For the last couple of weeks, I have watched as neighbors put up their exterior Christmas lights. Even before that I noticed stores and restaurants that put up Christmas decorations right after Halloween. What is the purpose of starting so early? Restaurants want to get customers to start thinking about gift cards. Stores want to bring out Christmas merchandise (especially in preparation for Black Friday). They are hoping that Christmas buying will begin early. Some of my neighbors simply want Christmas to last a little longer.
Perhaps it would be wise for a Sunday School class to bring out Christmas decorations early too. No, I don’t mean literal decorations, but I do mean taking advantage of the season to connect with members, absentees, and guests. Think for a minute. How can a Sunday School class capitalize upon the weeks leading up to Christmas? How can they attract more people? How can they bring attention to the Savior? Consider the following ideas:
- have several lessons focusing upon the events around the birth of Christ–extend special invitations for absentees and guests;
- plan a Christmas party and invite members, absentees, AND prospects (don’t just have it for us);
- plan a Christmas ministry project–discover and meet a need of someone in the community;
- don’t cancel Sunday School on the Sundays before and after Christmas, even if you have to combine classes;
- ask early for volunteers to write brief Christmas devotions; collect them and provide them for members, absentees, and guests;
- ask members, absentees, and guests to dress up in Christmas clothes early and take a picture; turn it into a Christmas card to send out to everyone;
- plan a simple, short Christmas drama/play–invite members, absentees, and guests to participate (in addition to performing it for your class, consider performing it for other classes, nursing homes, and other organizations);
- plan a Christmas breakfast before Sunday School and invite all Sunday School teachers and workers;
- close every lesson with a section of Jesus’ birth story from Matthew and Luke;
- provide free childcare for church members, absentees, and class prospects so parents can do Christmas shopping;
- plan a special Christmas gift for the pastor (and staff)–ask absentees to help;
- collect food and money to take to one or more needy families.
Ask your class. Affirm attenders when they suggest lots of creative ways to celebrate while connecting with even more people during this special time of year. It is not too early. Nor is it too late. Celebrate Jesus. Love people for Him. Be revolutionary!