We’ve noticed this curiosity over the last few years when we share content related to Easter:
If we create content about planning Easter services and publish it when we think church leaders need it (e.g. in February), it goes unnoticed. If we publish content closer to Easter, when it’s mostly too late to make new plans or change existing ones, it gets lots of attention.
Quirks of the Internet, I suppose.
We always aim for our content to be practical. We don’t want to give you things you can’t use. So, with that in mind, this year we’re sharing some Easter prep ideas you still have time for. Circle up with your executive pastor and run through this list. If nothing else, it might spark an idea for an important area of ministry to polish before Easter gets here.
1. Get inside the head of the once-a-year visitor.
If you only showed up for church once a year, what are some reasons why that might be? What might they be feeling when they come? Guilt? Nostalgia? Obligation? Put yourself in their shoes. How can you make them feel cared for without being overbearing? What would turn you off? A clear understanding of their mindset can color your sermon preparation, the language you use in communication pieces and how your volunteers approach visitors.
2. Review your service plan with an eye for simplicity.
Plan a very simple and to the point service. Most churches do a lot of over the top stuff that actually complicates the purpose of the service. It can alienate the first-timer instead of engaging them. What do you need to cut from your service plan?
3. Resource your Children’s Ministry.
Meet with your Children’s Director and ask him or her to share one top resource that would take the experience to the next level for engaging for new families. Can you make it happen?
4. Cast vision and pray with your volunteer team leaders between now and Easter.
As the senior pastor, you are the primary vision-caster and the champion of the culture. Carve out time to pray with your leaders. Engage them again in the mission, and remind them of the win for their roles. It will trickle down.
5. Bring in a couple of secret shoppers.
We recommend this all the time, but few churches take us up on it. Who are you trying to reach? Ask some people who fits that description to attend a week or two before Easter. Ask them to share their honest opinions. Buy them lunch or coffee. Let them know you want to hear the truth. And then let their feedback influence how you communicate.
6. Make a (simple) plan to follow up with new guests.
What is your follow-up plan to engage the same new people the week after Easter? Most churches have a major letdown following Easter because they don’t plan ahead for it. Make sure it includes a very simple pathway for taking a next step (not for engaging in all of your programs).
We could share more, but the point of this article was to give you just a few ideas that still feel doable. There are still a couple of weeks left! Make the most of them.