Bethlehem Drive is a fun and effective way to witness to your community during the Christmas season. Stations are set up to tell important parts of the Christmas story. Visitors drive through "Bethlehem," passing each station, and then arrive at the manger scene for the final
destination. (After people have driven by the stations, you might invite them to park their cars, and then come inside your church to
watch the movie "Jesus," and/or serve cider and cookies during a Christmas carol sing-along.)
Decide which "Bethlehem Stations" you will set up for cars to drive by and view, see stations below. Assign overseers to each station to recruit volunteers and gather costumes and props for their station. You will also need someone to plan and distribute the handouts for the event, as well as advertising prior to the event (local paper, radio, invitation flyers to send out to the church and community). Set up your Bethlehem Stations in such a way as to have a driveway for cars to enter your church parking lot, proceed pass each station, and then exit at another side of the property. Make sure the stations are setup far enough apart, with plenty of space between them, so cars don't get backed up. If you are using this function as a fundraiser, collect donations at the exit. Stations could extend into Jesus' ministry, along with the crucifixion and resurrection scene.
Townspeople and Bethlehem Shops;
Angels & Shepherds
Manger Scene (live animals optional);
Scroll (for the Census Taker).
Bible-time costumes. How elaborate you make them will depend on your budget.
Signs to indicate the Stations. Make sure you have a "No Vacancy" sign posted at the Inn.
Bethlehem Shops: (optional) Brooms, buckets, ropes and other items in a village community.
Scene Backdrops: See silhouette patterns, below.
Lighting: Place spot lights at each station.
"Entrance Greeters" handout a "Bethlehem Map" with information about each station, and corresponding Bible reference. The "map" could also include church service information.
"Exit Greeters" thank people for coming and handout a gospel track, such as the Candy Cane Witness.
Welcome people entering "Bethlehem," give them maps (optional) and direct traffic to proceed slowly, pausing briefly at each station and making sure windows are rolled down to hear the actors.
Census Announcer (Reading from scroll)
"Here Ye, Here Ye, Caesar Augustus has issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Everyone must go at once to their own town and village to be registered!" (Luke 2:1-3)
Gabriel (to Mary) "Greetings, Mary, you are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid. You will be with child and give birth to a son. You are to give him the name, Jesus, because he will save people from their sins."
Mary (to Gabriel): "How can this be? I am a virgin!"
Gabriel (to Mary): "The Holy Spirit will make it possible. You will give birth to the Son of God."
Walk along the "Bethlehem street," speaking to one another and tending their shops.
Angels & Shepherds
Angel of the Lord (to the terrified Shepherds): "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Host of heavenly Angels: (sing first chorus of "Angels We Have Heard On High" to the Shepherds)
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14)
"We're all booked up. No rooms left! You might be able to squeeze into the stable next door, that is if you don't mind the smell of animals and a crying baby." (Luke 2:7)
Wise Men (Speaking to some townspeople and pointing to the eastern sky)
"Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2)
Townsperson (Speaking to Wise Men) "We heard he was born in that stable; right over there!" (Pointing to the manger.)
(live animals optional)
Mary (holding baby Jesus) "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation..." (Luke 1:46-55)
Joseph "The angel told me this would take place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet, Isaiah: 'The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' which means, God with us." (Matthew 1:22-23)
Thank people for coming and distribute gospel track message (optional). If your church provides more activities, such as serving hot cocoa and cookies, give visitors directions to proceed.
Copy images, below, onto overhead projector sheets, then project them onto wood or heavy-duty cardboard to enlarge them. Trace and paint the designs. Use spotlights on the actors and silhouettes.
Camels / Wise Men
Copyright 2005 S. A. Keith - All Rights Reserved