Churches handle Christmas service in many different ways. Some have a big Christmas eve service, others meet on Christmas morning, and some put all their energy into the Sunday before Christmas. But no matter when your church’s Christmas service falls, it’s a critical time.
Along with Easter and Mother’s Day, Christmas is part of the trifecta of critical services. It’s one of the most highly anticipated and attended—especially by people who don’t regularly come to church.
Everything must go well. To make sure you’re ready for your big Christmas service, here’s a checklist of four tech concerns that you want to keep front-of-mind.
1. Not troubleshooting new tech
Because Christmas is such a critical time for churches, it’s often when they invest money into upgrading tech in the sanctuary. Maybe they buy a better projector, a new soundboard, or a new lighting rig.
Unfortunately, they don’t always give themselves enough Sundays between purchasing the new gear and using it. And being in a rush to have it ready to go for the Christmas service can lead to big headaches.
If you purchase new tech for the Christmas season, think carefully about worst-case scenarios. If those scenarios sound completely untenable, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to work the kinks out of new gear.
2. Not replacing broken or old tech
Sometimes churches hobble along too long with outdated tech or tools that are on their last legs. Unfortunately, it always seems to completely breakdown on the day you need it the most. This is why it’s good to take a quick inventory in late summer or early fall of everything you rely on for services.
Take a critical look at your sound system and child check-in tools. Make sure that everything is working well. If it’s on its last leg, strongly consider the cost of it not working for your Christmas service. This will help you triage all the potential tech problems that you need to address.
This is also a good time of year to replace light bulbs—including those tough to reach ones in the sanctuary.
3. Forgetting to troubleshoot giving solutions
Quite a few churches rely on digital giving on Sunday morning. So it is critical that everything is up and running during your most important services. Thankfully, Pushpay is as committed to delivering a trouble-free giving experience as you are. But you’ll still want to check your wi-fi connection and make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Remember, there are going to be a lot of people attending who don’t typically show up at services, make sure they have an opportunity to give, too. Double-check your giving slides and make sure they’re clearly communicating how to download and use your app or your text-to-give number. Because if your communication falters, it won’t matter if your tech is running correctly.
4. Not having the tech you need
Sometimes people come to our churches with expectations, and when you don’t meet those expectations, these visitors don’t return. On some level, there’s nothing we can do about that. We’ll never be able to satisfy everyone’s desires. But on the other hand, sometimes they don’t come back because we’re ignoring obvious needs.
Let’s say that your child check-in system is a mess. Nursery workers are using a clipboard to take down everyone’s names, and that information is left out where anyone can walk off with it, throwing child pickup into chaos. People have a right to be concerned about these kinds of security.
Put a team together to talk about your tech needs. Where are the holes? You’re not just looking for areas that can improve the service experience: a new projector or better lighting. Consider the areas where tech could make people feel more secure and comfortable: giving solutions, child check-in tools, better lighting in the parking lot. Too often, we put money toward technology that solicits a “wow,” instead of toward things that make people feel protected and valued.
Don’t let your tech ruin Christmas
You’re going to put a lot of time and attention into your Christmas service this year, don’t let tech problems distract people from the reason for the season. By taking the time to make sure you have what you need and it’s all ready to go, you can focus on what matters—the holy child in the manger.
For more on planning and hosting great Christmas services this year, download our free resource, How To Prepare for Your Best Christmas Yet, today!