The Christmas hymn, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” concludes with these words, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” Our job as children’s ministry leaders is to help kids focus on the Biblical Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), not on Santa Claus. That seems obvious, but sadly, it is not.

Santa Claus is nothing more than a fairy tale; he intrudes into our lives, and into some churches, too. Every Christmas, Santa dominates the scene wherever he goes.

Many younger children have never been told by their parents that Santa is make-believe, so they think he is real. To them, he is a God-like figure because they believe he has magical powers.

Children are confused when Santa walks into their church. When children’s ministry leaders welcome the Christmas intruder into their children’s ministry, they communicate to boys and girls that there are two Christmas stories when there is only one.

The true story of Christmas in the Bible is this: Jesus Christ came from Heaven to Earth as a baby boy, born of Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7). This miraculous event is called the “Incarnation.” At His birth, Jesus was fully God and fully human at the same time. (Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 2:17)

Jesus came into the world for one specific purpose: to “save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, ESV)

While Christians celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, there are some children’s ministry leaders who invite Santa into the church so that kids can sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

Santa is a major distraction at church. He blurs reality and obscures the true meaning of Christmas in children’s minds.

During the Holiday Season, Christians remember and celebrate Jesus’ birth at home and church. We teach the true story of Christ’s birth and pass it on to the next generation. But year after year, Santa towers over society and takes all the attention away from Jesus, whose birth is the real reason for the season.

Some children’s ministry leaders do not think that having Santa visit their kids is a problem. They love Santa and believe it is OK to let him in the church door.

These children’s ministry leaders want to be culturally relevant, and Santa is a big part of the culture. But that does not make it right.

The Bible is where Christians go for answers, so what does the Word of God say about Santa Claus? Indeed, Santa is not mentioned in the Bible, but the Scripture gives us clear commands and principles that instruct, guide, and direct us to the truth.

Here are three applicable Bible verses for us to know and obey…

  • The first is Exodus 20:3 (ESV), where God said, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

This is the first of the ten commandments, and God makes it clear that He is to be the only God in our lives. But for many children, Santa has become their god, and children’s ministry leaders reinforce these false beliefs when they invite Santa into the church. Remember, as children’s ministry leaders, we are not to surrender to Santa any territory or focus that rightly belongs to God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is where the Christmas intruder confuses children. According to the make-believe story of Santa, his supposed power is eerily similar to God’s. We are told that Santa is a transcendent being and not limited by the physical laws of this world. Santa can fly in his sleigh around the world in a single day, stopping at every house in just 24 hours. And Santa is surrounded by his helpers and reindeers, who likewise are not subject to the constraints placed on the rest of us. Santa is also omnipresent—he sees you when you’re sleeping. He is omniscient—he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake.

In addition to being a fictional heavenly being, Santa has a questionable character. He does not tell the truth, and he makes empty promises. Santa also demands good works, rewards unrepentant sinful people, and only shows up once a year.

Santa’s traits fall far short of the true Triune God of the Bible. The true God speaks the truth (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2), and He keeps all of His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). The true God judges those who reject Him (Romans 14:10,12; Hebrews 10:30). He also gives salvation by grace through faith, and not by our good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). And the true God is always present (Psalm 139:1-18).

  • A second Bible verse that applies to why Santa should never be invited to your children’s ministry is I Timothy 3:15 (ESV), where we are told that the church is “a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

Santa is a pretend character. His story is fiction. On the other hand, the church is about upholding the truth. Make-believe characters and fairy tales have no place in your children’s ministry.

  • A third Bible verse that applies to why the Christmas intruder should be left out in the cold is I John 2:15 (ESV), which says in part, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.”

And who is more worldly than Santa Claus? By inviting him into your children’s ministry, you are teaching boys and girls to love the world and the things in it.

This Christmas, make Jesus Christ the honored guest in your children’s ministry, not Santa Claus.


1) If you have invited Santa to your church, uninvite him and never ask him to come back.

2) If you have asked Santa to visit your children’s ministry and he has already come and gone, repent of your disobedience to the Word of God, and He will forgive you (I John 1:9). Then learn from your experience and never have Santa to your church again.

3) Teach the kids in your children’s ministry the true story of Christmas from the Bible and organize all of your holiday activities so that Jesus is the main focus.

4) Avoid singing secular Christmas songs in your children’s ministry. Sing songs about Jesus and His birth.

5) Check out all of the Bible verses in the Show Notes, as only some were mentioned in this podcast. If your podcast provider does not publish the Show Notes, visit our website at cmikids.com, and you will find them there under the title of this episode.

TAGS: Exodus 20:3; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 139:1-18; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7; Romans 14:10,12; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:15; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 2:17, 10:30, 12:2, 13:15; 1 John 1:9, 2:15; Christmas; Jesus Christ; Triune God; Santa Claus

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