01. Use the season as an opportunity for ministry mobilization
The upcoming holiday season is one where you will certainly talk from the pulpit about being thankful and preach the birth of our Savior. But for many, the holidays are difficult reminders about loved ones who are no longer here. You’ve always been faithful to minister to the grieving, but this year, share that ministry opportunity and equip the saints by challenging your members to be intentional about reaching out to others who are hurting this time of year. It will bless them, and it will bless you.
02. Preach the gospel to others and yourself
The Christmas season presents a unique opportunity to preach the gospel to people you may not see again for months—if ever again. But as you proclaim the hope the birth of Christ brings, be sure to take time to meditate on that same hope as it applies to your life. As you study to preach about Jesus’ life on earth, take time to reflect not just on how he offers new life to others, but how he has given new life to you.
03. Consider community outreach opportunities
For this year’s churchwide Thanksgiving meal, challenge your members to bring one unchurched friend as the cost of admission. Enlist a few members to give brief testimonies during the meal so your guests can hear how God is real and active in the lives of his people. Go door-to-door and sing 2-3 Christmas carols while handing out invitation cards to an upcoming service. Don’t get overwhelmed with the endless opportunities here. Just start with one and see what the Lord does with it.
04. Plan a next step
It’s one thing to be able to get contact information from your holiday visitors so you can follow up with them. But now what? It’s time to follow up. Again, this is a great opportunity to mobilize your membership. Appoint an ad hoc team to follow-up on Thanksgiving and Christmas visitors for the first quarter of 2022. Plan a sermon series or start a small group focused on the basics of faith and invite those same visitors. If they came to church, assume God is doing something in their hearts, minds and lives.
05. Make the time to take the time
We’ll say it again for those in the back—no, pastor, it is not honorable to grind yourself into the ground for the sake of ministry. The end of the year can be a great time to catch your breath, spend time with family and, most importantly, rest your mind and your body in the Lord as the world (mostly) slows down between Christmas and New Year’s. What can you give to your people in 2022 if you already gave them everything you had to give in 2021?