As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays draw near, churches are thinking of new and creative ways to share the holiday spirit in a way that is pandemic-friendly and safe for all those who participate. The holiday season may look different in 2020, but the heart and message behind it is still the same. For many churches, this means forgoing events that have happened for years and beginning new traditions. David Adams, director of the Texas Baptist Discipleship Team, encourages churches to look at this as a time of exciting new ideas and to get an early start on planning for this holiday season.
In order to foster collaborative input and ministry, the Discipleship Team hosted a Roundtable Discussion on Nov. 10, where church leaders gathered virtually to share holiday ministry ideas. Below are some of the ideas from the discussion. For the full discussion and to find more ideas and tips about holidays, children’s ministry and other topics, you can view the Roundtable Discussion series here.
Note: due to COVID-19 restrictions on city and local levels, some of these activities may not be suitable for your church. Be sure to check local guidelines and protocols in advance.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but there is still time to have a few easy crafts to remind children and families to thank God for all of his blessings!
Create a Thanksgiving pumpkin - Distribute or have families buy a pumpkin and write or paint things that they are thankful for on the pumpkin. Have families share their pumpkins on your church’s Facebook page or through social media platforms. This can also work with a paper turkey where each feather is a thing families are thankful for.
Gratitude Box - Have families decorate a box with wrapping paper, paint, markers or any other craft supplies they choose. In the lead-up to Thanksgiving, family members will drop notes of things they are thankful for. Then, on Thanksgiving, the family can read through the notes and reflect on God’s blessing together. Be sure that parents encourage children to add to the box regularly!
Thanksgiving box - Each Sunday school class can fill a box full of Thanksgiving items for local families in need. Kids can also make cards and crafts to include for the families. This activity can be modified so that families can drop-off items if meeting in-person is limited or if class members are high-risk.
Thankfulness tree - Put a large butcher paper tree on the wall, and have kids write things they are thankful for on paper leaves, which they can add to the tree. This can either be in individual classrooms or on a hallway where everyone can contribute, depending on social distancing and classroom separation policies your church has deemed wise.
Remember to appreciate staff, volunteers, and teachers! Some churches celebrate a “thanks” for “giving” day to honor the hardworking people who keep Sunday School, children’s ministry and other aspects of the church going.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for a church. Though things may look different this year, there are still plenty of ways to share the good news of the Gospel and have fun.
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