A Fresh Take on Holiday Planning
Your clients may need help getting getting in the holiday spirit this year. How to coach ministry leaders to see the holidays through fresh eyes.

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership

Holiday planning isn’t always exciting. Pastors can start to feel like they’ve said everything there is to say on the subject of Christmas. Ditto for Easter. That can be true no matter how compelling Jesus’ incarnation is and no matter how transformational his resurrection is. It’s more a matter of finding new ways to express old truths so you can see them with new eyes… and help others see them with new eyes as well. 

Many in your congregations deeply value their traditions and will want them kept intact. There is no need to change everything up. People will still want to sing their Christmas carols, have their children’s pageants, and hear the familiar scriptures read aloud with the lighting of the candles. But pastors can introduce some freshness into advent by reading widely and collaborating with others whenever possible. 

Fresh Eyes for the Holiday

fresh perspectives for holiday planning

Rather than going inward, to your own mind, your own history, and your own imagination, go outward this holiday season. You’ve likely already mined all of your own associations with the holidays and preached on them before. Instead, start reading other people’s books, blogs, and essays. Start listening to other people’s sermons, podcasts, and teachings. 

Different Perspectives

There is so much more to the story than the narrative known by heart. There are so many lenses we can look through to get a fresh perspective. Here are a few examples:


What about looking at Luke from a female perspective? The stories of Mary and Elizabeth are often told during Advent but there are several women in the first chapters of Luke who are overlooked. The stories of the women mentioned in the genealogy are beautiful foreshadowing of the grace and reconciliation found in Jesus.  

A Weary World

In his book, An Honest Advent, artist Scott Erickson peels away the polish of Christmas Present and looks at the story through the lens of the painful realities of the weary world then—and now.


One helpful resource I recently ran across is an annual advent guide by Dave Meserve, available through Volunteers of America, that provides fresh takes on advent each year. For instance, one past year looks at the events of the incarnation through the lens of place: Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt, and the roads along the way. 

Coaching Questions for Advent inspiration

  • What other perspectives can you consider when reading through Luke?
  • What else is going on in the context of the story?
  • How might that context speak to people today?
  • Who could you talk with for inspiration? 
  • What resources could you access? 
  • Where might you find more ideas you could build on?

Cover Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash


Ministry and Social Media

Whatever your feelings are about it, social media is an important piece of communication that you—and your ministry clients have to get right.

Year-end Giving: A Coach Approach

Have clients worried about not meeting their year-end goals? Let’s talk. 

We are Thankful for YOU

We see you. And we are incredibly grateful for you and the work that you do. Here’s why…

Creative Approaches to Casting Vision

Helping them have eyes to see is the aim of casting vision. It is an essential piece of any ministry—for without vision the ministry will inevitably decline.  

Working with Different Generations

Reaching and working with people from various generations needs to be intentional. Here are some strategies you can work through with your coaching clients.

A Coach Approach to Annual Planning

If leaders or their staff get a pit in their stomach when it comes time for annual planning, coaching can help turn it into a productive and team-building experience.

Fight Pastoral Fatigue with Forward Movement

Fall fatigue is common in pastors. But why? It’s a time of the year when the congregation is back in the building, Bible studies are in full swing… the church is busy. So why are pastors lagging? Fall fatigue in pastors can be an indicator of how well the church is staying on mission.

Coaching for Succession Planning 

A change in Senior Pastor leadership is never easy. Whether the change is sudden or a planned retirement, knowing the stages of succession and how to manage each well lessens the sting and sets the church up for a healthy transition.

Proper Care and Feeding of Volunteers

There is plenty of work to be done. Opportunities to serve together abound. So what is at the root of churches struggling to keep their volunteers?

Healthy, Effective Teams

In the short term, an unhealthy team may be able to get things done. But there will be a time when they can no longer hold it together. When that happens, any progress made is lost. Here are 5 qualities of healthy, effective teams and how to coach your leader to build them.