One Good Reason NOT to Have a Christmas Play at Church

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One Reason NOT to Have a Christmas Play at Church
I have had to make a very difficult decision this season. I have decided not to have a Christmas Program for our children this year.
I can’t tell you how difficult of a choice that it was for me to make. I even had a new play written and ready to go. I was so excited to put it together and have the kids put it on. It took prayer and talking it through with my husband to finally have the strength to do it. You see, I’m a people pleaser and I don’t like to let people down. I was afraid of what people might say when they found out that we weren’t having a program this year.
But, sometimes, less is more.
I needed to do what was right by the kids in our ministry. You see, we have just a few kids in our group this year, and they are all quite young. It was going to be too much for them and it would put them, and me, under a lot of stress. I had to ask myself, “Why do we do a program?” Usually, the answer is because it teaches the children the story of Jesus’ birth. That’s a great answer…so usually it’s worth all of the work that goes into putting it all together and organizing it all.
This year, that would not have been accomplished. I don’t feel, with the kids that we have, that putting them through all of that would have taught them the story of Jesus’ birth. I think we need to take a different avenue in order to teach them this all too important lesson.
I have to put the children in our ministry first and do what’s best for them. For this year, that means doing less. They need someone who’s not crazy trying to get them to stand in the right place. They need a teacher who can look in their eyes and tell them that God loves them so much that He sent His Son. They need a friend who cares about them so much to make sure that this essential lesson is getting through to them and that they understand it completely.
I am putting the children in my group first and doing less. Because, I truly believe, that less IS more sometimes.


18 thoughts on “One Good Reason NOT to Have a Christmas Play at Church”

  1. I find it encouraging that you are not following a usual pattern, but rather that you are looking at what will be best for your current group and situation. It is all ok. This was an encouragement to me to read, and I passed it along to our ministry team. Working with children we know, every group is unique. Thank you.

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  2. We aren’t having a play either. The kids themselves have asked not to do it. Ours was always intergenerational and it has been the adults who enjoyed doing it the most. This year, the children and youth (and anyone else who would like to participate) will share with the church what Jesus means to them. They can share a thought, a poem, a song, a prayer, etc. I’m looking forward to it!

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  3. well done.
    we have done the same.
    we actually have a huge number of foster children or children in difficult home situations. it was clear that these anxious littlies would not have coped with the stress.
    less is definitely better sometimes.

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  4. Thank you for your blog. We have the same situation at our church. We have a few small and very young children and a program sounds really nice, but, they are just too young to handle that. Thank you so much for expressing the true purpose of a children’s ministry. We have the same problem with vacation Bible school. We had 9 kids last year and 30 helpers! I wrote our material and it was well received. It was tailored to our children’s needs and we had lots of wonderful parents and “church grandmas and grandpas” and the kids loved it. I love being in children’s ministry because I get to see them grow, learn to pray, talk and sing about a heavenly friend who is with them all the time. It would be so nice to have more of our adults with that kind of faith. God bless you and keep writing with helps for small churches!

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  5. I totally agree with you. This year we have young children and a play would be to much for them. So I to feel the need to have eye contact and teach them of Jesus’ birth.

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  6. Thank you for that post. Our children are small in number too and I felt so bad not wanting to put on a program. Thank you for putting it into a different perspective.

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  7. I understand how things are when you don’t have many children in your class. Our church
    doesn’t have many children in our Sunday School either so what we have been doing for
    a few years is to invite the congregation if the would like to voluntary some of they
    talents and have the congregation sing some Christmas songs. So it is a nice way to
    letting everybody having a nice time.

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  8. I am sitting in an airport on my way home from celebrating a 95th birthday feeling so behind running ideas for a meaningful Advent season for our children’s ministry, but nothing seemed to be jelling. We too have just a few children, a large portion are young, and a lot of those families traveling this year. Your post was just what I needed to change my thinking to simplify and reach for a more meaningful season. Thank you for your thoughts!

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  9. Well done for deciding not to have a Christmas program. God will be pleased with you for following what He wants this year. I can understand how difficult that has been.

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  10. We have not had a Christmas program with our kids for several years because our church has done a Live Nativity. We had done it outside until last year when the expense of an event tent and the plummeting temps made us go inside. We still have a Nativity. We just do it inside with the whole church. We have the kids do parts. They’re great angels and shepherds. Sometimes they are the whole cast. It’s been much more fun to share the load with the entire congregation. Good for you to find other ways to minister to your kids!

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  11. I agree with these comments. We also have a small SS and so for a few years we have had an all church program (every one sharing with they feel) but always end with the 5 children, we do a simple nativity scene with the congregation singing “Away in a Manger”. We have a time of fellowship following having a “Potato Bar”, Simple is much better for us.

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  12. such a relief, to read about your choice not to do a skit. We have very young children and felt that it would be better to have a Carol Service with readings instead with a nice tea afterwards in the hall.

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  13. we aren’t having a nativity either,our children are very young. We have decided to have a carol service with the children singing a song on their own and having the congregation joining in for the rest of the service. .afterward we plan a get to gather in the hall with snacks and very small gifts for each child Thanks for sharing I needed to read that other sunday scools feel the same.

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  14. I want you to know God spoke trough you to me regarding this issue. I was dealing with the
    same difficult decision. When I read your post. Thank you so much. Merry Merry Blessed
    Christmas.

    Reply
  15. ‘Video killed Nativity Star’
    We use video to make clips through November/December that we intersperse with songs or simple live action on the day. It’s fun – takes out all the stress – you can do lots of takes and edit it!

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  16. I agree with the less is more. The children, in society, have so much stress; this would be one more thing. I am working on what we would do too…I believe we will have a few willing readers, read from the Bible and maybe a relatable storybook. This will leave more time for truly learning and enjoying this beautiful account. God bless

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