I’ve always wondered what eggs had to do with Jesus rising from the dead on Easter.
That is, until someone told me that it’s a symbol of the tomb…or was it the trinity? Maybe it was about life? Either way, any rabbit that can drop a pre-omelet will definitely be donated to science for further study.
For churches, it’s the “Super Bowl” of Christianity. It’s one of two Sundays per year that even those who don’t think Jesus really died and rose again will come to church to sing about it. After all, it makes mom happy for the family to get together.
So what’s your plan? The influx of guests and potential non-believers through your doors should not be taken lightly. Here’s how to make the most of your Easter Service…
Promote Your Easter Service Like Jesus Rose Again Yesterday
If you’re doing a mailer, make it great and get it ready to mail the week before (April 16 is Easter, so you’ll need them in mailboxes between April 10-16.) It’s the same weekend that taxes are due, so get them out early so they aren’t lost in the pile of flyers going out that week.
I recommend taking out a few Facebook/Instagram ads as well. Most churches have a huge reach potential on these social media platforms and it would be a shame to miss the opportunity for such an affordable win. If you have to choose between physical mail and a Facebook ad, I suggest going with the Facebook ad. It’s cheaper and won’t/can’t end up at the bottom of a dog’s crate.
Also, don’t neglect to think about your social strategy as well as your design for your Easter service. If you are really in a bind and either don’t have graphic designers or have let it slip up on you and need help fast, you can get a “Easter graphics pack” from any number of done-for-you social media providers.
Prepare for Visitors at Your Easter Service
Have you ever reached out to push a door open only to have someone open it from the other side at the exact same time, falling forward like an idiot in front of the girl you like? Just me? That’s what it’s like when visitors come to your church on Easter and you’ve got NO strategy in place to get their info and connect them to your church.
I’m assuming that your service will focus on connecting them to Jesus, but what happens after that? What if they don’t make a decision but are intrigued by your church and want to keep checking it out?
Make sure your guest connections teams are on point that morning, ready to make guests feel at home from the parking lot to the pew. I recommend putting yourself in the shoes of a first-time guest and walking yourself through the whole process. Ask yourself “what do we want to happen when they get to the parking lot? What about when they approach the building? In the lobby? Who greets them? How are we collecting information in the children’s/youth areas?”
Also, don’t forget to train your teams beforehand on how to walk through the process. This will ensure that the right people get the right guest info for follow up as well.
Promote the Next Thing after Easter
Probably one of the most important steps is also one of the most overlooked. I know it’s tough to plan Easter, but pro tip: have something to talk about ON Easter that would make them want to come back the following week. Pro tip #2: It’s probably not your sermon series. It didn’t work before, it won’t work now.
Some guests haven’t been to church all year or in several years. They might be there just to make their parents happy and have no intention of returning. How are you going to connect them to the regular scheduled programming of your church?
Others may be in from out of town visiting family. It’s nice to send a card or follow up, but honestly, you’re probably not going to reach them unless you have an online campus. I wouldn’t put too much into that group.
Follow Up is a Team Sport
You might need to recruit a few extra volunteers to help with follow up the week after Easter. It is important that your follow up is quick, warm, and appropriate. Say it with me, “Appropriate.”
I hate phone calls. Sorry not sorry. But if I visit a church and receive three phone calls from three different people who all believe they are the first person who has contacted me, I’m annoyed.
If you’re going to call, assign sections of your follow up list to different people and share the load. However, don’t give everyone the same list. Don’t even let them see the other lists.
You can write up a quick script too. They don’t have to stick to it, but it ensures that no one calls your visitors and says “Hey, you like church on Easter? Good. Can you help cook pancakes next Friday for the men’s breakfast? We’re also all going to build a retaining wall at so-and-so’s house…got tools?”
Whoa buddy. We just met.
Follow up might be a large list or a short one, though either way, it’s an important list. Pray over your list and who will be following up via phone or email.
If your church does home visits still, you should call first and make sure it’s ok. Tell them exactly what you are coming over for and what you’re NOT coming over for. For instance, we wanted to come meet you and bring you some cookies. We are NOT coming over to cast demons out of your house.
Whoa buddy. We just met.
Easter is a fun and bright holiday that exemplifies everything it means to be a Christ-follower. It can also be a sad time of year for those who have lost or feel alone. Be ready to walk beside your guests, meeting their needs just like Jesus did for so many he met.
What else would you say helps prepare you for Easter? Let me know!