Growing up in a church where my mother was leading the drama ministry meant that I played Jesus every single year. And I do mean

Every.

Single.

Year.

I did not have a choice. Now as an adult I reflect back to my time as a youth and participating in the plays during Christmas and Resurrection Sunday and how important they were to my church family. These productions have influenced my creative and spiritual journey, they are where I got my start as an actor and a creator and began to understand the truth of God. As the Producer at YM360, it's my job to create meaningful Christ-centered content that your students will see when they come to GENERATE. But it can be simple to incorporate production or creative elements into your own ministry during this Christmas.

Start Small.
You don’t need a huge budget, LED walls, or a cast and crew of 100 to bring a fantastic production to your church. Have only 3 actors on your drama team? Perfect, you now have Mary, Joseph, and a Narrator who can also play the Shepherd, the Angel and anyone else in the Nativity scene. One of the most impactful productions I've ever seen was a student playing Mary writing home to her parents while she stayed with Elizabeth. Her monologues were based on scripture, and the simplicity was perfect. Connect with your Worship Leader and see if you can incorporate live music into your piece.

Try a Responsive Reading.
Responsive readings are really popular and can be very theatrical. Choose Luke 2:1-21 and have it read in your service before your final worship set or even before you go up to preach, and it will help set the atmosphere for the remainder of the service. Any of the Gospel retellings of the Christmas story aren't too long, and can be directed in multiple ways depending on your needs in your service. The bonus here is that you automatically get interactive content for your congregation. We use responsive readings every summer at GENERATE, and we know that scripture does not return void. It's powerful, living, and active.

Embrace Technology.
If you have a Video Director at your church, grab them and a few volunteers and have them tell stories about what God has done for them, and ask them about what God is teaching them in this season of their lives. Edit it together with some purchased Christmas music and you have a great creative addition to any Christmas service that can be played before or after the announcements. Don’t have a Video Director? Is there a student in your ministry who exhibits skills in this area? This is a great way to include them. Still out of luck? You can always do bits like this live.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” So remember to have some fun incorporating production and creative elements into your ministry because it's all going to work out according to His will! If you need resources like scripts, video templates, or other creative elements there are plenty online that you can search for and many are free. So why not give it a try? Merry Christmas!