When preparing for Easter services we tend to focus on the big things — the areas we feel (or know) are going to make a big impact. So we start cleaning and touching up our facilities, spend a lot of time and prayer (hopefully) on our sermons, and upgrading technology. And those are all important areas! But, as Solomon wisely observed, it’s “the little foxes that spoil the vines.”
Because we’ve been focused on all the details of Easter for weeks, when it comes time for the actual service it’s easy to make assumptions on behalf of guests and visitors that lead to confusion. And that leads to today’s tip for your Best Easter Ever — assume nothing, and talk about everything!
One way we make assumptions on behalf of guests and visitors is by using churchy language they’re unfamiliar with. I’m not suggesting that churches have to “dumb down” everything we say, but maybe there are areas we can improve. For example, rather than telling people “our facilities are located in the vestibule,” we can just say, “our restrooms are in the lobby.” Actually, that brings me to my second point…
While saying “restrooms are in the lobby” is better than saying “vestibule,” we can improve it even more by being clearer in our instructions. “Restrooms are located in the lobby. Just go out the doors in the back, and then turn right.”
The goal should be to answer as many questions as possible in a non-disruptive way. What questions should you answer?
- Where are your restrooms located?
- Do you have a nursery? What are the ages?
- What’s the plan for the older kids?
- How can people give in the offering?
- What if they want to get involved?
You don’t want to let announcements like these get in the way of your worship or the word, but you can get creative. If your church has a countdown timer before service, for instance, consider using that time to communicate this essential information. And that brings me to my final point…
Have a Plan and/or Outline for Service
Look, I’m a Pentecostal preacher — we practically invented “winging it” during service, so I completely understand the resistance to being “too scripted” in church. But the more complex our services become by adding things like media, lights, and live streaming, the more important it is that everyone knows what’s happening when. Even if you choose to deviate from the script (and in our church we do… a lot), having a general idea of what’s happening next is essential for the sanity of your volunteers and guests alike.
Our outline each week is pretty basic compared to some, but looks something like this:
- Countdown Video (begin at 9:55 AM)
- Open with Welcome/Prayer: Pastor Josh
- Worship Service: Shelly & Praise Team
- Announcements: Pastor Wes
- Announcement #1
- Announcement #2
- Offering: Pastor Wes
- Sermon: Pastor Ball
- Altar Call: Shelly & Praise Team
We try to provide as much information as possible when typing out announcements. Nothing disrupts service more than an emcee calling out, “Does anyone know what time the bake sale starts? That’s next Sunday, right? Oh… today? Huh. Thought it was next week.” Write it down. Your guests will thank you.
Want more tips on how to have your best Easter Sunday ever?