by Yancy Richmond
’Tis the season for special events and breaking out of the normal routine of how we do church. I love the inspiration and the creativity that this time of year brings and how it so often makes us dig down deep to find and give our best. Even in all the hustle and bustle we can provide a way for families to stop, reflect and worship the Lord.
Look up the passage in Luke 2:13-20. I love how it tells us the angels and shepherds praised God! There was a lot of worship happening in the Christmas story.
We have been given the greatest gift ever. What a reason we have to sing and worship our Savior who was born. Take this Christmas season to communicate and illustrate worship in a different way than you’ve done this year.
Here are some ideas for you as you create a family worship night for the season.
Set the atmosphere.
If you want things to be different from a normal service they need to feel different. Decorate differently. What can you take away? What can you add? Change the chair layout. Do something that may seem insignificant but will be like an alarm when they enter, that this is going to be different and special. Focus on your auditorium but if you can, make it spill over into the lobbies and even parking lot—that’s a bonus.
Set the tone by choosing your pre-show playlist carefully. What mood do you want to set? What can you do on the screens to make it interactive? Christmas trivia, an activity or scavenger hunt of sorts. Make it fun and light-hearted.
Create dynamics in your set.
Think of a roller coaster with all of its climbs up and drops down. Those dynamics are what you want in your set. Go from something super fun and high energy to something soft and serious. It can be a great transition for your participants to keep them engaged (not bored) and also give them the rest breaks that are needed to sit down. As you make your song/set choices, always take 30,000-foot view and look at the whole picture. You’ll see and notice things you won’t see if you’re only focused on individual songs or moments and not how they connect together to make the whole.
Help your audience feel.
Create different ways for the different personalities and ages in attendance to get involved. Every moment may not be geared for every person but within the whole program you want to have moments that everyone can connect with.
Do not do 10 songs back to back. Mix in some other elements to keep things moving and keep your audience engaged. Various ideas would include: A short video that’s entertaining or teaches, a sketch with a mix of humor and straight man, moment of response where the audience does something, animals, costumes, games—you get the idea. The humor, fun and light-hearted moments are what will prepare the way and allow for the heartfelt, teaching moments to pull on the audience’s heart strings. What do you want your audience to walk away from the night knowing or feeling? How are you going to help them know and experience that?
Let the evening support your other efforts in ministry.
Use this night to underline the other things you’re doing. Are you helping parents teach their kids at home with an Advent devotional or activity? Make this evening tie into that. Are you supporting a missions or giving program? Tie it in. Use the night as a launching point to begin something or start a new challenge for families.
As this year comes to a close, I want to remind you of Luke 2:19 that says: “But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over.”
- What are the God moments for you of 2015?
- How did you experience God’s faithfulness and provision?
- What were your favorite moments of children’s ministry and leading worship this year?
I encourage you to “keep these things like a secret treasure in your heart.” Think about them, and remember them. As the New Year begins, don’t forget how God has blessed you and remained faithful to keep His promises! Let your song keep on singing His praises this season and all the year long!