How to Make the Most of Christmastime at Your Church

With this wonderful time of year come endless excuses to celebrate and rejoice. It is a time best spent with family, friends, and of course — the church. Make your community excited to get involved with all you have in store by planning an action-packed program that offers something for everyone.

Chris Holland
November 21, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

9 Church Christmas Program Ideas

With this wonderful time of year come endless excuses to celebrate and rejoice. It is a time best spent with family, friends, and of course — the church. Make your community excited to get involved with all you have in store by planning an action-packed program that offers something for everyone.

Get ahead of the game and start planning your church Christmas program ideas early to ensure you are fully prepared for the festivities. Whether you are a part of a sprawling church network that operates across several campuses, or a small church community looking for inspiration, keep reading for some incredible Christmas programs for church.

Church Christmas Program Ideas

1. Host a Live Nativity

The nativity story being told

Acting out the nativity story at your church is one of the best church Christmas program ideas that doesn’t have to cost a thing! Advertise it around your local area to spark interest, or even take to the streets to raise awareness about your church and let everyone know they are welcome this Christmas. Ask your congregation if they have any accessories at home to lend for the nativity cause — depending on where you live, someone might even have sheep to bring in for the day!

2. A Christmas Concert

Christmas concert at church

What better way to spend a cold winter's night than listening to the skilled musicians of your community? Publish in your church newsletter and social media channels that you are seeking local talent to host an at-home Christmas concert and see who signs up. This could be an incredible opportunity for someone to build their confidence, fine-tune their music skills, and provide a cozy sing-a-long event for your church. Get your church choir to lead the way, and enlist the help of any other musically-talented rising stars in your church.

3. Social Media Challenge

Church teen sharing on social media about the deeper meaning of christmasr

Encourage your church members to think about the deeper meaning of Christmas throughout the festive season with a social media challenge starting on December 1st. Challenge your congregants to a 25-day challenge where they have to post something related to God every day. You can choose the theme to be specific – like a passage of scripture or prayer – or leave it general. Choose something like ‘good deeds’ to give your church members more freedom over what they share.

4. Plan a Toy Drive

Kid getting gift at a toy drive

Share the Christmas spirit with those less fortunate by organizing a toy drive at your church. Team up with a local charity and offer up your volunteers and workers, or take the reins and write a list of needed items yourself. Label the gifts ‘from Santa’ and deliver them to children throughout your neighborhood, so everyone feels the love this Christmas, despite any financial difficulties their family may experience.

5. Christmas Potluck

Christmas potluck at church

Hot, hearty, and wholesome food is one thing we all associate with Christmastime, which is why church Christmas programs almost always include a potluck or cookout. Build stronger bonds within your congregation while breaking bread and eating delicious food cooked by everyone. This time of year is all about community, so arrange as many meet-ups as possible — it will especially serve those who are lonely during the holidays.

Christmas Programs for Small Churches

6. Bake Cookies Together

Baked cookies

One of the best Christmas program ideas for small churches is a cookie-baking session (I mean, who doesn't love cookies?). Everyone can come together to handmade delicious sweet snacks that can be enjoyed by all and even handed out to non-members living in your community. Kids can get an introduction to baking, helped by older people who come along, and expert chefs can show off their talents. You could even transform it into a mini bake-off competition!

7. Follow a Program

Christmas Road Trip program cover

Children’s Ministry Deals offers an impressive selection of free Christmas programs for small churches. Most span four weeks and more closely resemble a festive curriculum, but certainly tick the box of free simple Christmas programs for small churches. Whatever the size of your Christmas budget this year, get into the spirit with some incredible free options available for download online.

8. Church Secret Santa 

Kid getting gift for secret santa

Gift-giving activities make simple yet heartwarming Christmas program ideas for church. Small churches can easily organize a secret Santa for all church members, building bonds and a tight-knit sense of community. Set a budget limit so that everyone receives a gift of similar value, and arrange a time to exchange them. Watch people’s faces light up as they open their token gifts and feel the Christmas cheer.

9. Simplify a Show

Simple Christmas show

While the kids' ministry department of a smaller church may feel out of its depth to perform a Christmas musical or show, there are plenty of ways to pull it off. These free Christmas plays offered by Ministry-to-Children have easy-to-learn scripts and incorporate songs that the kids already know, which halves the amount of work needed. Plus, kids love having the chance to shine, so get them up on your church’s stage, no matter how small it may be.


Merry Christmas hangged letters

The sky's the limit when it comes to choosing your church Christmas program ideas, so follow the spirit of your congregation and welcome any good ideas they might have. Classic events like Christmas caroling, soup kitchen volunteering, and wreath-making can’t be forgotten, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box with your festivities.

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