In most parts of the United States the last thing on the mind this Christmas Eve will be fishing. Unless one is an ice fisherman then it is unlikely anyone will be fishing this Christmas Eve.
At least no one will be fishing for fish. But churches would be smart to remember that Christmas Eve is a great time to fish for people. In his book Leading Beyond the Walls, Pastor Adam Hamilton of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection describes what he calls the Christmas Eve fishing expedition.
We all know that Christmas Eve will bring persons from the community that do not regularly attend as well as persons who have fallen away from the church to the church. This is a great time to invite the crowds that gather on Christmas Eve back in January. The easiest way to do this is by offering an attractional “felt needs” series for January. Marriage or relationship is a good topic for this series.
After the message on Christmas Eve the pastor might announce that there will be a new series starting in January and invite everyone present to come back in January for the series. At the very least you will want to put a slide up with the message graphic and theme as well as the dates and titles of the messages. If you go the extra mile then create a video introduction to the series to show on Christmas Eve. Additionally, consider making a postcard sized invitation and put one or two in the Christmas Eve worship program. When the series is announced point these out to persons inviting them to put it on the fridge at home to remind them or to think about who they might invite to come back with them.
This message series can then be used in follow up with guests from Christmas Eve. Whether you do that through email or snail mail mentioning the upcoming series and giving an invitation will help make it easy for persons to return.
By doing the above, you will be doing your own fishing on Christmas Eve and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!