Pop a CD in the player, tape a Christmas card to your computer, and get ready to write for Christmas. The holiday may be four months away, but you are almost too late for some Christmas writing projects. Much of the meaning of Christmas is communicated in well-crafted words. A Christmas program, for example starts with words and ideas. Once those are chosen, directors and performers are chosen, decorations and props are prepared, songs and parts are rehearsed, festive refreshments are prepared, invitations are given out, and nervous kids in bathrobes wait in the wings. The final performance demands effort from a host of people, but it all starts with the words. Writers have to work ahead of everyone else’s schedule.
At Christmastime church leaders are reaching out for resources which they can find quickly to meet their seasonal needs. Many churches don’t have time to think of creative new ways to honor Christ or reach out at Christmas. They just need to fill the usual slots with something. The Lord may want you, as a writer, to produce something to fill the usual slots or even create new ones to help your church this Christmas.
How can I meet a need in my church?
It starts with needs, not my feelings. What does my church need and how can I fill that need? I may have a great Christmas idea, but it may not be a good fit for my church. A servant’s attitude will help me craft my idea to fit needs, rather than just writing what I feel like.
What could you write that your church could use this Christmas? Here is a list of things to consider:
- a poem for the church bulletin
- a meditation for the Christmas Eve service
- a puppet script for Children’s church
- a skit for the Christmas party
- a blog for the church website
- a song for a special number
- a tract to give with care packages or while Christmas carolling
- a program for the Sunday School kids
How can I meet needs beyond my church?
Writing a Christmas article allows you to extend your reach beyond your local church. Most magazines, take home papers, even e-zines and electronic publications need seasonal articles. Here again the writer starts with needs. Search for publications that publish the kinds of things you like to write and that use freelance articles. What do they need that you can fill?
If you are serious about writing for publication, you need to begin by identifying markets. Here are two of my articles that may help you. http://debbrammer.com/writers-circle/writing-articles/getting-started-in-publication-1/ and http://debbrammer.com/writers-circle/writing-articles/writing-an-article/ Don’t forget that most publishers want seasonal articles six months to a year before the holiday. You can write the article now, but submit it at the time listed on the writers’ guidelines.
You may also find that you can extend the use of items you have written for your own church. Many years I have written a program to meet the needs of our mission church. Several of these programs I have been able to sell to a publisher later on because the programs also fit their needs. Others I offer free from my website. If you can’t find a publisher who will pay for your puppet script you could submit it to an online website that offers their scripts free. You may be able to use your poem in your family Christmas letter or offer your meditation to other churches in your area. If you have your own blog or website you can offer your pieces there.
Always save your work. You may be able to re-use it in the future. Whether you get paid for your work or offer it free, you can rejoice knowing that the Lord can use your writing in a meaningful way.