Not just for schools: Our top ten church nativity plays

Yes, we DO sell ‘church nativity plays’, as well as ‘school nativity plays’, and guess what? They’re the same thing! This may sound like an odd thing to say, but recently it’s become clear to us that not everyone understands this!

Church Nativity Plays
Church Nativity Plays

It’s been a good year for us at Learn2soar Music, particularly in terms of sales. But to our disappointment we recently discovered that we’ve not sold as many nativities to churches this year as we have previously. Our research showed that more people than ever had googled for ‘church nativity plays’, or ‘Sunday school’ or ‘Christian’ nativity plays. However, for the first time in 15 years a low number of those searches converted into actual sales.

This is upsetting and frustrating because the truth is, ALL of our Nativity plays are suitable for church use. In addition, all of our Christmas musicals and plays (i.e. non-nativity stories) still feature the true message of Christmas in one way or another.

Not Christian Enough!

We believe we’ve identified the main reasons for the drop and are taking steps to rectify the situation. We’re not going to share all our findings now, but one thing is clear. People searching for ‘Church Nativity Plays’, didn’t think our webpages, or our plays looked “Christian enough”!

One of the main issues it seems, is that our webpages are heavily marketed towards schools, rather than churches. They use terms like ‘teachers’, ‘pupils’ and ‘classes’, rather than ‘congregation’. We make no excuses for this. Schools and preschool establishments around the world are our main customer base. But come on people, let’s be clear. A nativity play, is a nativity play, no matter what setting it’s performed in!

A Modern Twist

Following on from this, another issue seems to be that over the years we’ve given some of our nativity plays a ‘modern twist’. This is evidently deemed to be ‘unholy’ or ‘unbiblical’ in some people’s eyes. Well apart from that being highly debatable, the real question is: Does having a ‘modern twist’ make our nativity plays any less suitable for a church setting? Absolutely not…

Jesus often used parables to explain his teachings. He didn’t just rely on stories from what we now know as the Old Testament. Instead, he created fresh stories that were relevant to the time and culture in which he lived. In the same way, our nativity plays aim to make the biblical nativity story speak in new, fresh and exciting ways to our generation. Surely that’s what any church service should be trying to do. Speak the words of the bible in relevant ways to a modern generation. Thus, at Christmas time, we believe our nativity plays should be number one on the ‘must-do’ list of any church.

Top 10 Church Nativity Plays

Here are links to our 10 best-selling church nativity plays. (Which are all very Christian, we promise)…

1. Big Bad Ben Of Bethlehem
Big Bad Ben Of Bethlehem - Church Nativity Plays
Big Bad Ben Of Bethlehem Christmas Musical Nativity Play

Yes, it may seem like a naughty sounding play with a mischievous title. We can see how that might put some churches off straight away. But that would be a shame as the hilarious nativity ‘Big Bad Ben’ is probably our most unashamedly Christian play. In it, the main character, Big Bad Ben (the innkeeper’s son) totally changes his ways when he sees the face of Jesus. Then, at the end of the play he sings: “I wasn’t looking, but Jesus found me, inside I’ve been changed, look at me and see!” We think you’ll agree, that says it all!

2. The Right Shepherds
The Right Shepherds - Church Natvity Plays
The Right Shepherds – Church Natvity Play

The Angel Gabriel is on a mission from God to tell the wonderful news of Christ’s birth to some shepherds. The trouble is, Gabriel can’t find the right shepherds, because the worried shepherds, the daydreaming shepherds and the lazy shepherds just won’t do! This nativity musical has a great message for any church congregation as it basically asks the question, what type of shepherd are you? I.e. if God asked you to do something, would you be too lazy, or too worried to actually do it? Or would you obey without question?

3. Keeping Mr Inn In The Inn
Keeping Mr Inn In The Inn - Church Nativity Plays
Keeping Mr Inn In The Inn – Church Nativity Play

A short, simple, tongue-twisting nativity performance. There are two innkeepers in Bethlehem – Mr. Inn & Mr. Out! One day the town council announces that one of their inns must be demolished to make way for a multi-storey CAMEL park! Which inn will go? Will Inn be in and Out be out, or Out be in and Inn be out??!!! This nativity play for ages 5-11 also features the themes of miracles and answered prayers.

4. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Spells Christmas For INFANTS and C-H-R… Spells Christmas For JUNIORS:
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Spells Christmas For JUNIORS Nativity Play
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Spells Christmas For JUNIORS Nativity Play

The nativity story told through the letters that spell the word Christmas. Very simple, extremely effective and a LOT of fun! You can’t go wrong with it. TIP: A lot of churches / Sunday schools with wide age ranges tend to buy both versions of this play and merge them together.

5. Our First Nativity and Our First Nativity TWO:
Our First Nativity One & Two
Our First Nativity & Our First Nativity TWO

These two early years performances are our best-selling nativity plays. The nativity in its simplest form possible. Great for very young children, but if you have a very wide age range don’t be put off by the title. We know of many churches who have used these nativities with all ages, by simply missing out the first song, or by changing the line that says, “Our first nativity” into “Our church nativity”. A guaranteed winner!

6. The Egyptian Nativity
The Egyptian Nativity Christmas Nativity Play
The Egyptian Nativity Christmas Nativity Play

This funny nativity play tells the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Egypt, to escape Herod. It looks at Mary and Joseph from the point of view of them effectively being ‘asylum seekers’ in their temporary home of Egypt. One of the main themes running through the play is ‘God’s plan’, with references to Jeremiah 29 vs 11. Two songs even use this chorus: “Know that your Father holds the world in His hands. Know that your Father, has a perfect plan. A plan to always prosper, never to harm, with a future safe, in His everlasting arms.”

7. What A Star
What A Star Nativity Play
What A Star Nativity Play

A cute nativity, which tells the story of a small shy star, who’s given a BIG job to do over Bethlehem. This nativity was written to help boost children’s self-image, and also reinforces the view that God loves and cares for everyone, no matter who they are. Even if we feel small and insignificant, God sees us as special and still has big plans for us. The final song contains a line which says, “Everyone’s special, God thinks you are. Everyone’s special, you are a star!” You can find out more about the creation of ‘What A Star’ here.

8. The ABC Nativity
The ABC Nativity Christmas Nativity Play
The ABC Nativity Christmas Nativity Play

“A is for Angel, B is for Baby, C is for Celebrate with Joseph and Mary!”… You’ll have lots of fun with this time-saving, easy-to-use, alphabetic nativity play. ‘The ABC Nativity’ comes with two editable, rhyming scripts, which tell the traditional nativity story in a very clever way. It contains eight very easy songs, all of which are based on familiar tunes.

9. Cool Carols
Cool Carols - Nativity Play
Cool Carols – Nativity Play

A super flexible, quick and easy nativity performance. Two rhyming, traditional nativity scripts, with no modern twists, have been mixed with 9 traditional Christmas carols and two new Christmas songs, all of which have a modern, fresh sound. This brilliant combination allows you to easily produce the perfect nativity production that will be a hit with kids and parents. The two scripts are a simple, literal retelling of the biblical nativity story. In addition, both scripts use rhyming verse, traditional carols with modern music, and optional bible readings. Unlike other nativities, the script begins with the prophet Isaiah, before moving on to the regular nativity story.

10. A Christmas-Toy Story
Christmas-Toy Story Children's Musical
A Christmas-Toy Story – Christmas Musical

This is far from being a conventional nativity play, although there is a detailed nativity scene halfway through the performance. Instead, the play tells the story of a group of toys who come to life during the early hours of Christmas morning, and try to discover what this strange ‘Christmas’ thing is.
Therefore, as you may have guessed, the nativity story isn’t the main theme in ‘A Christmas Toy Story’, although it is a very important element. The main theme of the play is ‘family’. The toys are all completely different characters, with different views, different opinions, different faces, different ways, yet by the end of the play they all learn to join together as one happy family.

For most people that would be a simple enough Christmas message, because Christmas is a family occasion. Yet for us it goes deeper than that. This theme was written into the play to reflect the way God sees the global church. Different faces, different races, different denominations, different traditions, yet we are all one family, God’s family.
The play also finishes with a different version of ‘Deck the Halls’, with the line, “Don’t forget the point of Christmas, Celebrate the birth of Jesus.” This means that the very final focus of the play is put back on Jesus.

More Church Nativity Plays

Finally, please remember that ALL our Christmas publications feature the true meaning of Christmas, one way or another. To see our full range, please click on the ‘Christmas’ link at the top of this page. And to illustrate this point, we’ll leave you one of our favourite nativity songs from a play not even in this list. This is ‘Glory, Glory’ from ‘Away WITH The Manger’. The chorus says, “Glory, glory, celebrate the Saviour’s birth, Jesus is King over all the earth. Glory, glory, hallelujah, Jesus will reign for ever.”