Have you ever walked into Hobby Lobby in early October? Living in South Alabama, their Fall display is about as close as I’ll get to see the leaves change. The front of the store is covered in haystacks and scarecrows, and wooden pallets that encourage us to “Give Thanks.” You can see signs of Christmas – glitter, and gold glistening from the back. But by the end of October, you’ll find an entirely different scene. Forget Fall; it’s all 50% off. The store transforms into a magical wonderland reminding us that Christmas is just around the corner.
We know your thoughts are focused on Christmas productions. We also know the pressure to put on a production that embraces and invites your congregation and community to experience the true spirit of Christmas can turn a time of celebration into a time of stress. But it doesn’t need to. Whether you are knee-deep in planning or just getting started, we have five practical tips to help your church usher in the Christmas season with ease.
Listen to Christmas Music
Ok, this may sound like a silly way to start, but just like seeing the sights of Christmas start putting you in the mood, the sounds may be more beneficial. A recent study suggests that listening to happy music promotes more divergent thinking—an essential element of creativity. So by turning on your favorite Christmas music, you can get those planning juices flowing!
Plan Your Message
The most important thing you can do to begin your preparation is to plan what your core message this season is going to be. Once you have determined that the how you will communicate, it will fall into place.
Choose Your Program
When choosing a program, select one that matches both your experience and your congregation’s abilities. Be honest with yourself regarding your and your team’s skills and knowledge. By picking a production that is moving yet accessible, you will be able to communicate your message to your congregation effectively.
Communicate not just with your team, but ALL ministries. You will probably need to enlist the help from various groups within your church – media, choir, education, youth ministry…the list goes on. Make sure everyone is on the same page and working toward a common goal. It also may be wise to communicate with your community leaders in choosing dates for programming that don’t overlap with other larger scale community-wide events.
Keep Things Legal
It’s easy for church leaders to be confused about what music licenses they need, and why they must be concerned about performance rights. As a pastor, worship leader, or creative arts director, you probably know the feeling of scrambling to obtain copyright clearances for rehearsal copies, CDs, MP3s, DVD videos, and custom arrangements. Download our Why Your Church Needs Performance Licenses fact sheet to learn how to obtain simple, one-stop performance licenses that will give your church or ministry tremendous freedom to legally play and perform music.
If you have any questions regarding licensing, we encourage you to give us a call at 855-576-5837 or chat live with one of our copyright consultants. Meanwhile, I’m off to Hobby Lobby to look for a Christmas tree scented candle so I can pretend it’s not 75 degrees outside.
About Toni Kemper: Mother of three and marketer by trade, Toni is passionate about writing and enjoys contributing to the CopyrightCoach. She is also passionate about education, which fits right in with CCS’s mission to educate the church community on copyrights, as well as why you will find her volunteering in the Children’s Ministry department of her church in Fairhope, AL.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights, and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.