Easter is just a couple of weeks away. And as the biggest church attendance day of the year, church leaders should fully leverage it for kingdom growth and discipleship.
That means we should be reaching new people, more deeply connecting people who already attend, serving people outside church walls, and growing closer in community with each other.
So do you have a plan in place to make that happen? You probably already have most of the details of your Easter Sunday already set, but consider these nine quick tips as you go into the last few weeks leading up to the Super Bowl of church services.
1. Set Goals
What’s your target attendance number? How many volunteers do you hope to have? How many people do you want to sign up for small groups the following week? Whatever your goals, make sure they meet five criteria: They’re specific, measurable, your own (not forced on you by someone else), time-sensitive and written down. You’ll have a better chance of meeting them that way!
2. Include Every Ministry in Your Church
Each of your ministries should own the church’s Easter goal, too. If a goal is to double your number of volunteers, for example, then every ministry’s volunteer numbers should double.
The same thing goes for attendance. The idea is that across-the-board participation creates energy and community. Keep in mind that casting this vision needs to happen early, not two days before Easter.
3. Create Excitement Among Volunteers and Staff
As pastors, what can we do to create energy? How about a worship rally? An event in the community? A special vision night? Look for fresh ways to communicate your passion and vision for Easter’s potential to the rest of your staff and volunteers.
4. Assess Infrastructure
Make sure your Easter plans go as smoothly as the center of a Cadbury Crème Egg. Do you have enough staff to run everything? Are the big events safe and secure? Will your number of services accommodate the expected crowds? Can you handle a large response to the gospel? If you address potential problems before they happen, they’re less likely to cause setbacks on the big day.
5. Put a Good Follow-Up Process in Place
Easter’s not over when the clock strikes midnight. It continues well into the weeks afterward. So plan for that now. How will you identify and follow up with new guests? What gift can you give them? How will you thank volunteers and train emerging ones? Will your staff need a post-Easter break? How will you leverage all that happened on Easter for staff morale and vision casting to the congregation?
6. Identify and Emphasize Your Church’s Unique Qualities
What’s sticky and memorable about your church that would compel a nonbeliever to attend on Easter? How can you highlight that? Using a variety of platforms, equip current attendees with the vision and resources to share with those they invite. Remember, speak to the head and to the heart.
7. Reach Into the Community
What activities are already happening around town that you can join? Egg hunts? 5K races? Spring parades? Also look at what you can do on your own property that will draw people in, like a neighborhood block party. Look for ideas that you can put into action before, during and after Easter.
8. Motivate Easter Guests to Return
Do many people in your community have a felt need that your church could meet? Find out what those needs are, and use Easter to communicate your support with urgency and authentic passion—then have a plan to put that support into action.
9. Leverage Easter for Discipleship
What can you do post-Easter to begin discipling the people you meet that day? Think about discipleship classes or new believer studies that you can start the very next week. Andy Stanley has one of the best new believer series done in recent years called Starting Point. And here’s a way to reach the new families you’ll see that day. Also consider small groups. You might want to stop groups a few weeks before Easter and relaunch the week afterward, creating opportunities for new folks to get plugged in.
So, now that you’ve considered these tips, what else can you adjust, reconsider or adapt when it comes to your Easter plans? Remember, Easter’s a special day in the life of the church. Not only because Christ rose for all of us, but also because it’s probably the best day of the year to reach in, reach out, and grow His kingdom.
Let’s ask the questions, have the long meetings, and spill ourselves out leveraging this opportunity!