If you work or volunteer at a church, there’s nothing like the final few weeks before a big season like Easter or Christmas. There’s something exciting about knowing you’ll see newcomers entering your church for the first time. At the same time, there’s something daunting about pulling off all the work that’s needed to make these events happen. In fact, I’m looking at my team’s project list and we need to complete 189 tasks in order to produce Easter Sunday this year.
I’m not telling you the amount of tasks we have to brag, I’m letting you know, that like most churches we put a tremendous amount of effort and emphasis on preparing for Easter. However, in my mind that begins to raise the question…
What about after Easter?
If we’re going to spend all of this time creating and producing the best Easter Sunday possible, shouldn’t we put as much emphasis on moments after Easter? After all, what’s the point of planting the seeds of the Gospel, if we don’t try to actively pursue those who’ve possibly heard it for the first time?
Today, I want to challenge you to not think about the work that needs to be done before Easter, but also to think about the work that needs to be done after Easter. To be more specific, I want you to focus on what you can do reach those newcomers after they’ve experienced Easter at your church.Don't just think about what needs to get done BEFORE Easter, without missing the AFTER easter. Click To Tweet
To get you started thinking in this direction, I’ve got three quick ideas to help you engage newcomers after Easter at your church:
1. Use text-messaging as a response.
One staple of getting information from newcomers is a response card (or communications card). This is usually a small index card that newcomers fill out with some basic information.
While this is still effective, consider adding texting as a response method as well. The advantages of using texting are that almost every newcomer will have a phone, you can provide an instantaneous response, and depending on the service you use, you can export out the results to an excel file for easy reference.
There are plenty of texting services for you to choose from. However, the easiest option is Google Voice. It’s free and you can respond from multiple devices.
2. Consider using an email devotional campaign as a followup.
Email gets a bad rap for being perceived as being outdated. However, when I compare our email open rates to the percentage of people who consume our social media content, email still dominates.
But if you’re going to use email as a follow-up, think about using email differently. Instead of sending your guests a marketing email with next weeks events, consider giving them something of real value for their time.
I suggest you create a six day devotional that you send over the course of the week following Easter. The devotional emails can be short (200-300) words ending with a clear call to action to help the reader engage with your church.
These devotional emails are also a great way to re-emphasize the message that was preached during Easter and prepare you engage newcomers for what they will hear the following Sunday.
3. Create a website just for newcomers.
One of the most effective things our church as done for Easter was to create a completely separate website dedicated to Easter. This makes it easy for potential newcomers to find exactly what they need in terms of times, location, and other valuable information.
The same thing can be done to engage newcomers after Easter. (Here’s an example of what we’re using this year.) You can create a website with clear call to actions just for those who came to Easter. So at the end of the Easter worship service, you can direct them to a single website with one clear call to action. This call to action could be to join a small group, sign up for an email list ,or get ready for the next sermon series.
Now the three ideas I listed above may seem like just one more thing that I’m adding to your already growing task list for Easter. Well, you’re right this is one more thing that you’ll need to do.
However, the more effective you become at reaching newcomers after they experience Easter Sunday at your church, the higher chance you’ll have has retaining them as attendees in the long run. And that attendance could lead them to more exposure to the Gospel, which is always a good thing.
What are you doing to engage newcomers after Easter?