(Next week we’ll be going to the Christmas Eve Eve service at Cross Point. Yes, I meant Eve Eve, as we’ll be going on the 23rd, which is kind of like the “pre-party” of Christmas. I was going to say, “pre-game,” but that felt a little too Four Loko. The Christmas Eve service is very different from a “Christmas Program,” which “Some Guy” is about to prove in a great guest post. Enjoy!)
It’s getting to be that time of year when churches across the country, across the world even, think about how to best impress everyone.
That’s right, I’m talking about the annual Christmas program competition. Not the Christmas service that your church does only on Sunday morning, but the programs that are meant to rival Broadway productions.
Okay, okay… it might not be an official competition. But there are only so many families out there, and they’re going to go to only one Christmas program each. So churches have to step it up for the big show. In preparation for all this, I present to you this scorecard. This will help to rate whichever Christmas show you do end up watching. Or, if you’re putting together a show, this may help you make it even better.
The Christmas Program Scorecard:
1. It requires tickets: +3 points
2. The tickets cost money: -1 point for every $10 of face value
3. They remember that you got tickets last year and they send you a flyer with information about this year’s show: +3
4. …and they email you too: +1
5. …and they call you: -5
6. …and someone in a sweater that has real bells attached to goes door to door to sell those tickets: -10
7. They have extra signs in the parking lot to direct traffic: +2
8. They have people throughout the parking lot directing traffic: +1 for each person along your route
9. They have people wearing festive Christmas elf hats: +1
10. They have people wearing God-focused wise men outfits directing traffic: +10
11. They have people throughout the parking lot collecting the parking fee: -1 for each dollar
12. The coat rack is right next to the front door, creating a logjam of people: -2
13. The one person helping expedite the coat rack is “Chatty McChatterson,” completely slowing down your egress: -5
14. There is a program/bulletin with the list of scenes: +2
15. …and it lists an intermission: +3
16. One of the songs is “Happy Birthday Jesus”: +1
17. …and it is a solo by a little girl: +1
18. …and she hits all the notes: +3
19. The manger scene has real animals: +5
20. …and they enter from the back, walking down the aisles to get to the stage: +1 for each animal
21. …and one or more of them get out of hand and cause a scene: -1 for each audience member hurt
22. …but someone films it and it blows up on youtube and makes your church, “Internet famous” for four days: +10
21. The manger scene has the three wise men: -3 (because they arrived years later, that’s why)
22. …who are carrying real gold: +1
23. …and frankincense: +2
24. …and myrrh: +3
25. You even know how to tell real myrrh from fake myrrh: +5 points for yourself
26. The angel who delivers messages to Mary/Joseph/shepherds descends from above the stage on some sort of precariously rigged harness system: +3
27. The whole angel choir descends from above: +1 point for each angel
28. The pastor goes on stage just before the final song/scene and thanks everyone for being there: +1
29. …and tells them how to learn more about the church: 0 points (required element)
30. …and launches into a 45 minute sermon: -1
0-10 points: Tryouts
Maybe they just started having a Christmas program, bless their hearts. It might have been a decent show, but keep scouting because there are better shows out there.
11-24 points: Minor League
The church is working hard and trying to make it. It might be a fun evening for the family, but it won’t get a contract unless it improves.
25+ points: Big League
Now this church knows how to put on a show! You had better hope that the success doesn’t go to its head and it starts demanding to be traded to Miami.
Did I miss any required elements? What do you wish churches did more of (or less of) in their Christmas programs?
(For more great stuff from Some Guy, check out his blog.)