Easter is almost upon us, which means the “twice a year” Christians will soon be descending upon your church once more. So what do we need to get ready now before the crash of people come down upon us?
I see a lot of churches not take full advantage of the opportunity to reach people during Easter. Let’s look at some easy things we can do to really make the most of Easter Sunday.
Subvert expectations about your church
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Easter Sunday is not the time to deviate from what a regular service looks like. If you never do hymns, don’t do it just because it’s Easter and “people expect hymns for Easter.” The visitors also expect hymns which is why they only show up twice a year. Conversely, this also isn’t the time to swing into full-bore seeker sensitive church services with modern worship if that’s not your church’s thing. This is the time to show people that your church is the right church for them so give them a 100% authentic view of what your church is like.
Now, there’s absolutely a time and place to reevaluate what you are doing on Sundays, but Easter Sunday should be a reflection of what people can expect if they show up to church the week after Easter.
Update your plan a visit page with Easter details
Your website should have a page where people can plan a visit. In fact, if you are a physical church service then it should be your primary call to action still. A nice obvious button that shows up multiple times on the home page to “Plan a Visit” that leads to a page that answers questions like “where to park,” “what should I wear,” “what do I do with my kids,” etc.
I would go so far as to let people register to have someone meet them right in the foyer to walk them through everything, sit with them, answer questions, introduce them to people, and even invite them to lunch afterward. Not everyone will take the offer up, but if you were going to visit a new place, wouldn’t you appreciate that there were people who cared enough about you to be your guide?
Inspire your congregation to serve on Easter
Speaking of guides and congregants serving visitors, now is the time to cast vision to the congregation and ask for volunteers. You want to send out an omnichannel message: SMS, apps, email, pre/post service announcement roll, etc., that paints a picture of reaching nonbelievers and nominal believers on Easter Sunday. At the bare minimum, ask them to carpool and park on the far end of the parking lot if you have space constraints. Ask them to be greeters and guides as well.
If you want to be strategic, use an “ask and retreat” approach. Make your biggest volunteer ask the first week, then from the people who don’t respond, make a smaller volunteer ask.
Get ready to follow up with Easter visitors
One of the biggest objectives on Easter is to get people to come back next week. Most people aren’t going to decide then and there to follow Christ or to join your church on Easter itself… they typically need more exposure before that happens, so you want them to come back so that you get repeated opportunities. So what should your follow up consist of?
- A welcome email series. You can use my free templates as a starting point: https://sendfox.com/lp/mpwe9y
- Personalized welcome video messages. I like using Bonjoro which has a free plan that is perfect for normal size churches.
- Snail mail postcard. Handwrite them if you have just a few or automate the process via linking your Church Management System (ChMS) to a postcard service to easily welcome via personalized postcards at scale.
Now, all said and done, I actually think these things are basics that your church should do at every service throughout the whole year. If you are always being consistent and welcoming then you won’t just make the most of the opportunity to impact the “twice a year” Christians, but all manner of people who consider and visit your church.