Christmas planning without a strategy is like walking going to the store without a grocery list. You might get what you need but it’s not ideal.
Brandon Swain swings by today to share how you can do proper Christmas planning for your church. Ideally, you start early, but this will still work if you’re reading this during Thanksgiving week or even in December.
About Our Guest: Brandon Swain
Brandon Swain is a graduate of Davis College in Johnson City, New York. Brandon felt the call to ministry when he was 17. In college, he developed his passion for preaching, teaching, and connecting with pastors! It was while he cultivating this passion that he found God’s calling for him to be a pastor and church planter.
Brandon considers this calling to be who he is at his core. This is his “ethos” so to speak. He does not take his calling lightly and continually seeks God to mold him into the image of Christ. Brandon continues to pursue his passion and calling with his beautiful wife (Holly) and newborn daughter (Leona). While not empowering pastors, Brandon is likely watching some nerdy tv show, reading some nerdy comic, playing some nerdy game, or…well…he’s basically a nerd.
You can also find Brandon at:
Why Start Christmas Planning Before December
Brandon holds the belief that Christmas planning should start before December, November, even the fall.
Christmas discussions should start towards the end of Summer. This gives your team plenty of time to set goals, discuss how to accomplish them with events, and how you’re going to communicate.
When you get an earlier start, you have more time during December to promote and get people aware of your church’s Christmas happenings.
So what exactly should you be planning? Here we go…
Christmas Planning Stage 1: Establish Your Goals
Ideal deadline: September
First, figure out your primary objective:
- Bring in families?
- Engage singles?
- Reach young kids?
- What numbers do you want to see come in?
- The number of volunteers needed?
- What’s your budget?
Set the framework for what you need as far out in advanced. Even if you don’t know the details of what event or service you’re having, answering these questions will guide your planning towards an event that will accomplish your goals.
Christmas Planning Stage 2: Start Visual Branding
Ideal deadline: November
Starting with your visual assets and branding ahead of time will give you the time to put thought and intentionality into your “Christmas look.” You can have the edge on looking unique and standing apart from other events or programs in your area.
Also part of this stage is creating your Christmas landing page. A landing page is a simple page that is focused on one thing you want visitors to do. In this case, your Christmas landing page is a web page that’s all about Christmas information. It’s like a digital invite card.
Imagine the freedom in December you’ll have when you plan your visuals in advance? That’s more time to actually distribute flyers, plan your Facebook ads, write unique content like blog posts from your Pastor, and really dive deep into the next stage…
Christmas Planning Stage 3: Start Your Content Campaign
Ideal deadline: December 1
Now you have the time to plan your Facebook ads, get your mailers out, and pass out your flyers. Having stages 1 and 2 done before December gives you almost a whole month to get the word out about your event.
Also now that you’re creative is done, you have the freedom to grab extra content to promote your event:
- Behind the scenes footage and bonus videos
- Staff caroling around town
- Pastor blog posts about Christmas
- Funny videos (like the staff trying to create Christmas crafts)
- More content ideas available from For Ministry Resources
Whether you start after Thanksgiving or in the Summer, here are the essentials to planning your Christmas.
Start your Christmas planning with goals. Planning and selecting your events and services are a lot easier when you know what your goals are. You’ll also have more effective events.
After establishing your goals you can set your visual branding and graphics. Knowing what colors, design elements, and verbiage you’re using will make promotion a whole lot easier.
Then start running your actual promotions. With your goals and visuals already set you have a better idea of how to run your Facebook ads, where to pass out flyers or mail invites, and what kind of content you want to create.
If it’s December and you still haven’t planned your Christmas, the world isn’t over yet. Start now and get your ducks in a row so you can start promotion.
Where are you in your Christmas promotion? Do you start earlier or are you in a panic? Let us know how we can help in the comments below!