candlelight

#70 An Inside Look at an Effective Christmas Eve Candlelight Service [Podcast]

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Most of us have attended or conducted at least one Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Many of us have attended several. They’re tradition. They’re beautiful. Are they effective?

To define effectiveness, you first have to define a goal. Without a goal, there is no way to measure how effective your Candlelight Service was in reaching it. At Sinclair Baptist, there are really four goals for our Candlelight Service. Since we know our goals, we can ask the right questions to determine effectiveness.

Is the Candlelight Service easy on staff and volunteers?

Since we don’t use special music or a lot of special presentations, Mr. Mike can run the entire service himself. Volunteers and staff help prepare in advance, but the service is typically just the pastor. This makes it so staff and volunteers can enjoy the service, and it makes things easy on them.

How was attendance?

If only five or six people show up, it’s safe to say we missed the mark. Fortunately, our Candlelight Services are very well attended. We take steps to ensure a good turnout long before the doors open. In this episode, we cover some of the things we do to get the word out, and make sure attendance is high.

Was it memorable?

When the ultimate goal is to reach the community, you want to make sure the community remembers what you’ve done. Our Candlelight Service is different from a regular service in almost every way. From the dimmed chapel to the silent shepherds greeting guests, we make sure that our people remember the experience. We even have wise men bearing gifts in the parking lot after the service.

Are guests returning?

This is a question that won’t be answered for weeks. Since the Candlelight Service is a community engagement event for Sinclair Baptist Church, guest retention is a major goal. Sure, there will be people we won’t see again until Easter, and there will be some that won’t come until about mid-February or so, but there will also be those who come, and don’t stop coming.

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