What could happen if this year, you preached your best Christmas sermon yet?
Christmas Eve services are typically one of the highest attended days of the year for churches. A great message is essential on such a big day.
This could be the only time many of these people will give your church a chance. It may be the last time you get to speak to them if they are not compelled to return.
So here are some Christmas preaching tips I’ve learned over the years to help you make the most of your Christmas Sermon.
1. Keep it short.
I’m not going to tell you how long you should preach. But whatever your average time is, work to shave some time off of it.
If you normally preach an hour, shoot for 45 minutes. If you speak for 30, aim for 25. End early if at all possible.
Whatever you do, don’t go long!
It is rude to families with plans afterward. It’s rude to volunteers helping at multiple services. Finish precisely on time or earlier than you said you would. Everyone will appreciate it.
The goal isn’t to cover the entire Bible in one message. Your goal should be to make a small passage of scripture so life-changing that people leave your church wanting to come back to hear more.
2. Bring your “A” game.
Christmas is like the Super Bowl for a pastor! Don’t just preach the same stale, old sermon.
Give it all you got!
Don’t be boring! I’m convinced it is a sin to make the greatest story ever told sound boring.
Use your natural sense of humor to get people to laugh a little.
Unfold the drama of the Christmas story to help your audience get inside the character’s emotions.
Talk about what it would look like in modern times.
Find some great Christmas sermon illustrations.
Incorporate some professional quality videos.
Be passionate about what you are talking about! If you aren’t excited, why would they be?
Put in the necessary time and effort to make this the best sermon you have ever delivered.
3. Have a hook for next week.
Give people a reason to come back.
Start an enticing new series.
Give visitors a card for free coffee and donuts on the next visit.
Get their contact information to send them a welcome letter or give them a phone call.
Whatever you do, do everything you possibly can to compel them to come back.
The more someone attends your church, the more likely they are to hear and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ.
What barriers do you need to remove, incentives do you need to give, or promises do you need to make to help new people to want to come back?
4. Tell the story.
I know you’ve heard it and preached it a thousand times, but you need to tell the Christmas story again.
Everyone expects to hear it. Most people want to hear it. And some people may have never heard it before.
You better tell it!
This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. As I said earlier, bring your “A” game. Take a different twist on the story if you want.
But PLEASE, mention the reason we are celebrating in the first place.
Tell the story of Jesus’ miraculous birth, and then remind us why it matters.
5. Preach the Gospel.
The whole reason we celebrate Christmas is that Jesus came to earth to conquer Satan, sin, and death!
Tell the Christmas story. Then, make a beeline for the Gospel.
This may be the only chance you get to reach some people! Maybe they accepted an invitation from a friend or family member for the first time.
Maybe they are “CEO Christians” (Christmas / Easter Only). Maybe they just got lost and wandered in. However they got there, this is your shot!
If you do nothing else, ensure that everyone who leaves your church has a clear understanding of why Christmas is worth celebrating!
And don’t miss this: Invite them to respond. Plead with them to make a decision. Ask them to raise a hand, pray a prayer, check a box, come forward… whatever your style is.
Preach the gospel and compel people to respond to the good news.
Are you ready? This Christmas could be the best yet!
Let’s get on our knees, beg God to do what only He can do, and then get to work!