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Confessions of a Small Church Pastor

Looking for Great Christmas Outreach Ideas


I’m looking for great Christmas outreach ideas, and if your church has one I would like to hear about it.  The only criteria is that the idea has to have worked in a “small” congregation of less than 300 in worship.  Leave a comment here, with a brief sketch of your idea — what you did, why you did it, and what results were produced during your Christmas outreach.  Leave a link or email address for me to get back in touch with you.

If your idea is chosen, your church’s story might get told in my “Small Church, Big Idea” column in Outreach magazine.   Merry Christmas in April!

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9 replies

  1. At my previous church we did two things:

    1. we passed out paper grocery sacks to the members with a list of things to include (thigns that would be useful for Christmas dinner). We had then return on a Sunday morning that included a sermon about reach the community. That night we gathered the church together and distributed the bags to people the community.

    Response: We did not receive an influx of people. However, the membership responded and provided the bags that they then delivered. It was a great time of seeing the church be the church.

    2. We had a Christmas Eve service that included a lot of cookies and such. We also had a lot “Christmas flowers” in the sanctuary. After the Christmas Eve service we had people take the cookies and flowers into the community. We delivered them with a note to he local hotel, restaurants, and CASINOS.

    Response: the people were so grateful. It really stinks on Christmas Eve, regardless of you religious standing. We were so blessed to provide them a smile and a true meaning of the day.

  2. Christmas gift wrapping at local store. I have seen this at Barnes and Noble. A few church members offer to wrap your gifts for you. No charge but donations welcome. They had several different styles of paper as well as some decos and tape of course. I had presents wrapped at Barnes and Noble and being Christmas it was so appreciative to have one less thing to do. This gesture was appreciated by both the wrappers and me. I have also seen other churches stand outside wal-mart and offer the same service. Hot chocolate goes a long way too. Serve this whilst the people are having gifts wrapped and strike up conversation which can lead to talking about faith.

  3. Another idea from ’101 ways to reach your community’ by Steve Siogren – Scotch tape giveaway. Everyone wraps presents at Christmas, so everyone needs tape. As shoppers come out of the store with presents in hand, offer them tape with a connection card. For the past few years around Christmas, my church has purchased hundreds of rolls of tape and given them out to overwhelmed customers. It’s amazing how many shoppers forget to buy the tape. We attach a connection card and offer them a little bit of holiday encouragement on their way to the car.

  4. Sing Christmas carols at a senior assisted living facility. Take gift bags to a local juvenile detention center. Collect Christmas gifts for children of prisoners.

  5. Last year out church set out to bring twelve blessings of Christmas. We splt into 4 groups and each group took $25.00 and had to bless 12 different people within an hour. It was a rase to be a blessing. You didn’t half to use the money with every blessing. Some guys helped workers push buggies back into the store others paid for peoples stff at the dollar store. People were overwhelmed with the gesters.

  6. Every year our church does an “Angel Tree.” We ask our members to suggest underprivileged children that they either know exist in our own congregation or outside around their homes or work. Last year we helped over 90 children (our church is only about 250 members.) and this year we are assisting about 55 children. This year we are helping approximately 10 children from our own congregation and about 40 children from a local lighthouse ministry outreach. The director of the outreach was overwhelmed, stating that these parents had given their small gift requests for their children at a Thanksgiving outreach but the director told them without a true miracle they did not have the funds to help. We stepped in and watched God work! So amazing every year to be a part of this.

  7. Our church doesn’t do any outreach programs at Christmas. However, I try to do things with our Missional community and individually with our family. One way that we try to reach out is to bless those who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a worship service on Christmas or Christmas eve. We try to identify those people: Police officers, firemen, gas station attendents, and give them a little gift package.

    You can see more on my post: “7 Ways To Be Missional This Christmas” http://faithim.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/7-ways-to-be-missional-this-christmas/

  8. All year round we look for intentional ways to be a blessing in our community. One thing my family adopted is whenever we eat at a certain local fast food place, we always buy a $10 gift card to be left at the register and used on another customer. Usually it’s the next person in line but we wanted to be anonymous so we let the cashier present it and it’s amazing what $10 can do…the reactions are priceless. The manager and the staff at the restaurant have also been touched and share with us that they are now looking for opportunities in their own lives to bless others. It’s also broken down some racial barriers because we are different in ethnicity than many of those that work in this restaurant; one girl admitted she didn’t like people of our color but we changed her mind. It’s showing God’s love in practical ways and it makes a difference!

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