No Church on Christmas?
This was the title MSNBC ran on their article about this "Whether or not to have Church on Christmas day controversy" of December 2005. It was a very unique situation for not only the church where I serve but churches across the country this year as Christmas and New Years both landed on a Sunday. If you do the math the last time that actually hapened was in 1994. (thanks to leap year) So this doesnt happen that often. The big debate for many churches was whether or not to have services on Christmas day due to the lack of attendance or just focus on Christmas Eve. (Click here to read the MSNBC story) Being a Worship Leader/program direcor myself we spent weeks in staff meeting discussing what to do. ( and asking other churches) Now that its all said and done Im glad we stuck with Christmas services on Christmas Eve and day. It might sound crazy since we had to hold 7 services all together on both days and I am still trying to recover but it was a good choice. After all and no matter what, what is Christmas time for anyway?? Several churches said they cancelled since they were expecting low attendance and not expecting the "unchurched" to show (the unchurched being the primary focus of who they are trying to reach.) As for our church I know its safe to say over 70% of our attenders on Christmas Eve AND on Christmas day were those we ARE focusing on and those are the "Unchurched". I hope opportunities like this weren't missed by the many churches across the country who decided to close for different reasons. Whether overall it was the decision to cancel to allow families to stay home and spend time together, or because churches were "bowing to secular culture" as many media opponents criticized, or a lack of staffing due to being a mega church or just for the convenience of it all I don't know. My hope though is that churches of all sizes when it comes to programming and cooperate worship in today's socieity will prayerfully steer away from what seems like a "logical" decision to us and never replace our meeting times together for whatever reason with what could be a divine opportunity for God to do His thing!
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.- Hebrews 10:25