Let’s face it, Easter is the equivalent of the Superbowl in the church world. Historically, Easter Sunday has the highest attendance. The pull of Easter is so powerful that even all the casual and non-committed show up for the big day. With all of the non-committed and unbelievers scattered throughout your church on Easter, you need to give your best to make sure the gospel is preached so that God changes lives. Here are ten tips for you to make sure you score plenty of touchdowns this Easter weekend.
1. Plan ahead. Planning is essential in order to make the most out of your Easter weekend. Start planning at least three months prior to Easter. First, plan out how many people you expect to have in attendance. This will determine how many volunteers you need to recruit for each ministry position. Second, plan out your marketing strategy. Third, plan out your services. What creative elements will you include such as special music or videos. What songs will you sing? What is the theme of the message? Plan out the look and feel of the services.
2. Market effectively. Effective churches don’t expect people just to show up at their doors, they go out into the community and invite them to come. Leverage social media, the local paper, and street signs to let the public know when and where your service will be. Your marketing plan should be layered. In other words, use multiple types of marketing approaches to reach the maximum amount of people possible.
3. Share the “Why”. Equip ministry teams with purpose. You need to give people a reason why they should volunteer on Easter Sunday instead of just showing up. For example: “You should volunteer on Easter Sunday because this is the day when you will get to use your spiritual gifts to serve the largest amount of people” or “This is the day when we expect to see many people come to Christ and you will get to be a part of it.” Your volunteers will feel compelled to serve if you give them honest reasons why. We all like to invest in things that matter and Easter matters.
4. Spend time with God. You know the old saying “As go the leaders, so go the followers.” If you want to see God move in your church, ask Him to move in your life first. Spend time reading God’s Word, invest a little extra time praying, call on your prayer warriors. The Easter story should be fresh in your mind so that you can keep it fresh with your teams and your flock.
5. Prepare a great message. Spend time seeking God asking Him what you should preach about. Easter should always be about the resurrection of Christ, but what specific angle do you need to work it from? What angle do you feel led to come at it from? Don’t cut your prep time short the week of Easter. Cancel meetings and reschedule them for after Easter if you need to.
6. Take another look at your facility. Do a walk-through of the church. New people notice old problems that have been overlooked. Take a look at your building with fresh eyes by inviting someone who does not attend your church to walk through it with you from the curb to the sanctuary. They will notice things that you can’t. Guests notice dirty fan blades and smelly bathrooms. Invest time and resources to fix what you can before all the guests come on Easter weekend.
7. Collect data. Have a plan on how you will collect data. You cannot follow up with people if you do not know who they are. You need to figure out what data you need to collect on the guests and find a way to collect it. Some churches use guest cards, others ask guests to text a key word to a designated number. Most churches have a welcome center of some type staffed with friendly people who can collect names and numbers from new people in exchange for a welcome gift. You need to have a plan so that you can follow up with all the new people.
8. Follow up. Make sure to carve time out of your schedule or designate someone to do the same the week after Easter for follow-up. If a guest left their information, it’s OK to give them a call, text, or email following up with them. Figure out the best method of connecting with your guests before Easter so you can effectively and efficiently connect with them after.
9. Test everything. Make sure all of the tech equipment you will use works properly. If the LED projector is sketchy now, it will break right when you need it. Do a complete run through of your services with the lights, sound, mics, and video several days before the service so you will have time to fix it if needed.
10. Buy Good coffee. OK, maybe this one made the list just because I enjoy good coffee. But I have a good hunch that your guests like good coffee too. Spend a little extra on Easter (and every Sunday thereafter) buying and brewing great coffee. If you are still serving generic coffee out of Styrofoam cups you need serious help. Use paper cups with sleeves and have plenty of creamer and sugars on hand. People like good coffee and it sends the message that you invest in relationships.