For a church, Christmas Eve services are typically one of the highest attended days of the year. A great message is absolutely essential on such a big day.
This may be the only time many of these people will give your church a chance. This may be the last time you get to speak to them if they are not compelled to return.
So here are some tips.
5 Keys To A Great 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, shoot for 25. End early if at all possible.
Whatever you do, don’t go long! It is rude to families with plans afterwards. It is rude to volunteers helping at multiple services. Finish exactly 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. The goal is to make a small section of scripture so life-changing that they are left 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. Tell a few jokes. Dramatically tell the story by helping your audience get inside the character’s emotions. Talk about what it would look like in modern times. Incorporate some professionally made videos.
Be passionate about what you are talking about! If you aren’t excited, why would they be?
3. Have a hook for next week.
Give people a reason to come back. Start an awesome 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. Get creative.
Whatever you do, do everything you possibly can to get them back.
4. Tell the story.
I know you have heard it and preached it a thousand times, but you need to tell the Christmas story again. Everyone expects to hear it. Everyone wants to hear it. Some may have never heard it. You better tell it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. 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.
5. Present the Gospel.
The whole reason we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus came to earth to conquer Satan, sin, and death! Tell the 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: give them a chance to respond. Maybe you have them raise a hand, pray a prayer, check a box, come forward… whatever your style is. The point is, preach the gospel and compel people to respond to the good news.
What are you waiting for? Get working. This Christmas could be the best yet!