Often, we dive into a project like a Christmas outreach or Christmas services without thinking about how it fits in with everything around it.
- How does it affect the ongoing activities of the church?
- How does it impact the public perception (brand) of the church?
- How can the momentum be leveraged to help boost the church in January?
- How does the energy and finances spent on Christmas yield positive returns?
Our holiday checklists become so busy that we often jump in and work hard to get the thing done. I’ve been there…trust me, I get it.
In my design concepts classes at Lindenwood University, I teach my students about a process to help them work through their designs from start to finish. It looks something like this:
- Target Audience – Who are we trying to reach?
- Message / Theme / Concept – What message or theme will reach them?
- Composition – How can we compose our design in such a way to deliver the message or accomplish the theme?
- Components – What elements do we need to use to achieve our desired composition?
- Tools – What are the best tools (software in this case) to use for our design?
We’ve already examined how this applies to planning christmas with finding our target audience and looking at our message / theme / concept. Now it’s time to think about how our Christmas design (outreach, programming, services, etc) should be composed in relationship to the rest of what our church does.
In design composition, we consider placement, divisions, harmony, unity, alignment, and flow. If we use our imagination, I think these might help us in our Christmas planning as well.
How does the time, location, and arrangement of our Christmas services, outreaches, and events help or hurt the overall mission and direction of our church during this season.
How can we use divisions, or differences from our normal programming, to give emphasis to the Christmas effort?
Harmony & Unity
How can we leverage our Christmas event to bring unity to our congregation? How can we rally our people around a common cause?
How does what we’re planning for Christmas align with our mission and purpose? How can we plan it in a way that it causes the community to align with what we’re doing (as opposed to adding noise and complexity to this already-busy season)?
Again, how does our Christmas emphasis flow from what we’ve done throughout the past year to what we’re doing next year?
The process of planning for Christmas at our church is similar to planning a design project. By thinking about “composition,” we can make sure that our efforts in December aren’t an interruption to the mission, goals, vision, and calling of our church, but rather a part of the composed whole.
Next time we will look at some of the communications components that will help us reach our planning christmas goals. Until then, what are the things you’re doing to make sure your “composition” works for Christmas? Leave a comment…