Doing A Kid Led Christmas Service with Just 1 Practice
Does your church do something for Christmas with the kids?
My guess is your answer is “Yes;” Christmas is a great opportunity to include kids in the broader church!
But does whatever you do sometimes seem (especially on your bad days) to take more effort and energy than it’s worth?
Does it seem harder to get momentum behind it each year?
Do many of the kids seem to miss more practices than they make?
By the end is most everyone stripped of joy, just wanting to get it over with?
Some (or all of those) questions might resonate with you; I know they did at our church.
So we decided to try something new: do a kid led Christmas service and have just 1 practice.
We piloted it last year, and it went so well we’re doing it again this year!
Here are the benefits we found:
- More kids can be involved because they only have to commit to one weekend (Sat/Sun).
- It doesn’t burn your volunteers out because they only have to commit to one weekend.
- It doesn’t burn you out because you only have to coordinate and commit to one weekend.
- Kids and parents get excited about it just as much as other things we’ve done in the past that required a lot more effort.
- Parent get a Saturday to themselves to go Christmas shopping or enjoy some quiet time.
- The performance is more authentic because kids haven’t spent months over-memorizing the material.
- We’re able to work within whatever Christmas series our church is doing.
Now here’s what the whole process of putting on the Kid Led service looks like:
We do the Kid Led practice the Saturday before they take over our adult services so everything is fresh.
We ask kids to arrive at 9 am.
We have a quick breakfast of cereal and milk.
And we actually start at 9:30 because most of our kids are late (is that just a problem we have?).
From 9:30-10:00 we gather all the kids together and let them decide which parts of the service they’d like to participate in.
In the Kid Led service, some things involve all kids, some things involve just a few, and some involve just one child.
All Kids Practice
From 10:00-11:00 we practice all the parts of the Kid Led service that include everyone.
We have all kids participate in a song.
We have all kids participate in an introduction skit.
And we have all kids participate in our message.
Kids Choice Practice
From 11:00-12:00 we breakout into the parts of our Kid Led service that have a few kids or just one.
We have a few kids on the worship team.
We have a few kids running our crowd game.
We have a few kids doing scripture readings during the message.
We have a few kids praying throughout the service.
And we have one kid reading a benediction at the close.
From 12:00-12:30 we have lunch.
We normally buy pizza for the kids.
We hang out, have fun, and take a break.
From 12:30-2:00 we run through the whole Kid Led service a couple times.
This is time for us to sharpen everything.
It gives the kids an opportunity to get a feel for the service flow.
It also helps us to make sure the timing is good, so we don’t go too long or short.
Sunday Take Over
On Sunday we take over the adult services.
Our first service is 9:30, so we ask kids to arrive at 8:30.
Then at 8:45 (again taking into account that whole late thing), we do one last run through.
At 9:15, some of our leaders take a group of kids to be part of the greeting team.
At this point we also choose a small group of kids to participate in collecting the offering.
Finally at 9:30, we take it over!
I’d love to hear some creative ways you include kids during Christmas that are outside the norm. Leave a comment!
And if this post was helpful in getting you thinking, please pass it along by sharing on Facebook!
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