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About This Issue

Posted by Jonathan Malm on October 01, 2012.

Author: Jonathan Malm

Welcome to a special Christmas issue of Sunday| Magazine. This month, instead of topical articles, the issue follows Willow Creek Community Church’s Christmas program from 2011.

We’ll look at the creative process and planning that went into their services, as well as the implementation and the lessons they learned along the way.

The goal of this issue isn’t to provide a Christmas service template. Most churches don’t have the nearly the same resources as our friends in the Chicago area. And trying something like this might be more disastrous than beneficial.

But there are some things we can learn from our friends at Willow Creek. I believe by looking at some of the behind-the-scenes bits, we’ll learn some valuable principles we can apply to our Christmas preparations.

My hope for you is that you read this through your particular context and glean whatever you can. Not everything will apply to you. Some ideas might not work in your particular geography or in your context. But look at the heart behind the ideas and latch on to that.  Take the heart from the articles and bring that into your Christmas services.

While we all approach church differently and from different theological backgrounds, our overall goals remain the same. We want to impact our world with the Gospel. We want to strengthen our congregations spiritually. And we want to bring glory to God through our actions as the Church.

To put this issue together, I chatted with a few gracious folks from Willow Creek.

  • Blaine Hogan – Creative Director
  • Paul Johnson – Executive Producer
  • Aaron Niequist – Weekend Worship Leader
  • Todd Elliott – Technical Arts Director

They all had their hands in making the 2011 Christmas services possible (along with countless volunteers and fellow staff members).

My goal is that you can experience their Christmas program for yourself through these articles. We don’t always get the chance to enjoy what other churches are doing because we’re in our own trenches at Easter and Christmas time. So enjoy this. You have your own Christmas giant to slay in a couple months. Let this prepare you and stir up your excitement for the event.

God bless and a very early merry Christmas to you.

About the Author

Jonathan Malm | F T w
Jonathan is a creative entrepreneur and writer. He is the author of "Created for More," a 30-day devotional to help you develop a more creative mind. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas, roasting his own coffee beans and enjoying life with his Argentine wife, Carolina. You can follow him on Twitter @jonathanmalm.


  1. This is awesome! Love the behind-the-scenes views that can help me figure out how to improve what we are doing at our own church. Thank you for the time and effort put into putting together this issue!

  2. Hehe I love this edition’s theme 😀 It’s different yet very helpful especially for fledgling teams out there.

    Keep spewing out God’s creativity!

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