Easter is a big deal. I know when I said that your mind immediately went to the church. Hold on. It’s a big deal in other ways too. Consider this:
- $14.6 Billion was spent last year on Easter-related goods
- $2.1 Billion was spent last year on candy
- $60.55 – the average amount spent on Easter clothes
- 120 million pounds of candy were purchased last year
- 90 million chocolate bunnies are made each year for Easter*
If the secular world is putting that much thought and planning into Easter – shouldn’t the church?
In order for Cadbury to sell millions of chocolate Easter bunnies every year they have to prepare for millions of chocolate Easter bunnies. They have to get the ingredients, schedule factory production, assure delivery to the stores, etc. In order for Easter to be a big deal for Cadbury it has to be a big deal long before the day actually arrives.
You should be preparing the same way in your church. On an average Sunday researchers tell us that less than 20% of Americans will be in church on Sunday. Easter dramatically changes that statistic. Lifeway Research said that last year 41% of Americans said they were going to church on Easter and 20% were undecided.
Potentially, 60% of Americans may be in church on Easter. That means your church should easily double in attendance on that one Sunday! If you have prepared correctly you will see a dramatic rise in attendance. If you are going to double your attendance, there are some things you should do to get ready. Here are 8 quick tips that could leave an eternal impact.
1. Update all of your information Make sure that everything is correct. Your website, bulletin, church sign, Facebook page, etc. should have fresh, current, and correct information. Put your address and service times front and center weeks before Easter arrives. People attending don’t make plans the night before. They make plans weeks before.
2. Invite, Invite, Invite You can’t say it to your church enough leading up to Easter. Say it on Sundays, email it, post it, and beat the drum as often as you can. Beg, poke, and prod your people to invite others to church.
3. Meet guests in the parking lot If you don’t have one already put together a parking lot greeting team. Have people with golf size umbrellas in the parking lot if the weather is bad. Make sure your signage is up to date and that you have plenty of guest parking. Guests will be nervous when they pull on the property so ease their transition into the service by having friendly people greet them on the pavement.
4. Be as welcoming as you would in your own home Once you get them inside treat them like family. Have an abundance of greeters who are friendly and helpful. Do not let people stand at the door and simply hand out bulletins. (The bulletins are the least important thing of the day. Put them on the seats if necessary and let greeters have their hands free to engage guests.) Show them genuine hospitality and love. Here are some tips. If you don’t have a Pastor’s Guest Reception every Sunday have one on this Sunday. Fill it up with goodies for the kids and information and gifts for the adults and invite guests to come meet you and the staff. Provide snacks, water, and soft drinks and love on guests like they were in your home.
5. Clean the place up Make sure your building and grounds are spic-and-span. I mean really clean. Deep clean. The Sunday School rooms, the corners, the sanctuary, the BATHROOMs, the NURSERY, etc. Absolutely clean. Now is a good time to do some painting if necessary. The lawn should be perfectly manicured. The portico, front and back doors should look bright, crisp and welcoming. Get someone who is not a regular attender to your church to look it over and leave you a list. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Register everyone Welcome guests from the pulpit and make a big deal about them being there. But, don’t single them out. Instead, have everyone single person in the church fill out a connection card. Place a stack at the end of every row and ask the person sitting on the end to take one and pass them down. Give everyone 2 minutes to fill it out, perhaps during a song, and then take them up afterwards. Don’t put them in the offering plate as that will create confusion. Coach your church on this before Easter so they know your need members to fill one out too. If you don’t have a connection card, here are some ideas.
7. The worship should shine Yes, every Sunday we worship a risen Savior! Hallelujah! Easter is the Sunday we do it in front of a lost world. So, let them see us do it with joy and excellence. From the songs to the sermon, plan Easter worship knowing guests are going to be watching. Over 95% of Georgia’s top baptizing churches describe their worship as “lively and celebratory” and Easter Sunday should be the closest thing to heaven we can get on earth! Worship on Easter with joy, enthusiasm, and excellence. And make sure your church musicians and singers are practicing well in advance.
8. Preach the Gospel and give an invitation Whatever you do, preach a clear presentation of the Gospel. Make your outline simple. Leave out sub-points. Don’t preach for information but for transformation. When you are finished, give a clear compelling invitation and invite people to receive Christ. Give them clear instructions on how to come forward. Have plenty of well-trained decision counselors. Put together a prayer team that prays over every seat in the building multiple times. This is a God-moment! These are eight plain-and-simple ideas you can implement today to make this Easter the best since…well…the first one. Easter Sunday is too important to ignore. Planning, prayer, and preparation should be paramount.
We serve a Risen Savior! If you have an awesome Easter let us know.