Churches Can Digitally Engage Over the Holidays with These 19 Fresh Ideas

In your church, you always look for unique ways to connect with your community during the holidays. Of course, churches can digitally engage year-round. But this holiday season, it could be an even more important mission. 

Christmas is a joyous time of year for most. However, it’s also the season that inspires people to reconnect with their faith. However, there are some in your community who could still be struggling with loneliness, joblessness, or finances. And, when so many are still reluctant to explore services in person, you’ll need to get even more creative about connecting digitally to share the Gospel.

Churches can digitally engage over the holidays with a variety of tools. Further, you can use the resources you have to come up with new ways to connect. Additionally, it’s a great time to consider adopting new digital channels for engagement.

Talk to your members and church leaders about their holiday engagement ideas this year. And, if you need a little help, these 19 examples might just be the creative suggestions your church needs. Then, your church can tap into these ways to digitally reach the masses. As a result, your ministry can make a real impact this year. 

1. Promote Your Church’s Digital Engagement Options

Digital engagement means being available online. So, it’s important to remember that people won’t find your church online if they don’t know how or where to find it. Therefore, spend these next few weeks promoting everything your ministry is doing for the holiday season.

Of course, share service times and your YouTube channel libraries. But also, post your holiday calendar of events and encourage members to share with their social media profiles.

Additionally, make your roster of events front and center on your website. Send digital reminders to your members, asking them to share upcoming festivities, too. From Christmas tree lighting to youth ministry services, now’s the time to make the public aware of everything your church has going on this season.

2. Digital Invitations and Welcome Messages

Take things a step further by also inviting people to join your holiday celebrations. Be open about welcoming new guests to Christmas services. Promote choir performances. Remind anyone coming across your website or social media page that all are welcome to attend.

Churches can digitally engage, too, by making sure it’s easy to do so. For example, ensure your online links aren’t broken. Verify your website is easy to browse on mobile devices. And any videos or live streams you share should have clear audio and crisp imaging. If you’re not sure your tech is up to par, now is a great time to make those necessary software upgrades.

3. Churches Can Digitally Engage with Social Media Prayer Chains

From a global pandemic to economic hardships, people need the power of prayer now more than ever. And your church can explore digital connection by way of social media prayer chains. Ask church members for ideas and input. You can then use the church’s social media channels to extend prayers and faith messages in support of those who may be suffering most this holiday season.

4. Churches Can Digitally Engage with Choir Performances

Nothing touches the heart or lifts the spirit quite like a choir performance. And at Christmastime, the sounds of holiday cheer can resonate with everyone watching. For example, churches can digitally engage using the Facebook Live feature to share the season’s best songs.

If your church choir has more than one performance on the official calendar, share and promote them live online. Post often to remind viewers that they’re invited to view. And maybe, you could inspire some to hear those angelic voices in person as a church guest!

5. Digital Charity with Other Local Organizations

Churches can engage digitally this holiday season by working with other area organizations for charitable works. Look for new ways to join forces with others, to amplify the giving message this Christmas. For example, maybe your church can help sponsor a meal drive or be a toy drop-off location.

Some churches have success with online fundraising efforts to sponsor local children’s Christmas shopping programs. Others help promote seasonal school programs, as well. Whatever’s happening in your community, look for a way to join the effort this Christmas. As a result, your church can digitally engage a broader audience and advance charitable reach.

6. Churches Can Digitally Engage by Listing Virtual Giving Resources

In addition to the growing number of people who need help, there are countless community members out there who are eager to give. In a lot of cases, those who want to be charitable can struggle to find the right ways to give.

Your church could bridge that gap by promoting church giving online. Share easy-to-find lists of local charities, including those associated with your ministry. Make virtual gift-giving easy with donation platforms on your website. And share those donation links in citywide Facebook groups and through all of your social media platforms.

7. Online Youth Programs and Christmas Plays

Nothing inspires more joy for many than children on stage. So if you have youth Christmas programs on your calendar this holiday season, share them online. Look for ways to offer live viewing or share recorded Christmas programs on your website and other channels. You won’t need complicated equipment, either. Just use the best cell phone you have on hand or ask parents to share their recordings online.

Churches can engage digitally with youth ministry plays, kids’ choir performances, or musical solos from your Sunday service. Whatever the kids are doing to help your church celebrate the holiday season, share it online. They can inspire others to connect with their faith and your church. And you might be able to invite families to join in the fun as guests.

8. Family and Childhood Christmas Posts for a Trip Down Memory Lane

Get creative with your church’s social media outreach this holiday season. As an idea, consider asking existing members to share stories or pictures from their first Christmases, with a specific hashtag to collect those stories in one trending place. Cross-promote and encourage non-members to share their earliest and fondest holiday memories, too.

These types of threads, regardless of the platform, can inspire sharing on a community level. And getting non-members to share their favorite Christmas stories is a perfect way your church can engage digitally.

