You’re going to have a lot of guests this Christmas. If we’re honest with each other and past years are any indication of the future, you probably won’t see many of them again until Easter. Hopefully that statement bothers you. It bothers me, too. I mean, getting them to come at Christmas is easy, but why not January? Why does it take till Easter for them to warm back up to visiting again?

As you plan your Christmas services, we really encourage you to consider these 5 things that will help bring people back earlier than ever this year. Perhaps even next week!

1) Make Christmas service relevant to our culture this year — What music might people relate to? Illustrations to Christmas movies we can relate to? Graphic backdrop for family pictures while everyone is dressed up? Is there something you can do that honors both the birth of Jesus but also says to guests: “This is a church relevant for today, not just 2 thousand years ago, or even 1985.”

2) Strategically plan for January — Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions, or perhaps more casually, think about things they would like to improve for next year. Plan sermons this January that are incredibly relevant to everyday life. Some ideas could include how to enact real change in your life, how to manage money, intentional parenting, etc. Whatever it is, present it in a way so that the lost people in the room would find it interesting enough to come back for.

3) Follow up — Ask everyone in the room to fill out a Connect Card during your Christmas services. You can use that information for a targeted follow up campaign in the days and weeks following Christmas inviting them back to your church. Use Connect Cards to collect guest information so you can follow up.

4) Practice extravagant generosity — God is a God of generosity and kindness. Flex your generosity muscles this Christmas with free great-tasting coffee, Christmas cookies, and a really nice gift for guests and the people who brought them. This might also be a great time to start a new tradition with a custom Christmas Ornament.

5) Go out of your way to invite people back — Make sure you show up in their mail boxes or inboxes for a few weeks after the holidays. Your church is relevant 52 weeks a year. Make sure they get that information.


What will you do differently this Christmas season to encourage guests to return in January?