Every church experiences a big increase in attendance on Easter Sunday, but the majority of those churches see their Sunday attendance drop back down to normal the Sunday after. What if we could change that? What if you could add one or two new families to your congregation during this Easter season?
That’s the goal of this blog series.
If you’re just jumping in with us, so far we’ve talked about creating a prayer team, designing graphics, and developing a marketing strategy. You can read those posts here and here.
Now that we’re just four weeks away from Easter we need to finalize our marketing, and start planning out Easter Sunday.
By now you should have Easter mailers and/or invites ordered and hopefully in hand. You can also use those same graphics on social media. Some churches will start promoting Easter this week, but I’m going to focus on promotion starting next week. In my opinion, three weeks before Easter is more than enough time to get the word out.
So, in this post we’re going to focus on our Easter service. The earlier we plan it, the better prepared we will be.
Let’s start by deciding whether our Easter sermon will be a standalone sermon or the beginning of a new series. If you’re not preaching topical series you’re missing out on a great opportunity to peak people’s interest in my opinion.
For example, which of these invites do you think a person who normally doesn’t attend church is most likely to show interest in?
Come back next Sunday as we kick off a new series on the book of Romans.
Have the last couple of years left you feeling anxious? Does it seem like there’s just not enough hours in the day to get everything done? Then I’d love to invite you to come back next Sunday as we begin our new series “Overwhelmed.”
The first one may be intriguing to insiders, but the second one is intriguing to both insiders and outsiders. Who are you trying to reach?
I would plan a series that’s interesting to both insiders and outsiders to either begin Easter Sunday or the Sunday after Easter. If you’re going to begin it after Easter, just make sure you do a good job of promoting it on Easter Sunday.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is what the service will look like on that day. It’s a special day, and you may be tempted to do something totally different than your normal service, but I’d advise against that.
Instead of doing something completely different, like an Easter play, do the absolute best version of your normal service.
Have your best singers sing songs that everyone knows and loves. Have one of your best speakers do the welcome on that day. Prepare your best Easter message and do a great job preaching it.
This gives you the best chance of getting visitors to come back the following week.
In addition to preparing your best service, you also want to have your best volunteers serving.
That grumpy old guy who smells like cat urine doesn’t need to be greeting at the door that day. I don’t care if it is his week to serve, take him off the schedule, or find somewhere else for him to serve that doesn’t involve direct contact with people.
I’m not suggesting you be unkind to people, but we have to get to a place where we can lovingly ask a “saved” person to serve in a different area in order for a person who doesn’t know Jesus to have a better experience.
You may want to add volunteers on that day. I know most of us don’t have a plethora of volunteers currently, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask a few people who don’t normally serve to help out and serve on Easter Sunday.
If you don’t normally have volunteers in the parking lot, think about adding a couple. It’s a great first impression and it helps with safety as well. You may have a lot of kids running around on that day, so it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes on them.
Ask a couple of people to volunteer to look for people who are new to the church and then go to them and start a conversation. The more relational connections people make at a church, the more likely they are to come back.
So, you’re homework for this week should you choose to accept it.
- Decide on a sermon series or title to begin at or after Easter.
- Start working on your order of service. Who’s singing? Who’s speaking?
- Recruit and begin scheduling volunteers for Easter.
Has this been helpful to you, if so I’d love to know about it. Or, if you have any questions about Easter I haven’t answered yet, please send me an email or message and I’ll do my best to reply to each one.
P.S. I recently recorded a podcast with the 95Network talking all things Easter. You can check it out here if you’re interested.