The Challenges of Christmas!

christmas-treeDecember 25th.  One of my supreme favorite days of the year.  For one, there are presents.  And then there is the ever so obvious birth of the Savior that started the whole need for Christmas to begin with.

But there is a challenge that comes with Christmas.  Mainly for people like me- a youth pastor.  We know that the next month will be a month that people think a lot about attending church.  And we know that just about every church, youth group and ministry will be focused on the Christmas Story for December.  So here is the dilemna- How do you teach on the same subject every year (Birth of Christ) and keep it interesting for both your regular attenders and the visiting Christmas crowd?

So here are some ideas I have had (they are rough but I am posting them to help get you thinking.)-

– Christmas through the Eyes of:
I did this last year with my youth group and it still comes up as a favorite series.  We looked at Mary, Joseph and Jesus on different weeks.  With each character of the Christmas story we looked at what we know from the Bible, then we humanized the characters and asked what might they be thinking at that moment, and then how can I apply this to me.  I think the best part was that students began to see Mary, Joseph and Jesus as humans, not pieces of a nativity

– Christmas, the DIrectors’ Cut
Apparently, Sycamore Creek did this a few years ago.  Most people, churched and unchurched know the “cookie cutter” version of the Christmas Story.  But there is so much more to the Christmas Story than Mary, Joseph and Jesus.  So in the Directors’ Cut, you look at the other parts of the Christmas Story.  Like, Zechariah, Elizabeth and the birth of John, the prophecies of Simeon, Anna, Zechariah, and so much more.

– I Told You So….
Very Simply, just imagine walking people through all the prophecies that came true just on the very first Christmas morning- from location, to Mary, to the census.  There are so many prophecies that I can see an entire series on the many prophecies of Christmas.

– Christmas Classics
There are so many Christmas movies out there, that you can use a different movie for every week of December.  Pulling life principles from the Bible that are revealed in the movie.  Plus you will have some built in video for your message courtesy of whatever movie you choose.

– X-mas
What if we did an entire series about what life would be like if that first Christmas never happened? I mean, think about it.  The school year would be different, our religious beliefs, activities, salvation would all be different.  Our hope for the future would be different.  It would be what the world wants- Christmas without Christ- but not what they need.

Got any other ideas for Christmas series?



  1. I appreciate the kind words. It is always exciting to connect to another in ministry through simply sharing thoughts and experiences. Not too familiar with your church, but I grew up in Columbus and actually worked at a course very near Sycamore Creek. Kinda random.
    Anyways, may God bless your ministry. Quick question though…what are some movies you used for “Christmas classics”. I like that idea, but was curious of what movies you chose.

  2. scottstem said

    Interesting that you grew up in Columbus. Sycamore Creek Church is in Pickerington, OH.

    For the Christmas Classics, you can you just about anything, but stay with some very familiar ones are good:

    – It’s a Wonderful Life- can cover topics like self-value, what you rely on for who you are, belief in self, etc.

    – How the Grinch stole Christmas- loaded with clips to teach on true joy, outreach (Cindy Lu inviting Grinch), changed lives, etc.

    – A Christmas Story- great for family relationships, desires, parent child relationships,

    There are a few ideas. Hope that helps!

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