Chreasters is a slang term used in some Christian circles to refer to people who only attend church twice a year, at Christmas and Easter. The word Chreaster is a portmanteau word (or a blend) that combines the words Christmas and Easter.
Every church has its Chreasters, whether or not they’re called “Chreasters.” Attendance usually swells at the annual Christmas service and Easter Sunday; pastors plan on those two services as being the best attended of the year.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with attending church at Christmastime and Easter, and a church should welcome all its visitors, no matter how often they attend (or don’t attend). The problem comes in some of the misconceptions that a Chreaster may harbor. For example, the Chreaster may be a nominal Christian with a false sense of security about his salvation, based on his showing up at church twice a year. If the Chreaster thinks of Christianity as primarily an expression of cultural values rather than as a life-changing, dynamic relationship with Christ, he may be trying to “maintain” his Christianity though periodic visits to church.
Or, the Chreaster may think he’s a good enough person without church (a proud thought that contradicts Romans 3:10); or he may only go twice a year to please his wife (pleasing one’s wife is not a bad thing, but there are better motivations for church attendance). There’s also the underlying assumption that Christmas and Easter are “holier” days than the rest of the calendar, even though the Bible teaches that all days are equally holy (Romans 14:5). If the Chreaster claims to be a believer, he is ignoring the biblical command not to forsake the gathering of believers to worship God (Hebrews 10:25). If the Chreaster is an unbeliever, then he needs to be saved (Acts 17:30).
We are not saved by church attendance. However, church attendance is important for the believer in Christ. A relationship with the Father naturally leads to the desire to fellowship with the Father’s children on a regular basis (see 1 John 5:1). The need for fellowship, acceptance of accountability, and worship of the Lord, so foundational to regular church attendance, is lost on the Chreaster.