Festive Ways to Decorate Your Church with Christmas Lights

It’s no secret that Christmas is quickly approaching. Likely, you and your team are already thinking of creative ways to make this holiday season meaningful and memorable for your congregation. One way to accomplish this goal is with thoughtful, well-placed décor.

There’s no shortage of clever ways to decorate for Christmas. However, wreaths, poinsettias, nativity sets, and other decorations can be a hassle to set up and maintain.

Fortunately, holiday lights and candles are a simple, tasteful way to help your congregation get into the Christmas spirit and focus on the true “reason for the season.” Continue reading for innovative light decorating inspiration for the holidays!

6 Ways to Decorate Your Church with Lights

1. Sparkling Exterior Lights

Decorating your church’s exterior with Christmas lights serves a twofold purpose. You can spread holiday cheer to not only your congregation but also the people in your community who will pass your church during the holiday season.

There are plenty of creative ways to decorate your church with outdoor lights. First, you’ll need to choose the type of lights you want—plug-in or battery-powered lights, multi-colored or white lights, and incandescent or LED bulbs. Then, you can decide how you’d like to decorate your exterior. You can use string or icicle lights for the perimeter of your roof, net lights for trees and bushes, or unique string lights to line the pathways leading up to your church.

Regardless of how you choose to enhance your church’s exterior for the holidays, follow the safety tips listed later in this blog post to keep your decorating team safe.

2. Festive Floodlights

Floodlights are a fun (and easy!) way to enhance your church’s exterior during the holiday season. You can use colored flood lights to illuminate your church with festive red and green lighting in the evenings. 

You can also invest in a weather-resistant, remote-controlled light show projector that illuminates your church with unique patterns and graphics. Snowflakes, stars, bells, and candy canes are just a few of the images these projections can create.

3. Illuminated Stained Glass

If you have stained-glass windows, Christmas is an opportune time to invest in lighting that allows them to shine just as vibrantly at night as they do in the sunshine.

LED light panels are a great way to enhance your stained-glass windows’ color, texture, and contrast at night. Plus, these lights will draw attention to the beautiful artwork that shares the important story of salvation.

4. Soft Indoor Lighting

To achieve gentle indoor lighting, try lining your walkways with lanterns or string lights. These fixtures will create a festive, cozy atmosphere that harsh spotlights and bright overhead lights cannot achieve.

Plus, if you have décor on your stage, like a nativity set or another holiday display, the dim lighting provides a perfect setting for you to bring attention to these onstage items with brighter spotlights.

5. Flameless Holiday Candles

Candlelight is a simple, beautiful way to add warm lighting and ambiance to your church. Unfortunately, candles can also become a fire hazard.

To keep your church safe this holiday season, consider investing in flameless holiday candles. Often, these LED candlesticks come with dimming and flickering effects to mimic the appearance of a real candle—without the risk.

You can hand these candles to your church members when singing Christmas carols during your services. You can also incorporate them into your décor, using them in wreaths, on welcome tables, around the stage, and more.

6. Meaningful Advent Candles

It’s critical to ensure your holiday décor enhances the reason for Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ. In addition to fun lights, consider incorporating a flameless advent candle into your décor, or even as a part of your service, to remind your congregation of the hope, love, joy, and peace they can experience through a relationship with Jesus.

Safety Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights

Keep these important safety tips in mind once you’ve decided how you’ll decorate your church this Christmas.

Look for Critters 

If you already have some holiday décor packed away in your attic, basement, or storage areas, dig through the boxes outdoors to ensure you don’t bring any stowaway critters or insects into your worship space.

Secure Decorations

You may love the idea of decorating the entire perimeter of your roof with string lights. However, your roof may not offer a secure place to hang lights, or worse, your roof may be damaged by fastening lights incorrectly.

Before you start hanging lights, ensure you can identify safe places on your property where they’ll stay securely fastened during the entire Christmas season.

Avoid Electrical Hazards

It’s tempting to use energy-saving hacks to power your Christmas lights, but it’s not worth the risk of potential electrical hazards. Purchase plenty of power distribution strips, extension cords, and commercial timers to power your exterior light displays.

Use Ladder Safety

Before your staff or volunteers begin decorating your church this Christmas season, ensure that your ladders are in stable, working condition, and adequately sized to reach the spaces you’ll be decorating.

Inspire Christmas Spirit with Bright, Festive Holiday Lights

Once you’ve installed your sparkling Christmas lights, there’s no doubt your church campus will infuse holiday cheer into the hearts of your congregation and the surrounding neighborhood.

As you decorate your church, you may become inspired to renovate your church facility to better serve your community in the upcoming year.

If so, you may enjoy flipping through the most recent copy of our magazine, Rise & Build: A Design Build Church Construction, for the latest, most innovative ideas in church design and construction from Churches by Daniels!