In most of the Christmas pageants that I’ve been associated with the drama on stage couldn’t hold a candle to the drama behind the scenes. I remember dress rehearsals with stress levels were more incandescent than a million strings of Christmas lights. If you wanted to show someone the fruit of the Spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) would you invite them to your Christmas Pageant rehearsals?
These are some of the pitfalls that I think we need to avoid during our Christmas productions:
- Failing to view the “pageant” primarily as an act of worship. When the pageant becomes more about us than it does about celebrating Christ, we are driven by pride – which means we’ve completely missed the point.
- Outdoing Last Year! – We feel an intense pressure to out-do last year! But it is unsustainable! Often we reach a production level that pushes our people to the brink of burn-out (or beyond). It is unsustainable to continually ratchet up our productions without sacrificing some volunteers on the altar of Bigger and Better
- “Community Theatre” syndrome – If we forget that we’re doing ministry then our Christmas Pageants are reduced to community theatre – and we are susceptible to all of community theatre’s foibles and petty vanities. As the church we are called to so much more than just entertainment!
The good news is that it is possible to produce fitting celebrations of Christmas that honour God in their content and in the way they are produced. I believe that if we approach our Christmas celebrations primarily as acts of worship, in both spirit and in truth, then we’ll succeed celebrating Christ’s advent while enjoying His presence.