Christmas might be the first time a person sets foot in a church in years. Visitors could be carrying a lot of pain, wounds, or skepticism as they walk in your doors this season. Help them lower their guard and relax by creating a warm and welcoming environment.
7 Christmas Ideas to Help People Feel Comfortable at Church
Deck the halls. Christmas is a time of celebration and tradition, so we want our attenders to feel a sense of joy and merriment as they walk through the doors. Christmas trees, lights, wreaths, red ribbon, oversized snowflakes are all easy and relatively inexpensive ways to create a festive and friendly atmosphere. For more on our heart behind Christmas decorations, watch this short video.
Show them what to expect. Today, everyone posts pictures of what they are doing and who they are with. Why not use social media to your advantage and draw people in by posting pictures of your church all decked out for the holidays? Knowing what they are walking into makes people feel more comfortable, and social media is a great way to help attenders get a glimpse of what they can expect when attending your service.
Create a photo op area. It might sound simple, but creating a festive photo backdrop in your lobby can be a fun and easy way to provide something special for families. Creating an opportunity to gather around and snap a few shots, photo booth stations not only allow families to create memories at church, but you can also get social media traction when those photos are shared online.
Have plenty of volunteers. Welcoming smiles and warm handshakes are impactful to a new visitor’s experience—be sure to have plenty of volunteers available to help new guests find a place to sit, get a cup of coffee, or check kids into your children’s ministry. For more resources about volunteers, check out our video on finding and recruiting volunteers and our Host Team Training Guide.
Offer Christmas-themed goodies. Who doesn’t love some Christmas cookies and apple cider? If it’s within budget, handing out holiday-themed treats in the lobby can accomplish more than you might think. It will, of course, add to the festive feeling, but it can also put new guests at ease. Having something to do with your hands—like sipping hot cocoa or munching gingerbread—helps you relax just a bit. Take it one step further and encourage guests to go ahead and take their refreshments into the auditorium during the message for added comfort.
Play Christmas music. As people trickle into the auditorium, have your worship band play some fun, upbeat Christmas songs that everyone knows and loves. Familiar and delightful, these songs will help guests relax, get in the holiday spirit, and enjoy their time at your service—and might even challenge their notion of what church can be. Learn more about why we use walk-in songs at Life.Church.
Embrace a bit of tradition. Even those who are unchurched still appreciate and long for tradition, so including something familiar—like a Christmas carol—can invoke a sense of connection, comfort, and belonging. The Carols Christmas album is a great example of integrating modern and traditional. At some of our campuses, we end the service with an acapella version of Silent Night, candles and all.
What are some of the ways you help create a welcoming environment in your church? Head over to our Facebook group to discuss different tips you’ve used to help visitors feel welcomed and known during the Christmas season.
Also, don’t forget to view all of the free Christmas resources we have available at open.life.church. You can find sermon outlines, graphics, worship music, christmas tips, and more…all free!
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