Are Churches Too Busy at Christmas? Survey says…

My family’s calendar and my church’s calendar are literally crammed full of Christmas “stuff”.  Just about every night and certainly every weekend brings a new Christmas ministry or event.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

christmas-exhaustionI’m asking because I really don’t know.  These things (at least the ones I’m talking about here) are not the commercial, shop-till-you-drop, Santa Clause and elves things.  They are real ministries and fellowship events and worship services.  Most of them are traditions for my church and for my family… good, God-honoring things that Christmas would not be the same without.  Sunday School parties, ministry team gatherings, Christmas musicals, children singing,  Deacon Christmas gatherings, packing and delivering food boxes to families in need, collecting for foreign missions, etc.  It is all the “stuff” we have developed as ways to honor the Lord during this season.  But wow, it is BUSY stuff.  And I am honestly asking, is it too much?  Is it even possible to do too much ministry?

I will not bore you here with all the standard wisdom about remembering the reason for the season, or the Martha/Mary comparisons about busy versus being, or the standard Christian Santa-bashing, or even a message about the simplicity of the nativity.  Yes, there is truth in all of that, but you and I both know those things already.  I understand and appreciate the difference in priorities between the commercial side of Christmas and the Spiritual side.  I mean to ask a slightly different question here.  I am asking a question about the priorities within the Spiritual side alone.

Is there a line which we as a church family should watch and not cross in terms of busy-ness during this season?  If so, what does it look like?  How do we know if we have crossed it?  I very much welcome your comments!

UPDATE: This post originally included a survey which is now closed.  The survey asked whether you thought churches should (a) get much busier at Christmas, (b) get a little busier, but keep the reason for the season in mind, (c) stay about the same year round, or (d) cut back at Christmas and give families a chance toi pull together.  Those responding were fairly evenly spread across all four answers, but (b) got the most responses, with 29%.

© Blake Coffee

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