Coming up with the perfect Christmas program seems really simple when you see what churches all over the world are doing. It all looks so easy and magical. The reality is much different. First off, there is probably nothing even close to a perfect program. Second, developing an effective Christmas service (or any event for that matter) requires tons of work, lots of collaboration, and probably even more compromise. Easy isn’t one of the options.
For the Willow team this year, we had our share of ups and downs to get to where our program ended up. Is it perfect? No. But it is a product of our best effort, given our abilities, given our limitations, given our resources. And with all of that, it is a really good Christmas program.
Without question, there are things I would do differently. There are things I wish others had done differently. If we were going to take this show on the road, then we’d be able to make some more tweaks and turn it into a “better” version of itself…but we aren’t.
However, as Seth Godin talks about quite a bit, there is a time for planning and tweaking, but there is also a time to ship; a time to stop adjusting and get your product out there.
All along the way, we tried to make the best decisions we could, based on the information of the moment. Looking back is easy. Knowing what I would do differently is the easy part. Living in the moment and making decisions along the way is not easy to do. You can only do your best.
Wishing the last event were better does’t really solve the problem. Looking towards the next big event, the goal will be to build on the successes of this event and to learn from our “mistakes”.
I’m really proud of the work our team has done to make this Christmas amazing. Hard working, highly creative people, creating in community for the benefit of our congregation and their friends. In spite of whatever could have gone better, this is a Christmas to remember.
Here are some pictures of production elements. Some that made it into the program and some that didn’t …and that’s OK.
Here are a couple of short videos of a stage transition that never happened. It was cool, but in the end, didn’t help tell the story.