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Maurilio Amorim gives practical ideas for integrating your Christmas program with the church's larger mission.

Maurilio Amorim is the CEO of The A Group, a media, technology and branding firm in Brentwood, TN established in 2001.

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Jeff Glenn

commented on Dec 8, 2012

There are some great points in this video, but my experience as a pastor in a small church in a rural area is: 1) On December 24, families are spending time with one another which does not normally include a church service. 2) When families do attend church near Christmas, they normally come to see some type of traditional Christmas service/program/play because a child/grandchild is participating and they never come back until the following year. I've tried different "methods" to reach these people including presenting the Gospel. Having said all of that, I'm open to other ideas that other pastors who will watch this video might have. Thanks in advance!

Jeff Glenn

commented on Dec 8, 2012

I want to add another thought: I talked to a pastor friend about reaching people during a Christmas service to which he replied, "They're coming to see a child/grandchild perform. That's it. They do the same thing at school."

W. Sheldon Lee

commented on Dec 8, 2012

I'm from a rural area in the midwest where I don't think we ever had a Christmas Eve service. But I've been in Eastern PA for over 25 years and I've had to get with the culture. People come to Christmas Eve services here--and not just grandparents to watch their kids. In fact, we don't even have a children's play or nativity most years. But this is the one night of the year where our secular culture ventures to church and we shouldn't miss the opportunity.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Dec 8, 2012

I do not have a Christmas Eve service for the same reason Jeff expressed. I too pastor in a rural area. Christmas Eve is a time when people get together as families. I preach messages surrounding the birth of Christ from the Sunday after Thanksgiving (which includes Sunday night and Wednesday night also) until Christmas, sometimes the Sunday after depending on when Christmas falls. Our "Christmas Eve" service is the Sunday night before Christmas and we do a candel light service with the Christmas story from the Bible, and people singing. It is our best attended service of the year and I believe we wouldn't have as many people if we did it on Christmas Eve.

Buck Hughes

commented on Dec 9, 2012

I would just like to state the obvious. You must spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to minister to the hearts of those that show up. We should always do our best in preparation, but it isn't when or what we do as much as it is what God does. I think an attitude of low expectation shows a certain amount of lack of faith. Put your best into what you do and ask God to bless it for the sake of His Son's sacrifice. I appreciate the good ideas put forth in the video, and I'm sure Maurilio Amorim considers prayer is understood.

Prescott Jay Erwin

commented on Dec 10, 2012

Amorim is speaking from his own culture (think Brentwood, Tennessee), not ours, and from the point of view of a consultant, not a pastor. He served as a pastor, experienced some success, then left pastoral ministry. He doesn't realize that attending church on Christmas Eve is NOT part of the general culture. The LAST thing on MOST people's Christmas list is ANYthing to do with church during the holidays. We must know our own cultures, take advantage of the limited opportunities we have, make the most of every opportunity, and "give people a reason to come back."

James Walker

commented on Dec 11, 2012

I agree with all that Maurilio has written. Our church is your typical "downtown" established church. The Christmas Eve Candlelight service is a one hour service with readings, carols, videos, solos, lighting of the advent wreath throughout the service and culminating with people coming forward to receive communion picking up their candles and forming a large circle around the church. Singing Silent Night we then begin the candle lighting from the Christ candle on the Advent wreath. Every year has different content. Our children's Christmas pageant is on a different evening and we do not mix the two. We have been blessed with very good attendance and it seems the Holy Spirit has visited us lifting our spirits with love and fellowship as we depart. I can not fathom the people of God not coming together on Christmas Eve. One hour isn't too much to ask of Christian families who profess to be God's very own. People come who want to be there -- we usually have around 100 which is most of our congregation, visiting family and friends. I have never been about the numbers. Whether it be 15 or 100 in attendance it is all about corporately taking time to worship our Lord.

Prescott Jay Erwin

commented on Dec 11, 2012

Two points: 1) Amorim says "no other day but December 24" works "because it's built into the psyche of the culture to be in church on Christmas Eve." All I'm saying is, that's not generally true. I'm glad what you're doing works for you, James, but that's YOUR church's culture not the general population of the U.S. We all have to know our own cultures. 2) Amorim says the Christmas Eve service is an outreach for the community, but most churches who have those services do it for their own folks, like yours, James (you say your service is for Christian families and friends.) It's not generally outreach.

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