Chreasters – Who are they?

"Chreaster" is a portmanteau (a blend of two words) of the words "Christmas" and "Easter." Chreaster refers to people who attend church only on those days. Although the word is more descriptive than offensive, it isn't typically used in the presence of those whom it describes.

Regular attenders and staff of churches are fairly used to the influx of visitors and plan accordingly, whether increasing the availability of seats or nursery workers or making sure they have enough traffic monitors and ushers. Churches typically welcome Chreasters and even use Christmas and Easter as outreach events for the neighborhood.

Chreasters themselves often have a misunderstanding of the importance and purpose of church attendance. Some believe church service is a requirement for salvation. Others enjoy the pageantry of the holidays or think they get more "credit" for attending on holy days. Still others bow to the expectation of extended family to worship together.

Knowing this, churches often use Christmas and Easter to teach the truth to Chreasters. The gospel message explains that salvation is not earned by works like going to church, but freely given as a gift (Ephesians 2:8–10). God does not consider any particular day more holy than another (Romans 14:5). And the purpose of going to church isn't to gain favor with God but to learn about Him and worship Him; it's a part of a lifestyle that requires consistently meeting with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).

Believers can take advantage of such services to reach Chreasters with the truth of the gospel. Even if they attend only for the ceremony and the tradition, regular attenders should welcome Chreasters and use the opportunity to start relationships and explain how to be saved and the importance of going to church. It's becoming more and more rare for unbelievers to spontaneously attend church; Christmas and Easter give us the chance to show seekers what a loving body of Christ looks like.

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