Easter is a time of great potential impact. According to a study by LifeWay Research last year, many people in your community are on the fence about whether or not they will attend church on Easter weekend. “Christians who automatically attend church on Easter should be mindful of their many friends, neighbors and family members who haven’t ruled out the idea of attending,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “It may be that a personal invitation is what would make a difference to them.”
This Easter you and your church leaders have the chance to gather active attenders, infrequent attenders, and non-attenders to a worship service that focuses on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Last year I wrote an article about our plans to make a greater impact through our Easter weekend services. This following is a summary of what we did:
- We added another worship service.
- We added a food component.
- We chose not to have Sunday groups but provided activities for preschoolers.
- We called our church to invite others and equipped them to do so.
- We planned and promoted a new message series that began the Sunday after Easter.
- We had three indoor egg hunts for different age groups.
If you want to have a huge impact this Easter, here are four keys for making the greatest possible impact.
1. Start planning earlier than you think you should
It’s the middle of February. Last month I planned a strategic meeting with a select group of staff members to begin planning this year’s Easter impact. Preparing for anything significant always takes more time than you think it will. Your Easter weekend services may have a greater impact on believers and un-believers than anything else you do this year. You will need time for prayer, time to develop a strategy, time to share the plans with your leaders, time to create or order promotional materials, and time to prepare your church family to invite others.
2. Get help to provide great graphics
Get professional help from a graphic designer or use pre-made or customizable graphics for Easter promotion. You will use this one graphic in every piece of promotional material for both internal (to your church family) and external (to your community) communication. Here’s a list of the many ways you can use this graphic:
- In your bulletin
- On your website
- In email newsletters
- On your promotional mailer
- On business card sized invitations
- On banners (hung in the church and in the community)
- As your Facebook cover image (851×315)
- As your Twitter header image (520×260)
- As your Google+ cover photo (890×180)
3. Learn from other churches
Wise church leaders learn from the successes and failures of other church leaders. Last year, our team watched a free online conference on preparing for Easter. It included ten pastors and church leaders sharing what they had done that helped them impact their communities for Christ at Easter. Lifechurch.tv publishes all of their Easter sermons, graphics, videos, and more and makes them available for free for churches. Access their Easter resources from 2012 here and from 2013 here.
4. Deliver on your promise
When guests show up at your Easter weekend services you need to be prepared with the following:
- Parking lot, grounds, and buildings that are clean and in good repair.
- Friendly and welcoming greeters.
- Good directional signage.
- Vibrant and engaging worship.
- A simple, gospel-focused sermon.
Here are other resources to help you and your team plan for maximum impact:
- Easter Sermons at LifeWay.com
- The Son of God movie releases February 28, 2014. You might use free resources from the website to create a message series that leads up to or follows Easter Weekend. LifeWay also is providing print resources for this cinematic event.
- If you are a subscriber to Ministry Grid (hundreds of training videos for you and your church leaders), watch Ron Edmondson’s training video on 10 Steps to Effective Easter Preparation
- Vanderblomen Group has a great 10 Step Checklist For Your Easter Service Preparation by Preston Mitchell
Pastor, we are praying that God will bless you as you work with your leaders to plan, promote, and provide God-honoring Easter weekend worship services.
Image via Chris Kennedy