Scott grew up in a home where spiritual
things were not discussed or important. As a sophomore, a friend invited Scott out to a
Christmas Dinner, sponsored by a local youth organization. The room had been decorated
with lights, Christmas trees surrounding the rooms perimeter, and poinsettias lining
the stage. The high school jazz band entertained the 200 students from San Pasqual High
School who attended. The special music, student testimonies, and speaker all impressed
Scott, who had never been to a Christian event of this type. Scott was moved when the
speaker presented the students with an opportunity to receive Christ into his life. Scott
received Christ and responded on his comment card, "This is what I have been looking
for my whole life." Scott went to a winter conference for high school students. Later
that month, he became involved in a youth ministry on campus. Scott now attends a major
university and continues to grow in his relationship with God.
Christmas Dinner Outreach Details
The Christmas Dinner is a formal event where parents and community members serve and honor
the students by providing a nice meal and encouraging program that highlights the true
meaning of Christmas and provides an opportunity for each student to respond to Christ.
This Christmas Dinner is a festive event that has the potential to:
- Expose large numbers of students to the
- Increase student ownership of your local
- Increase community visibility and ownership of
your local ministry.
- Parents and community members who desire to
serve the students
- Parents and community members who will fund
- Students who want to reach their non-Christian
Organizational Roles and Committees
- Impart vision and direction for the event
through monthly organizational meetings.
- Communicate as needed with committee leaders.
- Design and print invitations
- Handle R.S.V.P.s for the event
- Finance cost of invitations (optional)
Helpful Hint: Invitations should be
consistent with the formal theme. This will make students feel honored.
- Create atmosphere of the site of the dinner
(make it festive and "Christmassy")
- Decorate the room and the stage, not including
the individual tables
- Make arrangements for meal
- Select menu
- Coordinate food service at the dinner
Helpful Hint: Having the meal catered
requires the least amount of effort by parents and has a better guarantee on food quality.
If going this route, use a popular restaurant that students frequent. If you have parents
who are talented cooks and are willing to do the work, this would be more economical.
Table Host Coordinator
- Recruit table hosts and help other parents
recruit table hosts.
- Communicate responsibilities and details
(items needed, location, time to arrive, serving schedule, etc.) to table hosts.
Helpful Hint: Choose someone who is well
connected to the community and parents and doesnt mind phone calling.
- Raise funds for the event
- Coordinate door prize donations
Helpful Hint: Figure out the price per
table and challenge individuals or businesses to buy a table, and/or challenge the table
hosts to provide the funding for their table.
- Provide involved students with invitations
- Motivate and teach involved students how to
effectively invite their friends
- Provide accountability and continued
encouragement for involved students
- Work closely with Program coordinator in
finding students for program
- Arrange program schedule and coordinate
program elements (before and at the event)
- Arrange for sound system, emcee coaching,
Helpful Hint: Comment cards are helpful to
keep track of students who attended and their thoughts about the evening and provide a
place for students to indicate their decision for Christ. It is best to lead the students
from the front in filling out the card.
- Be as creative or simple as you would like in
covering the event in prayer!
Helpful Hint: Moms in Touch, Mothers Who
Care or another community prayer group is a good option for prayer coverage.
- Decorate table with Christmas theme, using
red, green, and white colors and a low center-piece.
- Provide tablecloth for a (size) table, plates,
silverware, cups, napkins, inexpensive party favors or candy and two pitchers for table of
(number) people. Using disposable nice colored plastic plates saves a big mess in the
kitchen after dinner, and they look pretty.
- Provide dessert (one apple pie) for the table
- Wait on your table, serving the students. You
will need a serving tray and should wear white top and black pants.
- Stay and participate in the program after the
meal is completed.
- Arrive 2 hours before the meal is to be served
to set up your table.
Helpful Hint: This is the most important
job! You make the students feel special by your service. Be as
creative as you can in this role.
Timeline of the Christmas Dinner Outreach
- Conduct your first organizational meeting with
leadership parents and volunteers.
- Impart the initial vision of the event.
- Set the date and determine a site. We
recommend having the dinner the first weekend of December before family Christmas plans
begin. Take time to consider the best day.
- Encourage parents to get the word out to other
parents to pray, ask for involvement, and come to the next organizational meeting in
- Talk through table host responsibilities.
- Between this and the next meeting, book
speaker and location.
- Have second organizational meeting.
- Determine committee heads and communicate
committee responsibilities (best if this is in writing)
- Pass out Table host responsibility sheets so
parents can ask their friends to host tables and enlist finances.
- Let the students know about the event and have
them brainstorm friends they want to invite.
- Director of dinner is in close contact with
the committee heads each week, making sure that progress is being made, particularly
focusing on the table host recruiting and funding.
- Program coordinator finalizes the program and
enlists students to participate: emcees (one sr. guy, one senior girl together), student
testimony, student singers (perform duets of Christmas songs), different student
leadership options (skit participants, greeters, other helpers, etc.).
- Print invitations
- Have a "Christmas in November Party"
for the students to paint the picture of the event and give students ownership. Give the
kids the invitations to invite friends.
- Have the final organizational meeting the
Sunday before or after Thanksgiving to troubleshoot, pray, get updates on each
- Director should be ready to step in and help
committee members if need be.
- Its time for the dinner!
- Get final head count from invitation committee
- Communicate number of meals to be prepared to
menu committee head.
- Make sure all table hosts know their
- Check with all committee leaders to make sure
everything is in order.
- Enjoy the dinner and all that God does through
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