During the holidays, everyone’s so busy that it’s hard for your church to connect with people. That doesn’t mean they aren’t interested, though.
Throughout the holidays, use your church website to offer a more convenient way to stay in touch. Your members and site visitors can even connect with each other through your site or social media channels.
While you can use your site all year long for this, there are some special things to keep visitors more engaged during the holidays.
The first step and one your church should use year round is blogging. It’s a great way to keep your church website fresh and gives visitors a reason to keep coming back. You might even notice an increase in newsletter signups as you increase your blogging frequency.
Of course, you’ll want to go beyond simple church announcements, though those are important too. However, you might consider having a calendar or announcements page on your site specifically for this.
Ideally, you want your church blog to be filled with useful, thoughtful content. Dive deeper into sermons. Think about what’s currently going on in the world. And, to help connect with people during the holidays, post more holiday-related content.
For example, you might blog about how Santa relates to Christianity, such as giving selflessly to others and promoting peace. You could blog about the story of St. Nicholas and progress into the birth of Jesus as a way to help children and families better bring all elements of the season together.
By adding content like this, you’re creating more room for holiday-related discussions on your site. If you don’t have comments enabled, encourage visitors to discuss things on your social media pages. You can even add a feature to post directly to social media (and view recent posts) directly from your site.
Creating a blogging strategy is vital to your church website’s success. Once you have a great strategy in place, you’ll find your site and engagement growing.
Post Fun Holiday Content
Get your church website into the holiday spirit by posting some fun content. Connect with people by giving them an escape from all the hustle and bustle of the season.
You might create a special page on your church website just to list local light displays, live nativities, special events in the area and more. You can have members or site visitors submit details for you to review before posting.
Another fun idea is to ask site visitors to submit original content to your site, such as Christian jokes, drawings, comics and videos. Not only does this get everyone involved, but visitors will share your content more with others.
Host Games On Your Site
Games are a great way to bring people together during the holidays. And, your church website is the perfect spot to host games.
A popular option is a virtual scavenger hunt. You can customize it as much as you want to teach lessons while both kids and adults take a moment to relax and enjoy participating.
Obviously, scavenger hunts aren’t your own option. Riddles and trivia are always great ideas. You can even host a livestreaming session where visitors can play live with others.
Another option is to use your blog and provide a story prompt each week or even each day. Then, have visitors add to the story one comment at a time. You’ll need a few volunteers on hand to moderate and ensure no one’s posting anything inappropriate. You can then post the final story for everyone to enjoy.
Upload Special Performances
Throughout the holidays, your church probably has a variety of special performances. From plays to musical guests, your church calendar is likely pretty busy. But, so are your members, local community and website visitors.
Connect with people during the holidays by uploading your special performances. You can livestream if you want or post them a day after the event to encourage more in-person attendance as well.
By giving people another way to attend, you’ll get far more engagement. Plus, you can even add an online tithing option to encourage more donations during the holidays.
If you really want to go the extra mile, ask your members to get involved. They can perform songs, put on small skits or showcase unique talents. This gives you even more content to use.
Schedule Livestreaming Throughout The Week
With many of your members likely visiting relatives, shopping and even working a little extra, they might not get to attend regular services. However, that live connection helps to connect with people.
Schedule times during the day and evening throughout the week to have small livestreaming sessions. These can be 30 minute sessions where you talk about certain parts of your sermon, discuss questions that have come in or even just ask viewers questions.
You might also consider having special guests. You could interview members, people in the community or talk with other Christian leaders.
This gives your site’s visitors even more reason to keep coming back to your site and engaging with your church during the holiday season.
Promote Volunteer Events
The holidays are the season for giving. This includes not only money, but time. Use your church website to help increase volunteering.
Promote special volunteer events where anyone is welcome to come out and help, whether they’re a member or not. Focusing on things in and around your local community works best.
For the holidays, consider special holiday themes. This could mean putting together gifts for kids, preparing holiday meals for families, decorating an area in your town or anything else. If you have a parade, your church might put together a float to help entertain.
Of course, volunteering doesn’t just have to be in person. Thanks to COVID, gatherings could be limited for a while. But, use your church website to encourage virtual volunteering.
