Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through March. It seems like we just took down the Christmas tree!
I don’t know anyone who isn’t excited about spring. And, with spring comes one of the most important days of the year for churches – Easter Sunday!
Easter is one of two days a year when people, who don’t regularly attend church, will come and celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
This is also a time of year when people recommit and try to get back to church.
Easter is an important celebration in the Christian church, and we need to help others experience the comfort of the Easter message.
The church should be prepared to welcome the floodgates of visitors arriving on Easter morning.
Easter Planning Checklist
1. Do Some Spring Cleaning
Nothing feels more welcoming than a clean and orderly facility.
Take a walk around your facility and make a list of things that can be done to freshen it up.
Do some spring cleaning and get those glass windows and doors cleaned.
Solicit help from volunteers, clear out the flower beds, and add some fresh plants.
Touch up the walls with paint and thoroughly clean them in preparation for your Easter guests.
2. Recruit Volunteers
Most churches experience a significant influx in attendance on Easter morning.
This means there is a need for more people to help.
You should be recruiting volunteers now and adding people to areas that will be stretched on Easter.
This is a good time to get people involved who don’t typically serve. You can find these people by simply reaching out and asking them to help.
Those areas that will be strained by an increase in attendance should receive this focus.
Ushers, parking, greeters, musicians, welcome center, and children’s ministry – are all areas that need help on Easter.
For example, a children’s church is an area that requires more hands to manage the influx of kids.
Ensure you have enough volunteers so there won’t be a need to turn kids away at the door.
3. Create an Intentional Church Service
There should be an intentional focus on the church service itself.
Think about the audience and focus on a message that speaks to them. People are hurting, scared, and confused. Speak a hopeful message.
Your planning team should be preparing an Easter service that delivers a compelling message within an engaging atmosphere.
Think through the music and message to ensure that your visitors will experience God in an uplifting and positive way.
4. Prepare for the Influx of People
Many churches add a service or two on Easter Sunday to accommodate increased attendance.
Adding services allows for some margin in space and minimizes the stress put on limited seating.
Some churches add a sunrise service for the early birds or a Saturday night service to spread out the crowd.
Either way, you should be adding seats for those people who don’t regularly attend church.
Your goal should be to make seating accessible and comfortable for your guests.
Consider the 80/20 rule of seating.
Once 80% of seats are filled, add more seats.
Don’t allow visitors to experience an awkward moment of not being able to find a place to sit.
5. Prepare Visitor Information Packets
There will be more visitors to your church on Easter Sunday, so now is the time to update those visitor packets.
Include information about your church, its history, beliefs, and programs.
Share information about upcoming events and special services the church offers.
Offer an incentive for visitors to return by including a coupon for a free gift, cup of coffee, or breakfast danish on their second visit.
The goal is to engage your visitors and give them a peek into the church experience in a positive and non-threatening way.
6. Audit Your Online Presence
Many visitors will find your church through an online search.
Take a few minutes and do an audit to see what people find.
For example, go to the google search bar and put in “your church name, city name” to see what comes up.
Next, type “churches in [your city name]” in the google search bar and see what comes up.
If your church is not in the top five, you have some work to do.
Also, look at Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. If you don’t have any reviews or maybe some not-so-nice reviews, learn how to improve your church’s online presence, so visitors get a great first impression.
7. Audit Your Website
Visitors will end up on your website if you have a strong online presence.
Do a thorough audit of your website to ensure information is correct, images are compelling, and the feel of the site is inviting.
For instance, make sure your about page, statement of faith, and service times are current.
Create an Easter landing page that shares detailed information about Easter services and any other Easter events or church-sponsored egg hunts.
8. Train Volunteers
Volunteers need ongoing training to reinforce the standards that represent your church.
Hold a special training session for volunteers in preparation for Easter services.
Talk about their role in providing a positive experience for guests and visitors.
Do this by offering practical examples of hands-on things they can do to make everyone feel welcome.
For example, coach children’s workers on how they can make a Mom feel comfortable handing her baby over for care for the first time.
This type of instruction can mean the difference between a visitor having a great experience and one that leaves with a bad memory.
9. Get the Word Out
People will be searching for Easter services. Use your social media platforms to share service information.
Do an advertising campaign on Facebook. It is an inexpensive way to target people in your area who might be looking for a church.
Easter Is Special
Easter is a very special time of the year. It represents spring and new beginnings.
But more importantly, it is an opportunity to expose un-churched people to the miracle of the resurrection and the transformation that comes with experiencing the new birth.
Spending some time now preparing for this holy day can have unsaid consequences for those who choose to visit your church this Easter Sunday.
If you are a member of SCM you can download a copy of the Easter Planning Checklist here. If you are not a member, you can learn more here.
What special things are your church planning this year?