It is by far the biggest day of the year for the Christian Church around the world. Beginning on Good Friday, Easter is marked by the most church services worldwide and is celebrated by processions and parades, special food and massive feasts, dramas and delicacies and of course, the greatest attendance in one weekend the church will experience by far all year along. However, many churches fail to capitalize on this weekend with maximum effectiveness. There are certain key elements that go into making sure your church is ready for Easter.
1. Publicity: Yes, everyone knows about Easter, but do they know about Easter at your church? What are you going to do to get the word out about why people should attend your church Easter Sunday? Don’t start thinking massive mailouts, expensive billboards or glitzty programs for most churches don’t have the financial resources to pour into those types of things, and the long-term rate of return on those efforts are questionable at best. The most important resource you have sits in front of you each week, and that is your people. How are you going to involve your people in getting the word out about your Easter weekend? Word of mouth, personal invitations, building new relationships and capitalizing on old relationships will pay off more and better in the long run not to mention helping to build an invite culture in your church.
2. Promotion: No, this is different from publicity. Publicity is letting people know you are open for business. Promotion is motivating people to come to your business. This needs to be cross-generational. Why should mom and dad bring their preschoolers and children to your church. What are they doing special that day to give kids a reason to be there—and a reason to come back? Same for students and adults. What message are you going to preach that would make not only people outside your church come, but your people inside the church to invite them?
3. Preparation: Are you really ready for the record crowds that you anticipate and desire will be there on that weekend? Think Disney World. If you have ever been there, you already know the first class, red carpet, VIP treatment you are going to get from the time you get on a tram to the time you enter the park, to every ride you are going to enjoy (even with the long lines). Disney simply refuses to give anything but excellence in every area. So…
- Are your greeters prepared? Are they truly trained in how to greet, look and act as they meet everyone who comes in your doors?
- Is your traffic team prepared? Are they ready for quick parking, warm greeting and smooth transition between services or after services?
- Are your ushers prepared? Are they ready to seat people, provide space when seats are empty, facilitate a smooth and efficient offering and make sure people feel both welcome and comfortable as they enter the worship experience?
- Is your building prepared? Is signage clear (especially for bathrooms and preschool area)? Is the temperature of the room comfortable (allowing for a larger than normal crowd)? Is the building clean (especially the restrooms)? Carpet stains removed? Walls freshly washed and/or painted? Trash picked up from the grounds ( assumes grass is cut, bushes trimmed, etc.)?
4. Presentation: Is the environment and the experience in the worship center going to be at its very best? Is your worship team ready to truly lead in meaningful worship? Will the instrumentation be quality? Will the message be content rich, powerfully delivered, personally engaging, spiritually challenging and individually relevant to all ages, genders, races and ethnicities? Will there be a clear presentation of the gospel and some opportunity for the unbeliever to become a believer? Will the Lord be glorified, the word be magnified and the church be edified when all is said and done?
5. Process: Is there a solid process in place to recognize and register all the first-time guests that will be there? Will there be a gift (a gift worth having, such as a $5 gift card to a coffee shop, worship CD and/or copy of a relevant message, personal letter from the pastor thanking the guest for coming, etc.) for all first-time guests? Are there plans for quick and personal follow-up of all guests? Most importantly, will there be a way of identifying all who receive Christ and/or want to be baptized after each service, a way to capture their names and personal information, to have encouragers help them with their next steps and a packet of information (a Bible, information on baptism, joining the church, etc.) to give them as they leave? Is there a plan in place to follow up with those who made decisions in terms of helping them to take the next steps?
6. Persistence: What do I mean? Simply put, we should treat every Sunday as Easter Sunday. Truly every Sunday is a time to celebrate the risen Lord, put forth our best and do all we can to be a spider’s web to catch and keep all who come through our doors. Remember, what you do to get them there for Easter you do to bring them back. Happy Easter!
Published May 30, 2018