Christmas Eve Service Questions

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastorba, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    We are planning on having a Christmas Eve service this year. We are a small church that on a good Sunday runs 50. I am wondering about an order of service that maybe you have used in the past, songs, Scripture, responsive readings, etc.

    Also, do you preach a "full" message or maybe a bit shorter one? I wonder for those who have done it do you find that you get a lot of visitors or unsaved, or is it primarily a Christian audience?

    If you could answer these questions and maybe give me an order of Service you have used in the past it would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I have done services on Christmas Eve where the Lord's SUpper was involved, hymn singing, candlight singing of at least one Christmas hymn, much Scripture reading, short devotional thoughts....you name it. I can rustle up a sample or two if you like. Might take a day or two.

    I'd say be brief. Christmas Eve can be a time where families really don't have that much time they can spare you (attack me if you want; that's just reality). I found that, in one setting in a church of about 100, 20 maybe showed up for Christmas Eve service. A lot depends on what you're doing up to Christmas. Are you preaching an Advent series? (Shame on you if you aren't) :D
     
  3. Gib

    Gib
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    Our Christmas Eve service is open from 7-8 for families to come and partake of the Lord's Supper. The only music is in the background and appropriate for the setting. Not everyone is there at the same time. They come whenever. It's usually well attended.
     
  4. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider
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    Tom's suggestions for such a service were excellent. Good variety and brevity are keys to getting folks out for a Christmas eve service. I always promise we will be out in an hour or less (and then keep my word) [​IMG]

    While it will likely be mostly Christians who show up, we should never discount the possibility of vistors. Many have company coming and they might show up. Also the Christmas/Easter crowd may come as well, giving you one of two opportunities a year to challenge them about their souls. ;)

    Christmas programs and services provide a very good opportunity to give the gospel to people who may not come to your church any other time during the year. Be prepared to give a clear gospel message.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    [This was our last year's service outline. Hope it gives you some ideas]

    CHRISTMAS EVE VESPERS
    Dr. Bob Griffin, Interim Pastor
    December 24th, 2002, 6:00 p.m.

    WE WELCOME YOU this Christmas Eve to our Annual Celebration in Music and Word of the Birth of our Savior.

    PRELUDE ~
    Piano/Oboe

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #125 “Joy to the World”

    SPECIALS ~
    Choir: “Coventry Carol”
    ”Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #160 “Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming”

    READINGS IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE ~
    Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38

    SPECIALS ~
    Piano Solo
    Trumpet Solo

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #137 “What Child Is This?”

    READINGS IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE ~
    Magnificat, Luke 1:39-55

    SPECIAL ~
    Drama: Teen Girls' Class

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #133 “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

    READINGS IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE ~
    Birth, Luke 2:1-20

    SPECIALS ~
    Various Family Ensembles (3)

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #152 “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

    READINGS IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE ~
    Prophecies, Luke 2:21-40

    CAROL OF CHRISTMAS ~
    #157 “Away in a Manger”

    FINAL ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING ~
    Dr. Bob Griffin, Interim Pastor
    Jesus, the Light of the World
    Congregational Candle Lighting around the Sanctuary

    SPECIAL ~
    Story of Silent Night
    [congregation joining in the song)

    BENEDICTION ~

    (SPECIAL THANKS: “Animals of the Nativity” display from 4:00-9:00 p.m. at the church)

    ~~~~~~

    A little boy asked his friend what was the greatest gift he had ever received. “El Nino,” came the reply!
    “Huh? You mean that warm ocean current that brings floods, famines, and fire worldwide? THAT was your best present?”
    “No, not the current, silly. El Nino is Spanish for The Child. The real El Nino is a person, Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birthday at Christmas, and since that warm current occurs at Christmas time, we call it El Nino, too.”
    “The best present I got was receiving Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross to forgive my sins, as my Savior. El Nino, the warm ocean current, can only change our weather. But the real El Nino, Jesus Christ, can change our lives and our future in heaven!”
     
  6. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    Thank you all for your responses!

    Dr. Bob, do you still have the story of "Silent Night" or can you point me in a direction to find it? Also, did you make comments on the Scripture reading or simply read it, allowing the text to speak for itself?

    Any more ideas?

    When I get the service together I'll post order of service for anyone else who may be struggling with it as well.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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  8. baptistteacher

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    Dr. Bob, I can tell from the page numbers that you were using "The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration", the same one we use.

    A candle light service can be a moving occaission, if done correctly. Must be careful about the small children and candles. Some kind of decision regarding at what age they can have a lighted candle must be relayed to all involved.
     
  9. LarryN

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    We're trying some new things for Christmas Eve this year. In the past we've had 2 services. This year we're having 4:

    3:30- a "Family Service" (i.e. geared towards families with little ones) led by the Children's Pastor. This might be a good opportunity to reach any grandparents visiting who'll come along with the grandchildren.

    5:00- A General Service, leaning toward the contemporary side.

    6:30- A General Service, but very traditional.

    11:00- A Candlelight Service.
     

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