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.