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Blog // Thoughts
December 8, 2005

Churches Closed For Christmas?

A couple of days ago this newstory was posted over on the Christian Musician Forum. It appears some megachurches are cutting back on Christmas day services, which just seems absurd to me. Brad Boydston as also been been blogging the story and comments, “The reason given for the closures on what has historically been considered […]

A couple of days ago this newstory was posted over on the Christian Musician Forum. It appears some megachurches are cutting back on Christmas day services, which just seems absurd to me. Brad Boydston as also been been blogging the story and comments,

“The reason given for the closures on what has historically been considered one of the Church’s highest holy days (“holidays”) is that this allows staff members and volunteers to spend the holiday, which is on Sunday this year, with their families. I suspect, though, that more so, these churches know that they’ll have a hard time drawing a crowd for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. In a consumer-driven culture you really only get a single shot at people during any given week. And since Christmas Eve tends to be the largest crowd draw of the year — that one wins out.”

It is a very interesting decision and somewhat surprising that for contemporary churches, Christmas eve would have a bigger draw; that is not my experience in the UK or Australia. Moreover, it has always seemed that Christmas is the holy day that most attracts non-Church folk to services (maybe the only day that does). Finally, it is hard not to see this as a dangerous capitulation to the consumerisation of Christmas.

Brad Boydston has also linked two other great blogposts on the story. Internet Monk who does a really good job of surveying and commenting upon blogger discussion of the story whilst Ben Witherington’s comments sum up for me what is wrong in this decision,

“Our culture does not need any encouragement to be more self-centered and narcissistic or to stay at home on Sunday. It is already that way. Christmas above all else should be a day when we come together as the body of Christ to worship and adore the Lord Jesus. Christmas should be the day above all days where we don’t stay home and open all those things we bought for ourselves INSTEAD of going to church. Christmas should be the day when we forget about ourselves for a few hours and go and honor the birthday of the great King, our Savior. ”

UPDATE: Church Marketing Sucks has also weighed into the debate.

Technorati Tags: Mega-Church, Christmas, Worship, Ecclesiology

Responses
Barbara (Xerraire) 14 years ago

I agree completely, and found your article, blogging on the same subject.

Well done,
Barb

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