Christmas Caroling as Outreach

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Planning ChristmasNow, here’s a fun church-wide CHRISTmas project. Plan a gigantic caroling blitz with an outreach purpose. Every attender at your church—singles, kids, elderly, teens, couples, bad singers, occasional attenders…everyone!—is challenged to contribute one hour for a purposeful caroling party. Try these simple tips for planning.

Tip #1: Make caroling maps. Each caroling team will receive a unique list of homes and prospective members to visit. Design a plan that fits your church and community, considering distance and time. Mappers will attempt to set one pre-arranged appointment for each team, such as a homebound member or church guest. Caroling at one home takes about five minutes, then they can sing at nearby homes as well. Where to carol?

  • Carol for homebound members and their neighbors.
  • Carol at all homes within a few blocks of your church building, or an entire subdivision.
  • Carol for your town’s mayor, police chief or other leaders.
  • Carol in hallways at a nearby nursing home, with permission.
  • “Drive-by” teams, including people with mobility limitations, carol from their car windows to fire stations, Christmas tree stores, and, with permission, mall parking lots.
  • Carol at the home of each recent visitor to your church, and their neighbors.

Tip #2: Offer multiple party times. For best participation, offer a choice of caroling hours, and perhaps a choice of days.

Tip #3: Recruit great leaders. You’ll need mappers, hot cocoa servers and a promotion team. Most importantly, recruit lots and lots of caroling team leaders. Set a big goal for number of caroling teams.

Tip#4: Add extras. Caroling team leaders set a joyful atmosphere. They may bring Santa hats, or long scarves, kazoos, sleigh bells, tambourines. Add a violinist or bongo player. Make signs on stakes that read “Merry Christmas” and “from Trinity Church.” They may enjoy decorating their car with battery-operated lights and garland.

Tip #5: Advertise. Create excitement. Provide online registration. Make a Facebook invitation. Hang signup sheets at church, or pass them around in meetings, classes and worship. Ask all church leaders to help promote it.

Tip #6: On caroling day. Caroling team leaders arrive early to choose a mapped assignment, and pick up church brochures and printed invitations to church Christmas events. As carolers arrive, they immediately join a caroling team. They sign Christmas cards to deliver, and when a team has 6-12 people, they pray together and depart. Most teams are out the door in five minutes. Latecomers form additional teams. If a team drives to their destination, they play Christmas music as they go.

Tip #7: The after-celebration. Carolers return in exactly an hour to enjoy music and fellowship, hot cocoa and homemade cookies, and a great atmosphere of Christmas joy. A whiteboard is updated as teams arrive to show the grand total of people visited. Sharing the joy of CHRISTmas with your community–now, that’s something to celebrate!

A sample instruction sheet for Caroling Team leaders is at www.dianadavis.org.

© Diana Davis is author of Fresh Ideas and Deacon Wives (B&H Publishing). www.dianadavis.org.


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Diana Davis About Diana Davis

Diana Davis (www.keeponshining.com) is an author, speaker and wife of the North American Mission Board’s vice president for the South region, Steve Davis. Copyright 2012. Used by permission.

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