Easter: Is It On Your Radar?
Easter Sunday is a day most churches see an increase in their attendance. Because your church may welcome guests for the first time or welcome back those who have drifted from the church, your congregation should be prepared for this special day.
Did you know that Easter has more Google searches than Christmas? Easter is a big deal for many people and as important as it is for your regular attenders to be reminded of the resurrection, Easter is an important opportunity to clearly communicate to guests who you are as a church and that they are welcome in your community.
Easter Sunday is the most joyous Sunday of the year. The day our Savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead. More than baskets and bunnies, Easter offers a glimpse of glory. That’s why churches want to celebrate big. We want to help church staff keep their sanity during this Easter season. This can sometimes be a challenge with limited time and budget, as well as a culture that is begging to pull away from engaging with the church.
It’s usually encouraged to plan well in advance for Easter Sunday, but don’t panic if you’re just beginning. Compile a checklist and timeline leading up to Easter and start assigning and executing tasks. Forming a special team of church staff members and/or volunteers will help your church be sure nothing is overlooked in preparation.
With the countdown to Easter on (65 days to be exact), let’s get strategic and clearly communicate to those who enter our doors the message of the resurrection and the identity of your church.
Make service times and location easy to find. This is a year-round tip, but even more important on weekends where there are extra services or shifted times from the normal schedule. How will people join you if they don’t know where you are and when you’ll be there?
Give a preview of what people can expect on Easter weekend. When folks are picking a church to visit, they’re looking for a comfortable fit. Eliminate any unneeded surprises. Share what the services will be like in tone and message on your website. This is all about removing barriers for visitors so they will actually come to your building.
Show your church in action. Beyond Easter festivities, it’s important to give a feel for who you are as a church. What do you stand for? How are you serving your community? How are lives being changed as you connect people to Jesus? Your website is your digital platform, so have a site that welcomes people and reflects what they’ll see when they visit you in person.
Share your Easter plans with your congregation. If you want people in your church family to invite their friends, give some examples of what the Easter experience will be like at your church. Leaving the congregation completely in the dark creates a barrier. No one wants to invite their friends to a service only for it to be something different than what they expected. Yes, you can keep part of it a surprise. But let people know in person the theme, style and anything outside of what happens on a normal Sunday if you can.
Equip your attendees to share those plans. It can be intimidating for many to talk with friends or co-workers about church. Give people some conversation starters. Equip them with verbiage and messaging that fits the vision of what Easter means and how it will be expressed in your services. Some churches use physical invite tools ranging from postcards to Easter yard signs. Or, go digital and post an Easter communication kit on your website. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you have helped your congregation make Easter conversations with their friends less awkward and more impactful.
Talk with your volunteers. We should be doing this every week, but Easter is an important time to fill in volunteers, greeters and ushers on what’s going on at the church this Sunday and beyond. They should be ready to answer questions people might have and show people where they need to go. Plus it’s a great time to remind volunteers how important it is to be welcoming and friendly since there will be more visitors in the building.
Make follow-up easy. Make it clear how people can contact you if they have any questions. More importantly, make sure you’re ready to respond. If you have a “contact us” email link it better end up in an inbox where it will actually be seen. Also, equip your front line staff with the information they need to answer Easter questions in an educated way. This is a key in turning an online relationship into a personal one. Also, consider writing personalized cards to anyone who turns in a guest card. Handwritten notes go a long way in the age of email and social media interaction.
The Easter Story is the story of our salvation. When what began at Christmas culminates in the greatest story ever told. From Ash Wednesday to egg hunts and picnics, the Easter celebrations can be varied—but the stakes are just as high. After all, it’s the resurrection, the most important message of the Christian faith. The stakes may be high to share the Gospel, but Christ walks alongside of us in the busiest seasons of life.
What was your most successful Easter communication or guest experience strategy?