“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” This is a great line in one of my family’s favorite movies. And while not everyone would appreciate my singing, there are other ways the church can serve the community. Both as individuals and collectively. Christmas church activities should focus on blessing others and pointing to the Light of the world, so we’ve compiled 12 ways to serve your community this Christmas Season:
- Adopt a homeless and/or women’s shelter in your community. Find out how many beds they have and outfit them with fresh bed and showering linens, donate laundry detergent and hygiene and cleaning supplies, bring and decorate a Christmas tree for the lobby, and wrap gifts (socks, hats, gloves, scarves) for the residents. Don’t forget to acknowledge and bless the staff with pastries or cookies, coffee, and your time.
- Take freshly baked goods wrapped with red ribbons and a personal message of gratitude to the police and fire departments. City bus drivers would also be blessed with a goodie.
- Emergency room staff would be surprised by meal deliveries on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
- Caroling at the senior citizen’s home a few times in December would be lovely. If this needs to be done from outside for best health practices, that can work too.
- Host a complimentary breakfast for the families in the local community to attend and get a picture made with Santa to take home.
- Soup kitchens need aprons, gloves, hair nets, groceries, cooks and servers with warm smiles.
- Christmas stockings filled with hygiene items, small toys/books/games and holiday socks for children of all ages. These can be collected from congregants and distributed at local schools, from the church office as needed, or in shelters.
- Stock your church food pantry with extra lunch and breakfast items, as many children will be out of school for the holiday break. Connect with local schools to help organize food distribution.
- Coordinate a blood drive and collection of medical supplies. Partner with a local hospital to also dispose of expired medications.
- Book exchange boxes. Set up adult, teen, and children’s boxes, respectively, and fill them with classic and contemporary books, magazines, coloring books with crayons, and Bible stories. Refilling them will hopefully be a daily occurrence until others see the benefit and also contribute.
- Initiate a pay-it-forward chain. For example, purchase the coffee order for the car behind you and offer a Merry Christmas verbal message (or whatever your church would like to share) to pass along from the barista to them. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, this is always an unexpected way to bless someone!
- Sponsor a family and/or multiple children for Christmas. There are agencies that you can coordinate with, or you may be able to identify some within your congregation and their friends.
When it comes to ways to celebrate Christmas, the act of blessing others is what matters. As individuals, we share from the heart. And as parents, we are thrilled to bless our children with gifts under the tree. As neighbors, we gladly participate in light hanging and communal living. As church members, we link arms with each other. And spread the Good News of celebrating our Savior’s birth in word and deed.
Forrest started with ACST in 2015 and has held key roles across many departments working directly with our ministry partners. He currently is a Territory Account Manager and specializes in helping large churches use technology to meet their full potential in every aspect of their ministry. He has served in his church’s youth and children’s ministry staff roles. Forrest is passionate about leading churches in meaningful change.