Is your church prepared for Easter? As Easter quickly approaches many churches are scurrying around creating print materials, storyboarding for videos, finalizing songs and service planning. I have heard Easter referred to as the churches’ Superbowl. So many people that are unchurched will pass through the doors of your church and for that reason you want to make sure you have your best foot forward.
So as we inch closer to Easter, I thought it would be timely to share a “checklist” of sorts on how to prepare for Easter.
Make Your Church Shine(y).
Start with the building. You have to be critical on this because chances are you are working everyday at the church and used to your surroundings. How does the lawn and drive outside look, has winter taken it’s toll. When you are inside how does the information desk look? Is it cluttered with brochures and handouts? How about the windows, how long since they have been cleaned from the outside? It is so important to make sure that you make people feel comfortable and it starts with a clean and “shiny” church.
Ask The Members For Help.
Just as the staff gets prepared for Easter it is a good time to prepare the members for Easter. I am not referring to just the recruitment of volunteers. I am also suggesting that we ask our members to sacrifice some of their convenience for Easter Sunday. The church, I attend, has multiple services, and typically the pastor will communicate the need for members to attend the “less busy” service in order to accommodate the newcomers on Easter. They will also ask for members to park in the lots that require shuttles so that newcomers can park on campus. Yes it is an inconvenience but I will venture to guess that the majority of your members are willing to help any way they can.
Details matter. I believe being prepared for Easter Sunday, means being intentional. Do you have a brand book or some design elements that are being used throughout your Easter promotions? Do those elements crossover from print to digital in a consistent fashion? Have you thought about the new signage that is needed to help facilitate information to the newcomers. Do those signs make sense to the newcomer or are they laced with acronyms that few will understand. Have you put together the slides for Easter Sunday or will those be a last minute “to do?”
Moving to service planning, be thoughtful on all elements from order of the service to the worship songs. Hillsong may have come out with the latest and greatest song that works amazingly for Easter but if few know the song they may feel uncomfortable and not want to participate. This is a time to keep things a little traditional but fresh.
Prepare For A Lot More People.
I am pretty sure you know this fact, however, having prepared for many events over the years there were times the most obvious “to dos” were forgotten until last minute. First, let’s go back to my earlier point about volunteers. Did you account for a substantial increase in volunteers to help with parking lot, greeters, more childcare? Do you have an overflow area or additional chairs readily available in case the service fills up? Or extra classrooms and volunteers on standby for the kids in childcare?
I am sure there was a time you were late to an event and looking for a chair became a lesson in the art of covert operation. Just like that, there is a good chance the newcomers will show up late and it is important that those newcomers have a place to go and don’t feel like they are a burden.
What Is The “After Sunday” Plan.
If you do all the preparation but have no way of following up and engaging those that came, you are missing the bigger vision. First I would say, have your website up to date. Many visitors look at your website (before and after) to see pictures of the building, what you have available that might be engaging to them. There are many ideas out there on how to engage with visitors after Easter from text messages to phone calls, our friend Darrel Girardier shares some of his ideas here.
Another thing I would like to suggest is to create a “moment” that will show a newcomer the community spirit of your church. This could be a very well done video showing how they can get involved with the various Bible studies and events. Anything that will make them consider coming back.
Getting prepared for Easter takes a lot of people and a lot of time but it is so worth the extra hours of work. I hope this list has caused you think through your Easter Sunday and that even the tiniest detail could emerge as the one thing that helps lead someone to Christ.