Pastors are planning, on average, four events or activities to help members celebrate the Christmas season, according to a Lifeway Research study released on December 5.

In addition to weekly worship services, most pastors in the U.S. are planning a Christmas Eve service (81%), which was the most popular among those surveyed. This is followed by a Christmas event or party for children or youth (65%) and a Christmas service project (66%). Churches are also hosting a children’s musical or drama (49%), a Christmas day service (41%), a Christmas concert (39%), a Christmas musical or drama (38%) or a live nativity (10%). 

“Churches are offering Christmas events and activities beyond weekly worship services this Christmas season, which will make many churchgoers happy,” Marissa Postell Sullivan, managing editor, writes. The survey finds that, on average, churchgoers appreciate four church-led events, with most saying they enjoy listening to a choir singing Christmas songs or a concert (60%), followed by listening to congregational singing of Christmas songs (59%).

“In recent years, many churches have trimmed the number of programs they have during the week. But Christmas celebrations still fill the calendar for the typical church,” says Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “Most churches plan Christmas events for all ages and create experiences that go beyond worship services.”

The sample size is 1,004 Protestant pastors. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, resulting in 95% accuracy. To read the full report, click here.

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