For most of you, the children’s Christmas program is one of the biggest events on your children’s ministry calendar. Hopefully you’re on schedule and things are going according to the plans you made during the summer. Here’s some last-minute tips to help it run smoothly.
Write out the words to the songs for the children. If your church has a monitor or video that can be seen from the stage, have your media director place the words to the songs on power point. That way, if the children forget the words, they can read them on the screen. If you don’t have power point, ask someone to write the words on poster boards and sit on the front row holding them during the program.
Teach children what to do when the program ends. Many times children’s pastors work hard with the children to have a great program only to have the children ruin it because they don’t know how to end it. Let the children know what they’re expected to do at the end of the program. Should they file off the stage or should they sit quietly while the pastor talks? Rehearse this with them so they’re ready.
Keep children occupied. Have activities ready for the children to do while they’re waiting for the program to start or if you are working with small groups of children during rehearsal. This will keep the children from getting out of control when they have nothing to do.
Check costumes to make sure there are no last-minute surprises. If your students are coming up with their own costumes, make sure you give approval in time for them to change something if they need to.
Make sure the sound technician is available for final rehearsals. Many great children’s programs are ruined because the sound technician wasn’t there at the rehearsals to know the cues. Provide him with a copy of the program, and ask if there’s anything else he needs.
Invite people. Ask each student in the play to provide a list of at least five friends or relatives with addresses or emails so you can invite them to the program. Don’t leave the invites up to the children and parents. Send the letter out on church stationary. Don’t forget to mention the name of the child who provided their information.
Take breaks during long rehearsals. Children will focus better if they have time to get their energy out.
Plan for unexpected surprises. Have a plan for if a child with a main part gets sick and can’t be in the program.
Remind the students often why they’re doing this. It’s not about them being cute and showing off to their parents. They are involved in ministry. Have them pray for God to move and people to give their lives to Christ during the program.
I pray God uses your children’s ministry program for His glory this year.
Christmas caroling is a lost art in this world where everyone is so busy getting the latest gift. That’s too bad because Christmas caroling is a way to share God’s love with a dark world. It works even better when we go Christmas caroling to people who feel forgotten at Christmas.
Here’s some ideas on where you can take the children in your church caroling.
Neighborhood around the church: Let the church’s neighbors see you’re a part of their neighborhood and that you have a thriving children’s ministry.
Nursing Homes: Share the love of God by taking the children to a nursing home to sing for the patients. Check with the nursing home for their Covid regulations.
Children’s Hospital: Christmas is a sad time for children stuck in the hospital. Cheer them up with some caroling.
The Mall: Put Christ back in the Holiday season by having children sing songs about the birth of Christ. They could even act out the nativity scene.
Shut Ins: Most churches have seniors who can’t get out of their houses because of health problems. Compile a list and take your students to their houses for a little visit and some carols.
Any of these places would be a great way for children to minister by sharing God’s love. Don’t forget to plan some hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for after the caroling is over.
A great idea to help children focus on other people at Christmas is to have them make their own Christmas cards. Here’s some ideas of who they could send them to.
Missionaries: Missionaries have a hard time at Christmas. They’re away from their families, many times in places that don’t celebrate Christmas.
Shut Ins and Nursing Home Residents: Some of our senior members feel alone at Christmas especially if they have no family nearby.
Widows and Widowers: Those who have lost their spouses have a hard time during the holidays.
Parents: Parents are usually the ones who give to their children at Christmas. Sometimes it helps to give a little something back.
Pastor: Pastors love to be appreciated too. Getting Christmas Cards from all the children would make their day.
1. Tell the history of the Christmas Tree and how Christians used it to share the Gospel. You can find the story at this link.
2. Use the Christmas Tree for object lessons. Here are a few.
Apples: We hang apples from the Christmas tree because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the apple. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.
Evergreen: Just as evergreen trees grow all year long and are always green, Jesus came to Earth to give us everlasting life.
Holly: The holly we hang on Christmas trees is red and reminds us of the blood Jesus shed to save us from our sins.
Tree Top: The tree top is usually an angel or a star. Both were in the sky the night Jesus was born. The angels proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The star lighted the way of wise men traveling to Bethlehem.
Lights: Jesus is the light of the world.
Ornaments: Round bulbs represent Jesus coming to Earth. Other ornaments represent that God wants to give us good things.
Tree: The tree itself can represent the tree of life that Jesus came to Earth to restore to us. It can also represent the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We cut down a tree for Christmas just as Christ was cut down for our sins. But we resurrect the tree in our homes just as Christ was resurrected after 3 day.
Wreath: Wreaths are a great symbol to teach children about Christmas. Wreaths are circular. This symbolizes eternal life. It can also symbolize God’s unending love. We usually hang wreaths on the door to welcome guests just as Jesus welcomes us to have eternal life in Him. Wreaths are made out of evergreen symbolizing again everlasting life in Christ.
3. Tell the Tale of Three Trees. The Tale of Three Tress is a folk legend told for many centuries to teach the importance of Christ’s life. The author is unknown. Here’s the link to tell the story in Kidmin this Christmas.