Christmas is a special time of year when people seem to smile more, sing more, eat more, and spend quality family time to reflect on what’s important to them.
For us as a church, we are getting on our “A-Game” in preparation for an influx of people to walk through the doors. It’s a great time to make an impression in the community and be a refuge for the people who are avoiding the shopping malls at all costs! For many, the Christmas season is important…and it should be. It’s not every day that the secular world talks about the birth of our Savior so openly.
Christmas music just might be one of the biggest driving forces for the church this time of year. Why? Because many who are unchurched love Christmas music. They love to sing about the sleigh bells and be comforted by the chorus of Silent Night. It’s during Christmas that you’ll find many non-churchgoers enter through your doors simply to hear the music. Some may argue that this is not a good reason for them to come…but I think getting non-believers to come to church is a great thing despite their initial intentions.
So if we can agree that Christmas music is a big deal…the question is this; When should you start singing it in your church congregationally?
Listen to the radio-
Your local radio station is a fantastic indicator of when it’s an appropriate time to start your Christmas music at church. Once you start hearing it played in the mainstream, you know it’s time to start planning or playing.
Listen to your people-
If the people in your church start making mention of it…that’s a good indication that they want to hear it. With the exception of those “unique” individuals that listen to Christmas music in July, you’ll start hearing your people make mention of it aloud.
Listen to other worship leaders-
If you find yourself not planning out/playing Christmas music while all of the other worship leaders you know are…then you are behind. Be in the loop with other worship leaders. I’d recommend joining a Facebook group such as the Worship Leaders Collective so you can see what others are doing.
Listen to your heart-
When I say listen to your heart…please don’t think of that one hit wonder by Roxette. I’m talking about using your intuition and your gut feeling. You’re not an idiot. You obviously have some positive brain activity going on up there if you are successfully leading a congregation on a regular basis. You know your church’s traditions and what your people and community likes. If you don’t…just ask. Don’t overly complicate this and make it into more than it is.
For what it’s worth, I typically start playing Christmas music congregationally the first Sunday in December and stop playing it after Christmas Day. I know of other Worship Leaders who start the last weekend in November and carry it out through to New Year’s Eve. I’ve met others who only play Christmas music the Sunday before Christmas Day. It all varies from church to church.
I will say this, you have more to gain by singing Christmas music earlier rather than later.
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by the easy-to-use worship planning software WorshipTrac.