The birth of Christ is something we should celebrate to the fullest extent, no matter the circumstances, and Northwest Bible Church in Dallas is doing just that. This year, their team really flexed their creative muscles to dream up a beautiful online Christmas Eve service for their online community. This season is a time for gathering together, for pondering, and for celebrating the birth of Jesus. We felt that sharing how Northwest is adapting to the changes of 2020 to foster gathering, pondering, and celebrating in spite of the physical limitations would be both inspiring and encouraging to you!
This idea was born out of the unknown. During the planning phase several months ago, leadership in the church was operating out of a place of not knowing what December would look like or if in-person church services would be able to be held at all. So they started brainstorming: how do we create a plan that gives us some flexibility without sacrificing the impact and reach of this extremely important and sacred ministry opportunity? At the same time, when the creative team at Northwest Bible Church began to think about what Christmas would look like this year, they really just let their imaginations run wild. The goal was to create an online experience that would be just as impactful and special as the live in-person experience.
Worship minister Peyton Neill’s no-holds-barred dream for the online Christmas Eve service consisted of a completely virtual, dazzling audio and visual experience, complete with LED screens filled with wintery scenes to transport the viewers into a beautiful Christmas wonderland, reminiscent of a Christmas special, while equally making the viewers feel like they were experiencing the familiar, homey Christmas Eve service at Northwest Bible Church to which they are accustomed. Propelled by an incredibly supportive team of pastors and the fruits of generous giving and wise stewardship, the worship team at Northwest (as well as so many other people behind the scenes) has been able to turn this dream into a reality. They have created something that will undoubtedly bless many families this season.
Thankfully, at this time Northwest Bible Church is planning to host their annual in-person Christmas Eve service this year. However, they knew there would be many people who for various reasons would choose or be forced to stay home on Christmas Eve this year. Instead of viewing this as a negative thing, Northwest recognized the ministry opportunity in this reality – there will be two “audiences” this year, so there needs to be two service options! The increased accessibility that the online option provides is a beautiful silver lining to an otherwise frustrating year.
Beyond the service, the Northwest team wanted focused on how to connect with viewers. In many places, and especially in Dallas culture, this night serves an opportunity for lots of new faces in church – members, guests, believers, and non-believers alike are often in attendance on Christmas Eve. The events of this year created the necessity for an online option, so what are the additional ministry opportunities that have been created as a result of that? And how can churches steward those additional ministry opportunities well? Northwest is doing a great job of that, using various points of connection on their website and in the promotion surrounding their online Christmas Eve service.
Visually, their online event will be a stunning and meaningful celebration – beautiful Christmas wonderland scenes, worship, scripture, and teaching – all woven together to usher you and your family into the true Christmas spirit. Northwest Bible’s desire is that every single person has a place this season – no one lost, no one forgotten, no one left behind. So, if you and your family aren’t able to attend church in person this year and don’t have an online option in your own community, Northwest Bible Church welcomes you to join their online Christmas Eve service!
Even if you do have plans with your own church, Northwest’s Christmas Eve online experience will be available for viewing on-demand all day on Christmas Eve. Incorporate it into your family’s festivities as another intentional way to remind yourselves of the true reason we are celebrating – and who wouldn’t love another opportunity to bask in the glory that is the Christmas story?!
Northwest’s Christmas Eve Online experience premieres on Tuesday, December 22nd at 7pm CST, and will be available on demand all day on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th. Get all of the details, a teaser of the serivce, and their additional Christmas resources here: https://northwestbible.org/christmasonline/.