A typical American family, the Allworths are in the throes of a minor crisis. Ernest Allworth—who, at his worst, can be a bit of a pessimist and a hypochondriac—fears he will be laid off. Shirley Allworth, an optimist and meticulous organizer, has agreed to direct the children’s Christmas pageant this year. They are at odds over Ernest’s part in the play. The Allworths’ three children, Megan (11), Elizabeth (5), and Anna (13 months), are in the pageant. The family’s effort to re-create the birth of the Savior in the church pageant will be the turning point in their family crisis.

In addition to the five lead characters, The Christmas Stand-ins features smaller roles for 10 students. The program demonstrates what your children are already learning during Sunday School. We’ve included several songs, poems, and memory verses that coordinate with some of the Regular Baptist Press Sunday School curriculum (including material for your pre-primary, primary, middler, junior, and youth classes). Teachers will appreciate this integrated idea. Too often we struggle to steal time from Sunday School to practice for the Christmas program; this approach allows teachers to teach and rehearse at the same time.

Along the way we’ve included some optional ideas for integrating congregational singing into the program. The Christmas Stand-ins features a flexible, easy-to-rehearse format. We’ve included reproducible resources for directors at the back of this book, and additional resources at the RBP website .

Teachers will appreciate the Reproducible Resources section of this book, which includes handouts to send home with Sunday School classes as they learn the songs and Scripture passages in the script. Each church should plan on purchasing enough copies of the book for the speaking parts (15 total).

The program has additional suggestions for an entire Christmas service, including suggestions for congregational singing. The program is best concluded with a sermon by the pastor, emphasizing the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ, Who is the perfect Christmas Stand-in for all who receive His salvation as a free gift.

About the author

L. A. Baird is an assistant professor of English at Flagler College, St. Augustine, Fla. She has written more than 70 articles as a contributing writer for Regular Baptist Press Sunday School papers and has written for other Christian publications, academic journals, and video productions. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys photography, horseback riding, and going to the beach.