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3 Tips For Your Christmas Series

3 Tips For Your Christmas Series

Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Published On:

November 10, 2023

As a pastor who connects with other pastors, there are a few things I know to be true about this most wonderful time of the year. We love Christmas, and when we are honest, we kind of dread it too. We love it because we are celebrating something incredibly powerful, the incarnation of our Lord and Savior. We love it because it’s a great chance to welcome visitors to our church, but we dread it because there is so much work that comes with it. We dread it because when it comes to the Christmas message, it can feel like the same thing year after year… How do we keep the Christmas sermon series both true to the message, but also feeling fresh enough to where we can approach it with renewed energy? Here are some thoughts as we approach Christmas each year…

1. It’s Christmas. Yes, focus on it!

You may get sick of preaching the same story year after year, but your church doesn’t get sick of hearing it. Or worse, the over-commercialization of Christmas has turned you off to a Christmas focus. You may be tempted to use this time to focus on something else you’re itching to preach on, but don’t stray from the birth of Christ. Not only is the incarnation a critical aspect of Christian theology, but it’s a tenet of our faith that doesn’t get enough attention, so don’t miss the change to detail this beautiful theology. Christmas is a unique time where the hopeless world is looking for hope, so don’t forget to show the lost world the power of hope that Christmas brings! I spoke to an unbelieving neighbor of mine who went to church (not the church I am pastoring, but a different one) for a Christmas series. She told me she just wanted to hear what Christmas really meant and if hope was possible in this world. But instead of the birth of Christ, this pastor used the Christmas season to talk about Jesus challenging the chief priests. I’ll never forget her words when she said, “I went to church on Christmas to hear what Christmas was all about, but instead I learned that Jesus debated religious people…” This, to me, just sounded like the pastor was using pulpit time to get something off his chest rather than a time to give the people something they needed to hear.

This first point is simple: It’s Christmas – focus on Christmas, not because it’s the commercial season, but because people need to hear the Christmas story.

2. Don’t try to be so creative that you forget the actual Christmas message!

Here is what I have fallen prey to when I’ve come to write a Christmas series: I get tired of saying the same thing every year at Christmas, so I try to be so creative with the Christmas message that I’ve missed the point entirely. The truth is, there is so much to Christmas that you can be very creative and still share the simple message that God came to earth. Whether through surveying the Old Testament prophecies that point to Christmas or hearing the news of Christmas through each of the major players of the nativity scene, Christmas doesn’t need to be re-envisioned; it simply needs to be retold.

  Here are samples of some of our previous Christmas series.

  • Vintage Christmas

This series is about how the old and already fulfilled prophecies of Christmas still show us something new. We had vintage-themed branding, and we set up our lobby with Christmas trees decorated with the different styles of the decades.

In this series we blended the Christmas series with a family focus as we looked at how Christmas is not something for your family just to survive, but how it’s a time to thrive. We did an expositional walkthrough of Matthew 1 as we learned how a family can thrive at Christmas when we (and these were the sermon titles) 1) Remember God’s Plan, when we 2) Receive God’s Son, and when we 3) Recognize God’s presence. *Check out the link for details on this series And when it comes time to plan out your Christmas series, remember this last point:

3. Let your soul be filled by remembering the power of the incarnation.

If you are not first finding the joy of Christmas yourself by immersing yourself in the Christmas story, I’m afraid you won’t deliver a message that also fills the souls and the hearts of the people who gather at Christmas. One thing I do is I spend time in the Scriptures reflecting on the birth of Christ, and as I survey the stories and prophecies of Christmas, I look for a word or phrase that the Spirit really highlights for me, and I often use that as the seed for a series. For instance, one year I was reading Luke and came to the line from the angel, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” In that simple phrase are a number of powerful statements that we used to blossom into a full series. Using each of these phrases as a sermon theme for each message in the series, we looked at how Christmas is 1) Good News. It’s the root of the Gospel! We then saw how Christmas brings us 2) “Great Joy” and then we looked at how Christmas is an invitation to 3) “All people” to come see and believe in the newborn King. God used this series to bless hundreds of people and it started when the Holy Spirit highlighted those words for me as I sat and read the story of Christmas, being filled personally in my own soul. You cannot pour out what you have not been filled with, so fill yourself with the powerful message of Christmas! So, no matter if you listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, or if you can’t stand it even on Christmas Day, the birth of Christ is a momentous time that we should be eager to announce. I pray these tips are helpful to you, what else would you add? Also, I’d love to hear what series you’ve come up with – contact me and let’s share more ideas.

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