Doing a Christmas Eve Offering Well


In our culture, Christmas is a season of giving when church-goers and non-church-goers alike are inclined toward generosity. I witnessed a Christmas Eve service in which the offering was handled extremely well. I was struck by four particular things.

The offering taken at Christmas Eve services is an important giving opportunity, especially for those who don’t regularly attend church — but only if it is presented in a compelling way.

For Others. The offering was totally dedicated to those outside the church walls. Upon entering, I received a bulletin with an insert explaining the ministry that was going to receive 100 percent of the offering. The church was aware that it would have a number of visitors who would not necessarily feel comfortable giving to a local church, especially if they already belonged to another church, as is frequently the case with out-of-town visitors. Those same persons, however, may want to make an expression of gratitude at Christmas.

Video. A video was produced to explain how lives are being changed through this ministry. The video was shown just before the offering. God sent Christ into the world that lives might be changed, and this video helped me and others see how that was being done through this ministry. The video was so good I doubled my intended offering as a way of saying thanks to this God of love. I could really see in the video how I could partner with God to change even more lives, and I was excited to do it.

Electronic Giving. A QR code was printed in the bulletin that anyone could scan with their Smartphone to make a gift. I watched as the person next to me took out his phone, used his code reader, and scanned the code in the bulletin. It took him to the church website that had a large lead-in to the Christmas Eve Offering. He put in his credit card number, hit send, and made a contribution in less than one minute. I looked around the sanctuary and saw several others doing the same thing. How ingenious this was. I had not thought of using QR codes in this way, but it was so easy.

Church Gift. People were told how to make a contribution to the local church if they so desired. The worshipers were told to use envelopes in the pew backs if they wished to make a contribution to this church. The leaders knew that some members would be present who wanted to make an end-of-the-year gift, so a method was provided to do just that.

This church gave everyone the best chance to give. Your church can do so as well this Christmas Eve.The offering taken at Christmas Eve services is an important giving opportunity, especially for those who don’t regularly attend church — but only if it is presented in a compelling way.

Clif’s latest book is Rich Church, Poor Church: Keys to Effective Financial Ministry, published by Abingdon Press and available at Cokesbury or Amazon

Related Resources:


About Author

Photo of Clif Christopher

J. Clif Christopher is founder and CEO the Horizons Stewardship Company that consults with churches, conferences, synods, and dioceses about building, finance, and church growth. Christopher is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and past recipient of the UMC National Circuit Rider Award for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations.

Learn practices to prevent fraud and financial misconduct in your church.Online Course: Assuring Financial Integrity

For pastors, church staff, finance committee members, church treasurers, financial secretaries, counters or tellers, bookkeepers, church secretaries, seminarians, and all others with responsibility for handling church funds.

Though one in 10 Protestant churches experiences some type of embezzlement, most leaders assume that fraud will never occur in their church. And they are caught off guard when it does. Protect your congregation with Assuring Financial Integrity. This online course from the Keeping Our Sacred Trust ethics training series explores issues of maintaining financial integrity and preventing fraud in congregational settings. Learn more, watch an introductory video, and enroll now.