Delicious feasts, bountiful gifts, and annual parades – there’s a reason it’s called “the most wonderful time of the year.” Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is widely recognized by our society as the holiday season, and while the holiday season can evoke joyfulness and generosity, many people still find themselves extremely busy and stressed, especially within the church. It’s a time period where there’s increased church attendance and numerous ministry events, and this may leave many church members pressured and exhausted.
It is essential for church members to receive healthy, supportive leadership during the holidays. In doing so, the body of Christ, especially ministry leaders, will be encouraged as well as encouraging during this time of the year, and make an impact on all whom they encounter. Below are a few helpful tips on how to guide your church through the holiday season:
SHIFT YOUR FOCUS
It is easy to get pulled in many directions by holiday sales, gift lists, parties with friends and family and more. It’s also a time where you are asked to be present within the church body, volunteering and organizing holiday programs. If not balanced properly, doing too many things at once can leave you physically and emotionally drained. Remind your church congregation, and yourself, the reason for the season.
Buying gifts and planning programs are okay, but not if doing so is making someone weary. The central intention at all times of the year, but especially during the holidays, should be showing the love of Christ and giving thanks. We should not work ourselves past exhaustion. Remind church members to shift their focus back to the Lord, and allow Him to lead their decisions. Sometimes it’s more effective to take a step back and only do what we’re able to, instead of everything we want to do.
“Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
[1 Thessalonians 5:11]
Prayer and encouragement are vital, especially during the holidays. Many people suffer silently, feeling overwhelmed at times, yet unsure how to share their problems during a season of joyfulness. Someone may be spending the holidays alone, had a recent death in the family, or simply can’t afford to buy gifts for loved ones.
Reach out and call your church leaders. Have them call and check on other members of the congregation. Ask if someone needs help planning church events, require assistance with ministry outreach, or if they simply need prayer. Arrange prayer conference calls and church staff meetings to show your love and commitment to edifying your church. Effective communication ensures there is no room for confusion, seclusion, and disorganization.
Often times things occur outside of our control–natural disasters, family emergencies, car issues– which require people to cancel plans last minute. When arranging events, such as church holiday programs or volunteer work, strategize and plan ahead. Making room for immediate changes, such as having extra volunteers or scheduling alternative dates, helps eliminate stress and avoid conflict.
The holiday season is what our society looks forward to every year. It’s the time of gratitude, spending time with loved ones, and showing extraordinary kindness that many people don’t receive on a daily basis. Let this be an opportunity for new church members to experience this. Check out custom outreach cards on our website, perfect for inviting newcomers to your church’s holiday events, ministry groups, and ultimately a relationship with Christ.