by Brad Shimomura/ September 9, 2015
Kids’ Christmas productions are a great way to help your children “give” during the season of celebrating Jesus’ birth. They get kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who don’t normally attend church to come to church and hear the gospel. The key to a great presentation is excellent planning. The following is a sample timeline for planning a great kids’ Christmas presentation.
Summer: Search for, select, and purchase materials for the musical and/or drama presentation of your choice. Be sure to thoroughly read instructions from the publisher to make sure you are following all copyright requirements. Copyrights often prohibits us making copies of the music CD’s, so if you want to send the music home with the kids, check with the publisher before making copies.
Early September: Recruit your team. Consider having a drama coach, choir director, prop and set designer, technical coordinator, choreographer, and a few other people who can work one-on-one with kids as needed for lines, solos, or other individual needs.
Mid to late September: Introduce the music to the kids, have auditions for parts, and begin practices. Brainstorm with your team what the costumes, props, and sets are going to look like.
Early October: Cast all parts and/or solos. Finalize and begin working on set designs.
Late November: Obtain props and costumes. Have the first rehearsal with the kids on stage. Remember to practice entering and exiting the stage.
December: If necessary, have the second rehearsal, then the dress rehearsal on the weekend of the performance. Check with your sound person to make sure they receive the music in a way that is most convenient for them (CD, MP3 player, tablet etc.), and that you have enough microphones. Also, check with your pastor to see if you should present an invitation to salvation or if he would like to do so. Be sure to plan for some kind of follow-up to any who respond to the salvation invitation.
Recruit a team or assign your team to restore the church stage to normal.
Day of performance: Have kids arrive early enough to do a quick run-through making sure sound, lights, props, costumes, and sets are all in order. Enjoy the performance.
Following the performance: Celebrate with the kids. Ideas include awards like “smile awards” for smiling, “energy awards” for enthusiastic performers, “attendance awards” for those who attended the most practices, and “friends and family” awards for those who brought the most guests. These awards don’t have to be limited to one or two kids, but can be given out freely so everyone or nearly everyone receives an award if you’d like. Most of the kids will enjoy watching the performance if it is recorded.
Scheduling is flexible: If the program you are considering is not as large, the timetable can be adjusted to fit your program. Most importantly, schedule enough practices and rehearsals so the kids will know the songs when it comes time for the performance.What are your favorite strategies for presenting a great Christmas program?