It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Choirs are practice, decorating committees are hanging lights, and pastors are preparing their messages.
Churches all over the U.S. look to welcome everyone in to celebrate the birth of Christ, but they're also having to consider how to keep their flock safe.
"In congregations from coast to coast, church leaders are fortifying their sanctuaries to prepare worshippers for a possible attack," reported CBN News.
The move is motivated in part by the Sutherland Springs church shooting that rocked America early last month. In that tragedy, a single shooter walked into the First Baptist Church and shot and killed 26 people.
In response, Prestonwood Baptist is leading an effort to equip churches to protect themselves from similar shootings. They're holding a church safety event at the church's Plano, Texas, campus.
During the event, local law enforcement officers spoke to a packed room about the need for safety measures. They also included tips on how to spot suspicious behavior.
One of those is to be aware of how people are dressed. An officer pointed out that white supremacist Dylann Roof, who is serving time for murdering nine church members in Charleston, South Carolina, was wearing heavy clothing to conceal body armor.
CBN notes that a growing number of churches in the U.S. are taking security more seriously. Many have a security model composed of both volunteers and contracted security.
This need is punctuated by a recent number of calls for attacks on houses of worship from ISIS. In early December, ISIS released a flyer depicting the National Cathedral erupting in flames.
"The anti-Christian propaganda went out to followers through their social media outlets with the tagline 'We meet at Christmas in New York soon,'" reported CBN.
Is your church preparing in a similar way? Please say a prayer that there are no mass shootings at churches this Christmas!