Six tips for effective Christmas outreach

We asked Jo Swinney from CPO for her top tips to reach our communities effectively with the real biblical message of Christmas…

While the trend for churchgoing in the UK is in decline, vast numbers still fit a service in after stockings and before the turkey. Christmas is an amazing opportunity to welcome our communities into church to hear the biblical story about a baby born to save them. 

Everyone knows the festival is not about Santa and mince pies, but many don’t know the Bible account of what happened on the very first Christmas. This is our chance to introduce them to the story and its main protagonist, Jesus Christ the Messiah, who lives on today. 

Here are some ways you can make the most of this key moment in the year:

Plan ahead

The optimal time to issue your first invitations to church Christmas events is mid-November. It would be wise to start thinking about your theme, designs, printing needs and social media strategy right now if you haven’t already! At CPO we do our Christmas designs in July to make sure we are ready for even the most organised churches. 

For a ready-made nativity resource, check out the new Bible Society booklet, With Love from God to You

Be consistent

Studies show that trust grows with familiarity. Your Christmas outreach will be most effective when you have a consistent look over all your communications. Pick a design and use it in invitations, posters and banners and on your website and social media profiles.

If you’re using With Love from God to You, you might want to use our accompanying publicity materials from CPO.

Make the most of your external space

Posters on noticeboards, vinyl banners on railings, pop-up banners and A-frame noticeboards on the street all work to promote events. Remember to include dates and times of events and a digital link so people can connect and find out more. Make people know they are welcome and wanted.

Interior building communications

Christmas banners, posters and fliers inside the church are a great way to welcome people as they come into the building. Let them know what’s going on in the coming weeks, where things are and who’s in charge of the different activities. 

CPO and Bible Society have resources explaining the gospel and Christmas story – why not give one to everyone as they leave?

Use your digital platforms

Make the most of your website and social media presence to invite newcomers to your church over Christmas. Create or use existing short videos to help the Christmas event have maximum impact. Where budget allows, pay to promote events on social media.

Finally, don’t forget to pray. Pray that Jesus would be glorified and acknowledged this Christmas. Pray that people would be able to hear the good news over the noise of consumerism, stress and tacky Christmas pop. Pray that our churches will be filled to overflowing and everyone would experience the love of God through our welcome.


Jo Swinney is Director of Church Communications at CPO (Christian Publishing & Outreach). 

Christmas with Bible Society

Christmas with Bible Society

Check out our range of Christmas resources for you and your church, including a brand new nativity script, story booklet and more...

With Love from God to You

With Love from God to You

Wind all the way back to the beginning and zoom out to see the big picture of God’s rescue plan…

Instant Nativity

Instant Nativity

Get your free nativity script for our brand new Instant Nativity - no rehearsals needed!

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