Skipping Christmas?

Whenever Christmas falls on a Sunday, Protestant churches see a decline in attendence. Some mega-churches—Willow Creek, IL; Southland Christian Church, KY; Fellowship Church, TX, and others— have decided to cancel their Christmas services due to lack of interest.

David Wayne, the Jollyblogger, has a good post on the subject, including links to what other bloggers are saying.

I have to admit that I’m shocked by the decision to close churches on Christmas. It seems to me that we Christians are always lamenting the lack of “Christ in Christmas,” so surely cancelling church services is like throwing up your hands and handing the holiday to Santa and his mega-corporation elves.

Bad decision. Terrible message. Dreadful symbolism.


One of my GodBlogCon friends is Pastor Mark Daniels, who writes great stuff over at Better Living. Mark has just posted Should Churches Close on Christmas?, and here is a bit of his good thinking on the subject:

Sunday is the day we Christians set aside to remember an event even more important than the birth of Jesus. Every Sunday, we Christians say, is to be a “little Easter,” a weekly opportunity to thank and honor God for the new life that can be ours when we surrender our lives, our pasts, our futures, and our sins to that same Jesus. …

Maybe on one Sunday in the year, the megachurches could do without their meticulously-crafted worship celebrations, effective though I’m sure they are in reaching people for Christ. That way, they wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money. Such a stripped-down approach seems especially appropriate on the day we’ll also remember the birth of the Savior not in a high-tech maternity ward, but in a smelly barn, Whose earthly parents were from peasant stock. God likes simple.


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  1. Agreed. Way to go on the nomination!

  2. I must admit that I have never heard of this before. However, this is the second time this week that I have heard that some churches plan to close on Christmas. What the heck???

    We usually attend on Christmas Eve. Is that what most people do and why some churches close on Christmas? And, why only when it happens to fall on a Sunday? I don’t get it? (I must sound like a dumb blonde…not to say that blondes ARE dumb…)

  3. Great. Now I’ll have to admit that the senior pastor at my church was right. 🙂 He insisted there be a service on Sunday (Christmas) morning, because people who grew up going to church on Sunday want to be in church on Sunday. (So it won’t be a “seeker” service, obviously!) But Christine raises another interesting question – why don’t we have church on Christmas morning every year?

  4. I posted on this at my web site Churches Closed… if you want a different view point.

    Big Chris

    Because I said so blog