Back in 2005 Christmas fell on a Sunday, and many churches (but especially megachurches) decided not to open for services. At the time we ran a series of articles about the decision, the media coverage, and the public's reaction.
Well, once again December 25th is on Sunday and we're wondering how churches will respond to the challenge. For most congregations there is little concern. Sure, the number of people attending may be lower due to family commitments or travel, but even if 1/2 or 1/4 of the usual attenders show up the service may proceed.
The more significant challenge is for larger congregations that require hundreds of volunteers to operate on Sunday and significant offerings to pay for heat and electricity. Back in '05 one megachurch responded to the media firestorm about not opening by emphasizing its desire to honor families by giving volunteers and staff a day off.
The pastor said:
"You chose to value families. People over policy. I've watched too many ministers in my life sacrifice ...1