Category Archives: Christmas

Going “Old-School” At Christmas

Unwrapped Stage

Christmas is definitely a time for old school.¬†There are things that I feel perfectly justified doing at Christmas that might push the “hokey meter” at any other time of year. Northview is a very contemporary church, but on Christmas Eve the traditions come out. One of our traditions is to have “O Holy Night” sung by a big-voice soloist. We actually use a Sandi Patty arrangement. No offense to Sandi (she is a great vocalist and entertainer), but we would normally never consider a song arranged for her. Christmas is different, however. It’s full of memories, and it’s perfectly fine to be less than hip and trendy. In fact, it seems like the more hip and trendy we’ve tried to be at Christmas, the less people have responded – people of ALL ages, not just the “seasoned.”

Everybody is OK with reliving the past at Christmas. The older folks have decades of Christmas Eves gone by to reminisce about. The younger parents are remembering their childhood days and seeking to establish traditions of their own. So we do “O Holy Night.” We sing “Silent Night” at the end with everybody holding hands. And we make it snow (it will be hard for you to rent a snow machine in Central Indiana at Christmas because I think we have them all). So try a little old school at Christmas (btw, that Sandi Patty song had people on their feet)!


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Sticky Business

A great idea that we tried for Christmas this year (thanks to our Lighting/Staging Director, Travis Carpenter) –¬† a giant stage decal! It really came out well, and withstood people walking on it for five Christmas Eve services with no noticeable damage. We have two balconies, so the look on the platform itself is a big part of the overall feel and look of the services. End result? It worked for us!
Stage Decal


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Sometimes evil things happen in the world…
Our role is not to offer answers – I don’t have any for what happened last Friday. All I have is hope that there is something better, Someone who wants things to be different – different than the evil we’ve seen in the school shootings.
We changed our services for this past weekend. We had planned an upbeat, get ready for Christmas-type of service. Instead, we dropped “Joy To The World” and sang “Amazing Grace.” We changed many other elements, and had a candle for each one who died in the senseless violence. And then prayer – prayer at various times throughout the service…
We’ll celebrate in the days to come. We’ll offer praise and thanksgiving. We’ll sing “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.” But, at this moment, we pray.


Be Careful What You Ask For!

Making a “big ask” from the platform at Christmastime can yield some great results – you just have to be ready for the results! Thankfully, we were pretty set for the incredibly generous response of our congregation, having seen how they rise to make incredible things happen when there’s a need. All of the stuff that you see (and a lot more) is going to disadvantaged kids in Indianapolis. One thing I’ve learned over time: this kind of ask is usually much more effective when made by the Senior Pastor…
Christmas Collection 2012


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The Christmas Story

A common mistake that I think that we make these days in the church world is assuming Biblical knowledge. Everybody knows what Christmas and Easter are about, right? Not so much… I was shocked years ago when we did a walkthrough event at the church I was serving at in those days which recreated the events of Easter. We had two ladies that worked in the large room where we were representing the Crucifixion. As we rehearsed and they saw the events graphically portrayed in front of them, one of the ladies said: “I had no idea that was what happened!” They had attended church FOR YEARS and didn’t know the most basic events that our faith is built on. And I realized in that stunning moment that it was because we never told them. We just assumed they knew…
So this year – make sure that you tell the Story…

Christmas Star 2012


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Quick Christmas Idea

See the photo in the previous post – we put a string of Christmas lights inside the grand piano. Easy & fun, but make sure that it won’t mess with your mics/pickups! : )


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Idea Of The Week: Singers On The Move

An easy way to change up your look during worship or special music is to have your vocalists sing from different positions on your platform. The idea is not to put on a show, but to avoid getting stuck in a rut (church doesn’t have to be boring, does it?)… : )
Here’s our (extended) team doing “Go Tell It On The Mountain.”

Christmas Concert 12


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