the final worship services of the year. Identify a theme for the season. Plan special services (children's pageant, choir cantata, lessons and carols, Christmas Eve) and seasonal additions to worship (Advent wreath/candles, Christmas outreach projects, special music).
Describe these plans without "insider" language. Find ways to explain what you are doing that might make sense to visitors. You can use your time-honored titles, but then explain things like Hanging of the Greens, Advent Candles, choir cantata and more. Would you attend something if you didn't understand what it means?
Publicize your services. Create a graphic to use based on your theme (an online program like Canva can help you do this). Promote using newsletters, bulletin inserts, one-page flyers, social media posts, emails, and more.
Share. Share. Share. Do not just rely on your congregation's publications to spread the word. Make it easy for people to invite others. Give people flyers/postcards to pass around. Encourage people to put this info on their social media -- that's why the graphic and use of visitor-friendly language is so important.
Welcome visitors when they show up -- in person and online. After all of this work to prepare and promote, make sure there are people ready to greet people as they arrive and help them feel comfortable and appreciated.
All Congregational Gathering
is THIS Saturday!