Ah, Christmas, the greatest time of the year for many, the time of the year where Christians are celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus; the time of year people spend time with family and fill their weeks with so much to do they become overwhelmed. “What should I preach on at Christmas time?” is a question I ask myself every year. Christmas preaching matters. Obviously you have various options and routes you could take on this. In many contexts lining up with Advent is the expected way to go, in other contexts your people might wonder what Advent even is.
So as we look at this idea of preaching at Christmas time what should we do? Many of us as preachers feel trapped—our people expect a sermon or a series of sermons taken directly from the Christmas story they know and love; if you try to change it up too much you are going to hear about it.
I have thought about some principles to remember when the planning process begins for you on what to preach on around this time of the year, and here are a few to remember:
You might think “well obviously,” and we feel the same way! We have written and talked on the podcast about the importance of preaching Jesus every time. But work hard to truly put this into practice at Christmas time. Here are a couple reasons why:
1. Non-Christians in the Seats
Some people might be in church for the first time ever, first time in 15 years, first time in one year, so make sure you present Jesus in a clear, concise, powerful and relevant way.
2. Your people have their minds on other things
Your people love the Christmas season for many things other than Jesus and the Gospel message; speak through the distraction and redirect them to the savior.
3. Jesus is the only reason for Christmas!
This point is pretty clear—in the church we celebrate Christmas because of Jesus. Make that as clear and powerful as possible.
Preach on Life Issues That Come With This Season
One issue that comes to mind when I think of the Christmas season is materialism. We see people rushing to the store and fighting in the aisles to score 10 dollars off that toy their kid needs for Christmas. Another issue I see is the need to recognize the Sabbath and rest. There are many issues that arise in the context of the holiday season. Feel empowered to preach on those.
Preach With a Heart Open to Lost People
Sure we already touched on this a little bit, and yes! you should be doing this all year long! But if you are doing it right, lost people will be coming in the door this Christmas season, especially on Christmas Eve. You must have a heart to reaching people, finding a way into their heart, finding a way to connect with them. So many times I have seen a preacher phone in a Christmas Eve service, do not let this be you!
This article originally appeared here.