Each year at MKCC we endeavour to give as many opportunities for people to connect with our church. One of these opportunities is an event that takes place on the Sunday before Christmas – Celebrate Christmas.
At 6 pm we host a very traditional Carols by Candlelight service with special guests, MK Brass, a local brass band. We look to give people exactly what they are looking for, a little bit of tradition. The brass band lead us in many of the well know traditional carols, we walk through the Christmas Story through readings and video, involve the children, give a few things away and end with a simple short challenge from some aspect of the story.
However we open our doors a couple of hours earlier for some fun, including:
It is fantastic to see so many people from our community visit our church, many for the first time, so it is important to get intentional.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome
You will have people visit your church for the first time so get intentional about welcoming people. Remember how you feel when you visit a place for the first time. Start in the Car Park. We have only 100 spaces on site but hundreds in a local college not far away. We ask all our people to park at the college for this event leaving every space on site for visitors. Then we run a shuttle bus to and from the college.
Start the welcome in the Car park. Get some fun going. We even have some music going there. Add a few extra car park attendants and ensure every guest can be helped if required. But remember don’t go over the top give them space. A great welcome to one person may be a bit creepy to another.
Have your stewards watch for people looking a little lost and get them to ask if people need help, without pestering people.
Review all your signage. Does it make sense to a first time guest or does it use inside language. Is it prominent even when their is a crowd.
During the service explain and give direction as you go. They probably don’t know when to stand up and sit down.
We even try to give them an opportunity to give that would connect with them. We present a local charity that is making a difference at Christmas, outside of our local church, and give people the opportunity to give. In the past we have featured, Winter Night Shelter & MK Foodbank.
We always try during the service to give our guests a reason to come back at a later time – maybe information about un up coming teaching series in the New Year which would connect with them.
You can download for free the graphics we use to promote this event on our website, social media and even invitation card here.