This year is a unique year as it pertains to the Christmas holiday and church life. Christmas is on a Sunday. Obviously this happens every so many years and when it does it puts churches in an interesting situation. Does the church hold worship services on Christmas Day? Grace Fellowship has chosen not to have services (along with many other churches.) I have been asked a couple of times why we have made this choice and so this post is dedicated to giving some of the thoughts our leadership considered in making the decision that we made.
- We have 4 Christmas Weekend services planned – Many do not realize just how much goes into planning and executing a worship experience on the weekends here at Grace. For us to pull off more services that weekend would be quite a challenge. Due to the size and space availability of our facility, we would not just be able to have one service on Sunday the 25th. This would present quite a challenge in executing 2 distinct services (4 of one kind and 2 and 3 of another) for that weekend.
- We want to be sensitive to the families of our volunteers and staff – The volunteers and staff here at Grace give a great deal of time to our church. We want them to be able to have some of the holiday weekend to enjoy as a family. Asking them for several hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday just did not seem right. Sunday the 25th will be a great time to worship and celebrate as a family in your home.
- Many in our church would not come to services on Christmas – There are some who would love service on Christmas morning. However, many have shared that they would not come on Christmas. The data from last time the calendar fell this ways showed that church attendance was way down.
- We feel like we are providing a sufficient opportunity for the unchurched to celebrate Christmas in a church – We believe that between the 4 services we are having (2 on Friday and 2 on Saturday) that there are sufficient times and opportunities for the people of Grace to bring a friend or a family member. We also think that most unchurched are likely to attend a service with a friend or family member whenever they go. So if that is on Christmas Eve or on a Friday or whatever, the day does not matter. Our church tries not to make any decision without considering how it impacts our ability to serve and care for those we believe God deeply loves.
- Church is not about a day – Our church already has Saturday services each week so our people get this. But we need to be reminded that God sees each day as holy. It is not about just having church on Sunday.