It comes as no surprise to pastors and church leaders that Easter is a big – HUGE – attendance day, rivaled only by Christmas. And your Easter service is your first impression.
So we’ve compiled a quick dos-and-don’ts refresher list for your service and your new guests to help you plan one of your biggest days of the year to make the greatest impact on all the people God brings through your doors Easter Sunday … and beyond.
For your service …
Do recognize that excellence in an Easter service makes a difference. We need to do our very best to maximize their experience and exceed their expectations.
Don’t talk for ‘insiders.’ Talking about ‘the blood of the lamb’ and the crucifixion are all phrases we understand – but are completely foreign to a new person.
Don’t make your Easter service so different from your regular services. If a new person loved it, they aren’t really going to like next week. And worse, if they didn’t like it at all, they may not return.
Do make your first-time guests feel special. Put yourself in the shoes of a new person, starting in the parking lot all the way through the service.
Do make sure guests feel welcome as soon as they walk through your doors. Make them feel like you’ve been expecting them and that they belong.
Do welcome new guests during the service. That is, welcome them without calling them out using phrases like, ‘If you’re new to church this weekend, we’re just really glad you’re here.’
Do make sure the facilities and environment are welcoming for guests. Have a great signage to help people know where to go for kids, restrooms and the auditorium.
Do give them a reason to come back. Create an amazing guest experience for them at Easter and literally invite them to come back.
For your new guests …
Encourage everyone to visit your website. Create a simple QR code-based form where people can sign up for a digital copy of the message with a compelling reason to give you their email address.
Do present opportunities for generosity. Have online and mobile giving options – and broadcast them – to connect with your guests.
Do tell stories about life change. Highlight a Kingdom impact your church is making. Thank everyone for the generosity that made the story possible.
Do offer an easy path to engagement. Introduce them to a congregant that has a knack for making people feel immediately at home and comfortable.
Don’t offer too many ministry options. Give only two or three ideas for how to take the next step. Simple is always better.
Do perfect the child check-in experience. Make the process simple and painless so returning won’t feel as daunting the next time, especially for newcomers with children.
Do smile! Seriously. That’s it. Just … smile.
Do leverage technology. Your church management software (ChMS) should easily support almost every strategy listed here to help you maximize the encounters you’ll have with those not already connected to your church.
God has moved them to come to you this Easter – so make the most of their visit and move them to stay.