For your church, you could ask for volunteers to help with moderating, writing content, aiding with livestreaming, answering contact form messages and much more. But, you don’t have to limit volunteering to just your church.
Volunteer Match lists up to date virtual volunteer opportunities. Good Housekeeping also a variety of virtual opportunities too. This is a great way to promote helping others. Plus, it helps your church connect with people. It also helps make those same people feel better about themselves and how they’re making the world a better place.
Since people are more giving during the holidays, it’s a great time to start a volunteer campaign.
Host Special Social Media Events
Your church website isn’t the only place for people to connect. Promote your social media channels on your church website and talk about any special events you might have coming up.
For example, you might have Q&A sessions around specific themes, such as discussing the birth of Jesus. You might livestream your holiday play or even special holiday services.
The great thing about combining social media and your church website is social media gives visitors a way to continue the conversation. By doing this, they’ll also connect more with your church’s online followers and members.
Remember to share your blog posts and any videos you’re creating to social media. This helps increase sharing and drives traffic back to your church website. Not to mention, social media is a great way to grow your church online.
Set Up A Special Holiday Contact Form
Your site likely already has a general contact form. Consider adding a special holiday contact form for visitors to submit special questions and requests. For example, parents might have questions about whether it’s okay for their kids to be excited about Santa when Jesus is the reason for the season.
It’s also a place for those who tend to feel more lonely and depressed during the holidays to reach out for a caring word. Recruit volunteers to be virtual pen pals during what is a really hard time for some people.
People could even submit prayer requests. During the holidays, people need more connection than usual. Use your contact form to help provide that.
Upload Games Families Can Play At Home
If you want to better connect with people during the holidays, give them ways to bring their families closer together. Christian games are a great way to do that. Instead of the virtual games to play on your church’s website, provide instructions and ideas for games families can play at home.
You can create your own versions of current games for families to print out. For instance, you might create a Bible matching game or a mystery game with a Christian theme.
If you’re looking for inspiration or just want to provide some links to fun games, Bible Games Central has you covered. From games for families to play at home to games you can play in church, there’s a little something for all ages.
Blog Original Stories For The Holidays
People love reading or hearing original stories. Gather your staff and write some original stories for the holidays. Use inspiration from the Bible, personal lives and even things you’ve heard from members throughout the years.
You don’t have to just write these for kids either. Adults love a great story too. To really boost engagement, create an audio version that people can listen to on the go.
You’re also free to simply read existing stories. Just make sure you’re not reading anything aloud that you don’t have permission for, such as current Christian books, though you can read an excerpt if you include the name of the book and author.
Encourage Members To Share Holiday Stories
Sometimes, the easiest way to connect with people during the holidays is to share true stories. Someone who’s feeling low might suddenly feel more cheerful after hearing a story about a member who had fallen on hard times, but found the Christmas spirit and turned things around.
Ask your members, and even online visitors, to submit their favorite holiday memories and stories. They can be something as simple as family traditions or something more in-depth about a struggle during the holiday season that turned out okay in the end thanks to God’s help.
Share several stories a week. You can also ask anyone who submits if they’d like to read their story as an audio version or if they’d be okay with one of your staff members or volunteers doing it.
Ensure you have volunteers to moderate comments on any stories submitted. The last thing you want is some Internet troll trying to ruin everything.
Organize Past Sermons Into Series
You’ve likely had numerous holiday sermons throughout the years. Take the time to organize your sermons into various series. Include a holiday section to help people better connect with the meaning of the season.
You might even create a blog post that lists all holiday-related sermons. This is a great resource that visitors can also share on social media.
Of course, this only works if you have video or audio sermons online. If you have time, consider recording past sermons in audio form to upload if you don’t have any online. This can take some time, so you might want to focus just on holiday sermons at first.
Set Up A Virtual Christmas Event
Another thing you can do to help connect with people during the holidays is set up a virtual Christmas event. For instance, host a Christmas talent show where members and site visitors can perform from home or special rooms in your church.
You could have Christmas church choir tour. Partner with other area churches and host a virtual event where each choir performs. You can switch back and forth between them. This gives you a bigger audience and brings local churches together. You can even add an online tithing option and let all participating churches split the donations.
Before you can put your church website to work in bringing people together during the holidays, you need a great church website. Sign up for our free website review to see how your site may be able to improve today.