A story on today’s Associated Press wire reveals that a number of the nation’s evangelical megachurches are planning not to hold services on Christmas day this year, which happens to be a Sunday. Here is a short excerpt–to read the entire story click here.
The churches closing on Christmas plan multiple services in the days leading up to the holiday, including on Christmas Eve.
Most normally do not hold Christmas Day services, preferring instead to mark the holiday in the days and night before.
But Sunday worship has been a Christian practice since ancient times.
Cally Parkinson, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, said church leaders decided that organizing services on a Christmas Sunday would not be the most effective use of staff and volunteer resources.
The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday was 1994, and only a small number of people showed up to pray, she said.
“If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don’t go to church, how likely is it that they’ll be going to church on Christmas morning?” she said.
Among the other megachurches closing on Christmas Day are Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky, near Lexington, and Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, outside Dallas.
North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, outside Atlanta, said on its Web site that no services will be held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which also falls on a Sunday. A spokesman for North Point did not respond to requests for comment.