9. Host a Digital Food Drive

Churches can engage digitally with local residents by hosting a food drive. Use your website, social, and video channels to inspire others to donate acceptable goods. Promote your church as a local drop-off or coordinate a door-step pickup service to collect the goods with the help of member volunteers. With each load of canned goods or food delivered, video and share the effort. It can be an inspiration to those in your community in joining your church’s charitable contribution.

10. The 12 Days of TikTok Christmas

Now is the most ideal time of year to try new things. People are more accepting of receiving messages and invitations of holiday cheer. So, if there is a marketing idea you’ve been hesitant to try, ’tis the season to try!

For example, if your church hasn’t explored the TikTok phenomenon, you could be missing out on big-time engagement. It’s a great channel for reaching younger audiences, too. 

Maybe try a “12 days of Christmas” series to launch new TikTok content. 

Get your members to help generate a buzz. And rely on them to help with fun and seasonally appropriate ideas to explore the platform. If it doesn’t work as you’d hoped, you can opt-out after the holidays. But if it’s successful, you’ve launched a new media channel for your church.

11. Churches Can Engage Digitally By Live-Stream Christmas Caroling

Do some of your ministry groups or church members get together for Christmas caroling? Or were you planning to organize caroling for local senior living residents? If you are, make the most of those singing events and live stream them online. As a result, you can inspire others to join in the fun. Moreover, those who may not be ready to engage with your church, can still be moved in their faith.

Because so many are still hesitant to go out these days, online Christmas caroling is a safe way to feel festive. Additionally, it’s a great way to spread Christmas cheer to non-members who could use a little inspiration. Have someone live stream with a smartphone or see if someone’s willing to volunteer to record and share.

12. On-Demand Videos and Holiday Google Ads

If your church already has a strong online presence, consider using on-demand videos of Sunday services or holiday activities with your advertising. Use those digital marketing efforts and ads to drive traffic to your website. For example, you can direct browsers to explore an online library of your ministry videos. Or maybe use your ads to invite guests to holiday services.

Change up any campaigns you already have running, including Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Messages should invite new guests to join in your church’s celebrations.

13. Churches Can Engage Digitally with Online Advent Countdowns

Social media channels are great for Advent countdowns. Churches can digitally engage with posts all month long about specific Bible versions or Advent reflections. Capture the spirit of the Advent season with each post. It can be a fun and unique way to connect with members and non-members alike online this Christmas.

14. Offer Sign-Ups for Encouraging Emails & Holiday Texts

Churches can digitally engage this holiday by email and text, too. Consider starting social media campaigns asking people to opt-in by sharing an email address or phone number. Then, Once they’ve signed up, your ministry can send faith-based and inspirational messages right to the mobile phone or email inbox. Anyone in need can connect anonymously. And the church will then have a new flock that needs digital tending.

15. Coordinate Video Conferences for Kids Crafts

Look for new ways to connect with children this season. For example, you can get the kids together for a video call to do something fun. Maybe, use this virtual meet as an arts and crafts time by creating Christmas ornaments or decors. Even if you can’t get everyone in one room, you can gather as many as you’d like online.

Invite others to join this special holiday crafts time. And share these afterward, on your website, for others to find who maybe couldn’t attend. Don’t forget to share the finished products those little ones create!

16. Christmas Morning Service with Facebook Watch Parties

Make your Christmas services available online or create Facebook watch parties to invite others to join. During the magic of Christmas morning, people and families can tune into your church’s service.

Also, plan ahead and start promoting its availability ahead of time. Then, while the littles open their presents and others sip on Christmas morning coffee, they can all hear you share the Gospel this season from the comfort of their own homes.

17. The Holiday Year-End Reflection Series

Churches can engage digitally with the general public this holiday season by sending out surveys. For example, ask your community how they feel about their year this year. Share year-end reflections and encourage your existing church members to do the same.

The new year represents a chance for new beginnings. And making changes can often lead people back to their faith. Make sure your church is part of that inspiration. Your ministry can offer resources to help people find their new path.

18. Host a Christmas Movie Night & Invite Your Community

People love Christmas movies, faith-based or not. You can tap into this holiday trend as a way to engage. For example, host a Christmas movie night and invite people using your digital media channels. Of course, be mindful of any social distancing requirements in your area. Additionally, take care to secure any authorizations you might need to host such an event.

People may not be ready to come to your church for service just yet. But you can warm them up to walking in by inviting them to a classic holiday movie. As a result, your church can get people comfortable engaging with your church with holiday movies that everyone loves.

19. Live Stream a Live Nativity Scene

During the Christmas season, talk to your members about creating a live nativity scene. Ask for volunteers and ideas on location, props, and costumes. Then, with everyone and everything in place, you can plan and promote your drive-by and/or live-streamed event. Depending on how well it goes the first night, you might decide to add a few more events throughout the month. Create an archive of videos online, too, for easy access anytime. As a result, you’ll be able to reach a broader public audience.

This holiday season, remember there could be people in your community who are struggling with loss and isolation. Your church can digitally engage using these ideas and some of the tools you already use. If you still need help with other fresh suggestions, let ReachRight help! We can ensure you’re making the most of the resources you have. And we can assist in implementing what you need to expand your reach this Christmas.

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