So much effort goes into planning in our churches around Christmas time. Much more than just Christmas Eve services. But, when all the Christmas festivites are finished, what happens next? Here are some suggestions.

1.  Thank your people.

The week between Christmas and New Years is the perfect opportunity to thank people in and out of your church. In fact, we're calling it #thankyouweek. It's not enough to be thankful…you've actually got to say it. Out loud. With your words. Consider thanking these groups of people this week.

  • Thank volunteers for serving. Christmas isn’t just a busy time for pastors. It’s a busy time for volunteers. Think of the nights out people gave to serve, set up, clean up and more. And, people did all of this in addition to all of their regular responsibilities at work and at home. Don’t just say, “thanks for serving” – make it personal.
  • Thank guests who attended your church for the first time. Ditch the form letter and send a personal note. It’s worth your time and it makes a big impact.
  • Thank donors for giving. Whether someone gave $5 or wrote a big check, a first-time gift to a church is a big deal. People who gave to your church didn’t make a financial decision – they made a spiritual one. Again, ditch the form letter and send a personal note.

Here is a digital download of some thank you cards you could use. You'll get original, editable artwork so you can order from your favorite local or online printer.

2.  Reflect.

The days between Christmas and January 1st are some of the best days to think back on the previous year. It’s these moments of reflection that will help you lock in the learning. Take some time to answer these questions about 2014.

  • What relationships were developed?
  • What were your biggest accomplishments?
  • What did you learn about yourself, your team, and your calling?
  • What didn’t go well and why?
  • Based on what you learned, what are your biggest opportunities?

3.  Take to rest.

Christmas can be anything but a time of “comfort and joy” for pastors, so take advantage of the built-in down time and take some time off. And, make sure you extend this offer to your staff and key volunteers as well.

You don’t want to go into the New Year feeling worn out and tired, so rest, relax and recharge. The church will be okay for a few days without you in the office.

What are your plans for the days between Christmas and New Years?

So What's Next?

Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.

Ultimately, church growth is up to God. But are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?

We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. As a result we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.

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