I was driving around town
yesterday and scanning the radio when I heard it-Christmas music.
It seems to start earlier and earlier each year. And despite the
fact that the Thanksgiving turkey isn't even on the table, it's
already time to start preparing for the annual Christmas program.
Whether it's a Christmas play, a Christmas pageant, or a Christmas
musical, the work starts now.
- Free Ticket- Here is an idea
a children's ministry volunteer shared with me, and I thought it
was a great one! For a Christmas craft, have your younger kids make
tickets for the play to give away for free. As kids color and
decorate their tickets-along with writing the time and date of the
Christmas program- explain to the kids that Jesus is our ticket to
heaven. And it's completely free!
- Group Effort- Make sure to include other
people besides parents when you're looking for volunteers. For
example, members of the youth group can help with lighting and
sound, or the senior Sunday school class can help with costumes.
This helps build connections between your kids and others in your
church, and also gives you extra hands to help out.
- Tech Tools - The holidays can be a busy time
for families, and you know that not everyone will make every
meeting or rehearsal. Consider starting a Facebook group
or sharing a Google Calendar just for the event to help
remind parents when you will be holding specially timed meetings.
Keeping parents informed is half the battle.
- Video Extras- Something I have used in the
past with great success is prerecorded video segments. Because I
know we will have some people who will run late or trickle in after
we start because they couldn't find a parking spot, we put together
a short film with the kids explaining the real meaning of
Christmas. Not only was it a fun diversion while the late arrivals
found their seats, but it bought us some time to wrap up any loose
ends. Consider borrowing a digital camera and shooting commercials
to promote your upcoming program during church services, or use it
to record funny bloopers or kids explaining what Christmas means to
them. The best part is that you can burn multiple copies of the DVD
to hand out to parents for gifts.
- Let Kids Shine- Kids all have different
talents and areas where they can excel. Some really love to sing
while others are deathly afraid of the spotlight. Prepare to
accommodate kids with stage fright by giving them the option to
contribute in a way they enjoy. Let artistic ones make posters or
backdrops. Let ones who like to serve help usher in guests. The
idea is to let every child use their God-given talents for
There are six weeks left until Christmas. If you're still not sure
what to do for Christmas, make sure to check out
Chris Yount Jones' new blog for a couple of great ideas. Leave
a comment below to let us know what you have done for a Christmas
program in the past!