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 correctly. But the spiritual and practical sides of a successful Easter Sunday require careful planning. In my years as a pastor, I’ve developed some strategies that have proven successful. Here are my top six.
1. Everything Starts with the Easter Sunday Message
Sit with the pastor 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 music and direction for all your promotional efforts.Yes, nine times out of 10 (ok, probably higher than that), the message is on the resurrection of Christ. But what approach will the speaker take? I think 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 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. While the practical is essential, don’t sacrifice the spiritual. It’s the main thing. I recommend focusing your congregation and staff on specific prayer themes in the three weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
1st Week = Repentance/Consecration
2nd Week = Personal Evangelism
3rd Week = 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.
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—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, newspapers). 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 on 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 improve the guest experience by keeping things clear and orderly.
5. Remove Roadblocks to Easter Sunday Participation
Chances are high you’ll have visitors. Therefore, you want to remove roadblocks to participation where you can. Make sure your signage is clear, up-to-date, and valuable. 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 wish to give but don’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. In other words, simplify for Easter: get their name, email, and phone number. You’ll increase your success rate this way.
An Easter Sunday Checklist
We could say so much more, so we’ve created a PDF checklist for you. It outlines what you should do in the four weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. Download it today to get started!
Ron has a passion for helping congregations modernize their electronic giving. He helps denominations deploy giving solutions their congregants love using. He is also the pastor of Hope Worship Center COGIC.