8 Steps to Prepare Your Church for Easter
Easter is just around the corner! Now’s the time to prepare your church for Easter and all that God wants to do through you.
This is by far one of the greatest weekends on the church calendar.
We have pastors all the time ask us, “What are best practices in getting the word out for Easter?”
While there can be a lot of ways to prepare the church for making an impact in your community, I would like to suggest these top eight steps to prepare for this coming Easter.
Top 8 Steps to Prepare Your Church for Easter:
1. Start with the end game in mind.
The end-game for Easter services is not to get a big crowd at the church. Ultimately, the goal is that Easter attendees come back the next week and the next and next and next… Easter can be the entry point where first-time visitors become regular attendees, but your job is to think about how to get them back on Mother’s Day and beyond.
(NOTE: Mother’s day is the next most natural time many unchurched people will visit a church, so that’s why we suggest promoting Mother’s Day activities on Easter.)
When considering the end-game for Easter, follow-up is key. Having a plan for an exceptional post-Easter follow-up strategy will prove to be beneficial.
2. Consider what will happen between Easter and Mother’s Day.
While you have many guests with you on Easter, you need to capitalize on their presence to talk about the series you are planning right after Easter. You need to make this series appealing to men because men most often will not gravitate to a series oriented to women. However, women are frequently praying that their men will go to church with them. Hence, women will more readily gravitate to a series oriented to men.
We recommend Jonathan Hardy’s 4-part Arrow Striker Sermon Series, which focuses on how to experience the abundant life that God intends for every person and how to partner with Him to accomplish His plans and purposes on earth.
3. Plan for Easter to be better than any Easter previously.
This can feel tricky, as in, “Are we trying to one-up ourselves from last year?” Being better this year over last is all about the value of your mission and improving your proclamation of the Gospel. It’s not about doing better and cooler “stuff”, it’s about doing something different than last year. This can be in how you deliver the sermon, but the difference can also be in how you greet new visitors and connect with them once they leave the building. This will take some rethinking in terms of how your church does Easter weekend. With that said, you should also check out our blog titled: How Rethinking Easter Will Grow Your Church.
4. Prepare social media posts for the congregation.
You will be amazed at how many people in the church will help you spread the word about Easter at your church if you will give them ammunition to do so. Have the right person on your team create a large quantity of high-value social media posts that the congregation can post on their own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts weeks out and right up through Easter.
5. Create invite cards for the congregation.
This can seem kind of old-school, but it works. Create invite cards with just the basic information on it. In fact, you do not even need to reference Easter, just an invite card to church. This way you can buy a larger quantity to reduce the per piece cost and use them beyond Easter.
Make the card substantial in weight, heavier than a standard business card. That communicates the card’s content is important. Keep it simple: name of church, address, phone number, and website. In fact, I know of one church that just went with name of church and website. Just a thought…
6. Plan a volunteer pep rally the Sunday before Palm Sunday.
You need to start your preparation with all volunteers to have them pumped up and on their game for Palm Sunday and Easter. On the Sunday before Palm Sunday, plan a pep rally for all volunteers or a series of pep rally meetings for individual departments. Every leader of every gathering must be using the same language throughout the church.
Go over roles and responsibilities for each volunteer. Volunteers must know what you expect of them on Easter. Point them to the mission of the church on those days and get them excited to be part of the team. Reinforce that all volunteers are hospitality volunteers on those Sundays. Here’s why: Don’t tell the volunteers this, but basically you are preparing for them to dry-run Easter on Palm Sunday. You’ll win on both Sundays.
7. Call for an Easter Prayer Meeting.
On Palm Sunday or the Wednesday before Easter, call a church-wide prayer meeting to pray for those that will visit your church on Easter due to tradition, but will not attend any other time. Pray that the Holy Spirit moves on their hearts to come and that they are open to hearing the Gospel, some for the very first time. Make it a VERY, VERY BIG DEAL. This is not to be just some old prayer meeting. It is the most important thing you can do before Easter. You must plan for it and be spiritually prepared to lead the time of prayer for Easter.
8. Prepare for exceptional hospitality to be demonstrated on Easter.
By the time you get to “the day” itself, you need to have all of your hospitality volunteers performing at levels they never before thought possible. Reinforce to the whole church, before Easter, that hospitality is everyone’s job every Sunday but PARTICULARLY on Easter. Have each hospitality position double-staffed with volunteers everywhere.
For support in how to increase your volunteer teams, we’ve developed a video series that’s available as a part of the Leaders.Church membership called “How to Increase Participation from Your Volunteers”.
These are eight practical steps you can take to make this Easter the biggest and best it has ever been. Do not give in to a sense of, “Well, I guess it’s just another Easter.”
This is our day to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s a day when your auditorium will be filled with guests, accompanied by the Holy Spirit who will be nudging them to follow Jesus.
This Easter can be the best you’ve ever experienced — not just with the size of your crowd, but more importantly, with the long-term impact you have on people who become a regular part of your church!
The key, of course, is you must prepare your church for Easter now so that you’re ready for what God wants to do in the lives of those in your community.
Other Easter Articles:
The Absolutes of the Post-Easter Guest Connection
Rethink Easter: From Big Event to Big Impact
The Perfect Follow-Up Plan After Easter
6 Steps to Get Guests Back After Easter
Other Connections & Follow-Up Articles:
To Connect People in Your Church, the Path Must Be Clear
Blunder #1 in Assimilating New People
How to Connect with Church Guests
The Perfect Follow-Up Plan for Church Guests
4 Action Steps for Guest Follow-Up Strategy from John 4
Thoughts About Guest Follow-Up
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