What Are Leaders Thinking About Christmas this Year?
Over the last few weeks we have been surveying church leaders about their plans for Christmas. As we prepare to wind down the survey, I thought I would give a sneak peek of some of the early findings. Here are three quick takeaways from a preliminary look at the feedback.
Where We All Agree
This one probably comes as no surprise, but NONE (0%) of our survey participants expect the coming Christmas season to be like previous years. Much like the forced shift to “scattered” church that everyone experienced seven months ago, church leaders are staring down a Christmas season only a few weeks away that, without question, will be different.
This is simply a fact. It is the new reality for 2020. Whether that is a “good” or “bad” thing depends on perspective. Which leads to our next factoid.
Confidence or Doubt?
We asked leaders to share the level of confidence they feel when it comes to their current Christmas plans. Just over half, 52%, expressed moderate uncertainty regarding their plans as they approach this important time of year. More than one quarter (26%) feel a strong sense of uneasiness and, perhaps, a bit of panic, while only 22% are somewhat or very confident in their current plans.
If you are in panic mode, I want to pass along a word of encouragement: think simple. Some of the best ideas coming out of my conversations with leaders aren’t complicated. They are taking aim at what is most certain about the coming Christmas season and building a simple strategy around that.
What Won’t Change
When asked about Christmas traditions of the past that won’t change, the biggest ‘keeper’ this year is the candle lighting service. So far, 59% of survey participants shared that candle lighting has been a part of previous years’ experiences, and it will be again this year. Some admit that the experience will be different (and in various ways), but the tradition will withstand the limitations of the 2020 season.
As we wrap up the time for survey participation, there are two things you can do:
- Share the survey with ministry friends. If you would simply copy and paste this url in an email to a friend asking them to participate (as you have) that would be tremendous. The more participation we have, the more useful the results will be.
- Check out the Christmas Sprint Lab that starts next week! If you need some help gathering fresh ideas that will help you shape your Christmas plans, take part in one of our 3-week, cohort experiences.
Tim Nations most recently served as the Director of Facilitation and Leadership Community Director at Leadership Network. Tim has served in full-time ministry in churches across the North Texas area for over 15 years. He brings with him broad experience in communication, organization, planning, and facilitation.