Just 1 in 10 churches will cancel worship services this December 25.
Nearly 9 out of 10 Protestant senior pastors say their churches plan to hold services on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as both fall on a Sunday, according to a recent survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
More than 7 in 10 Protestant senior pastors say their churches plan to hold Christmas Eve services. And more than a few will be open on New Year’s Eve.
“Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year especially at churches, with many churches having extra Christmas Eve services and special programs,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “If Christmas falls on Monday through Saturday, churches might be closed on December 25—but almost never on a Sunday.”
The Christmas season has become a major outreach focus for many churches, with more than half of Americans saying they visit church for Christmas. Many of those who don’t go usually to church are open to an invitation during the holidays, according to previous LifeWay Research studies.
At some influential megachurches, thousands of visitors will flock to special Christmas events. In the past, that’s led some to cancel worship when Christmas falls on a Sunday. But few pastors seem to follow their example, according to LifeWay Research’s phone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors.
[Editor’s note: Chicago-area megachurch Willow Creek Community Church adjusts its Christmastime services each year depending on community and church schedules, and only one of its eight locations will meet on Christmas Day. “We have nine services leading up to Christmas, and will also hold a service on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.,” executive pastor Heather Larson told CT. “The …
Source: Christianity Today Magazine