Easter is one of the most visible weekends for churches in most communities – and one of the most powerful services of the year, when done properly. But both the spiritual and the practical sides of a successful Easter weekend require careful planning. In my years as a pastor, I’ve developed some strategies that have proven successful. Here are my top 6.
1. Everything Starts with the Message
Sit down now with the pastor who’s scheduled to preach on Easter Sunday and find out what the speaker is planning. The theme of the message is the key: everything starts there. I can’t stress enough how important this is! Why? Because the message provides the theme and direction for all your promotional efforts. Yes, 9 times out of 10 (ok, probably higher than that) the message is on the resurrection of Christ. But what approach will the speaker take? Finding this out now gives you time to plan your promotional efforts in a focused, effective way.
Once you have your message and theme, it’s time to get to work on the creative elements. Enlist a graphic designer to tackle this for you. If you need help finding one, I recommend fiverr.com, 99designs.com, or upwork.com. These sites give you access to freelancers at a variety of price points.
2. Prepare with Prayer
All the fancy graphics in the world won’t make for a life-changing experience for anyone. The practical is important, but don’t sacrifice the spiritual. It’s the main thing. I recommend focusing your congregation and your staff on specific prayer themes in the 3 weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
- Week 1 = Repentance/Consecration
- Week 2 = Personal Evangelism
- Week 3 = Life Changing Easter Services
People will be more focused and present on Easter Sunday if they’ve invested time in prayer for weeks prior, and they can rejoice as they watch God answer prayer.
3. Start Your Promotions Today
Your graphics and materials may not be in place yet, but that’s okay. Start organically: encourage members to bring guests and start talking about Easter on social media—both through the official church accounts and by encouraging your members to do the same. And keep hitting this message: remind members to do this every week.
If you do have your graphics ready to go, then use them. Change your social media profiles to reflect your theme ASAP, and create posters and handouts as early as feasible.
Remember that social is your greatest ally. You can laser focus ads on your target audience for a surprisingly small amount of money. Prioritize this over traditional media (billboards, newspaper). Your money goes so much further! Also, take time this week to plan your social media posts for the rest of the month and schedule them using an app like Hootsuite.
In your Easter services, you need to overcommunicate. Too often we make assumptions of behalf of guests and visitors. Assume nothing! Talk about everything in plain, “non-churchy” language. Your visitors don’t know a vestibule from a baptistry. Use language they will understand.
On a related note, outline your service and structure it with guests in mind. You’ll reduce the churchy language if you plan out (even script) your announcements, and you’ll improve the guest experience by keeping things clear and orderly.
5. Remove Roadblocks to Participation
Chances are high you’ll have visitors. You want to remove roadblocks to participation where you can. Make sure your signage is clear, up to date, and useful. Check (and triple check) your visual media. Are the song lyrics ordered properly and spelled correctly? Are the Scripture references correct?
You also want to make it easy for people to participate in the offering. Plan for guests who want to give but didn’t bring cash. Givelify makes this simple, and getting started is easy.
6. Simplify Your Connect Card for Easter
Easter guests don’t want to feel like they’re filling out a credit application, and may skip a complicated form altogether. Simplify for Easter: get just their name, email, and phone number. You’ll increase your success rate this way.
There’s so much more we could say, which is why we’ve recorded a live webinar that you can watch at your leisure, and we’ve also created a PDF checklist for you. It outlines in great detail what you should do in the 4 weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. Download it today to get started!