Proclaim is taking on church stress this Christmas. Learn about our free trial and how to build beautiful presentations fast and as a team.
I’ve been in church all my life, and I’ve been in volunteer leadership positions long enough to know that planning a service simply takes time and energy.
Around Christmas, however, it seems to take a ton of time and energy. My brother has worked at a church for the last several years, and our family is often astounded by his schedule. Between setting up the stage, rehearsing music, and being there for two, three, sometimes four services, we’re lucky to even see him—awake.
I struggle with this. On the one hand, I understand why there’s a high demand on people’s schedules under these circumstances. In fact, I appreciate the labor of love. Christmas is always a meaningful time for Christians, and it’s a natural time to bring unsaved family members to church. The careful preparation of our church leaders is truly a gift.
On the other hand, I wonder if the gift is beginning to cost too much.
Over the next four weeks, we’ll be writing about the myths we buy into when it comes to planning Christmas church services. It’s not about knocking hard-working churches. In fact, quite the opposite: it’s about helping them work smarter to conserve energy, enjoy the process, and get home to their families sooner.
So let’s get into it with the first myth:
Myth #1: Stress is inevitable
Stress is a feeling of bearing more weight than you can hold.
I’m a runner, and a few years back while training for a marathon, I sustained a stress fracture. It happens when a certain bone in your leg begins bearing too much weight with each foot strike. Multiply those strikes over the course of 15+ miles, and a tiny fracture forms.
Avoiding a stress fracture is all about properly absorbing impact—with the right shoes, with a balanced gait, and by strengthening your muscles gradually so they can take a beating without sending the impact to your bones.
In churches, much of the stress around Christmas happens when programs suddenly go from a jog to a sprint. Staff or volunteers are simply not prepared for that. The same way a bone begins to fracture when you require more than you’ve prepared it to give, a church staff can buckle under a workload they haven’t been prepared to bear.
So if you’re on staff, or even if you’re a volunteer, consider what you can do even now to prepare your staff for impact. Do you have the proper tools? Do you have a good workflow? Do you have the margin to absorb additional demands?
Here are some thoughts to help you with each of those questions—and how Proclaim offers an easy solution.
As I type, someone near me is disassembling a desk. He’s using a power drill, so each screw is taking him just one second to remove. But what if he was using a manual screwdriver? It’d take nearly 10 times as long. (I once disassembled an entire bunkbed this way. Never again.)
Where are you using a screwdriver where you could be using a power drill, so to speak? Take a look at your presentation software. PowerPoint might get the job done, but does it get it done well? Proclaim was made just for churches to make building presentations quick, easy, and enjoyable. It’s the power drill of church presentation software, and you can try it free for 30 days.
Is one person doing everything? Are teams working out of sync? Are the right people doing the right task? A lot of time and energy is lost in transition or poor delegation. Take a moment to think through who’s on your volunteer teams, and if they’re working together to their full potential. (You might also check out this free PDF eBook, Can Someone Please Volunteer?: 4 Problems Facing Your Church Volunteer Teams.)
Proclaim helps with workflow by offering unlimited installs on Mac and PC, automatic syncing (so work is always up to date), and free volunteer training. Check it out with a free trial. A lot of people say that the collaborative aspect of Proclaim is their favorite part.
Margin is made, not found. An essential yet difficult question is, “Are my tasks in line with my priorities?” A more nuanced version of that question is, “Is the time I’m taking on a task in line with its importance?” For example, finding or designing church media.
A beautiful slide background matters, but does it matter enough to spend an hour clicking around Google for it? Probably not, but we’ve all been there. Proclaim helps you focus on your priorities by cutting out busywork. A free trial comes with over 14,000 pieces of media designed just for churches, easy to find and ready to go.
Work is inevitable, but stress is not. If you’re working at a church this Christmas, I hope you will find ways to ward off stress. Remember that it’s all about preparing yourself and your staff to absorb the weight. Identify the pressure points, and look to relieve them. Stress is simply weight that’s heavier than what you’re ready for.
Enjoy stress-free presentations this Christmas with Proclaim Church Presentation Software. Start a free 30-day trial to get high-powered software built for collaboration. You’ll get free volunteer training and instant access to over 14,000 church motions and stills, including Christmas-themed media. Start your free 30-day trial today.