We all know that Easter is a HUGE opportunity for the local church to see new guests. In all likelihood, Easter will be your biggest weekend of the year. People who have never visited, as well as people who have been out of church for a while, will show up on Easter.
Hopefully, your team has been working hard to prepare for Easter. Probably a new worship set. Probably a well-thought-out message. Since we KNOW it’s going to be a big weekend, we throw tons of effort and energy into making it great
But what about the week after? What about the month after?
We know that not everyone is ready to make a long-term commitment, and we won’t KEEP everybody who attends on Easter. I’ve even heard church leaders say that some people are just “Holiday Attenders”.
There’s a responsibility we have as church leaders to give them something that really shakes their perspective about church.
Honestly, the people who will visit your church on Easter have probably been exposed to so many “average” churches and “passionless” Christians, that we’re kinda crazy to expect them to want to jump into a life-long commitment to Christ and the local church.
But your church can be different. This Easter can be different. Families can genuinely be changed forever.
Lets hope attendance is high on Easter this year, but more than that, let’s also hope that people LOVE their experience at your church and can’t wait to get back the next week, and the next, and the next.
With that in mind, here are:
3 THINGS THAT HAVE TO BE GOOD IF WE EXPECT EASTER GUESTS TO RETURN
1. Their EXPERIENCE has to be Good
If you remember that old TV show “Cheers”, you remember that the entire theme of the show was that this groups of people loved to go to Cheers, which was a local bar where everybody knew their name. They felt good being there. They felt comfortable around those people.
It’s the same with churches. People are looking for a place where they can BELONG, not just visit.
From the time they pull into the parking lot, people should feel like they belong. No matter what their background, race, bank account, or situation, they should feel like they’re genuinely loved and welcome.
If you don’t already have Welcome Teams in place, put your happiest people out front on Easter and tell them to make everybody feel like a million bucks when they arrive. If you do have Welcome Teams in place, remind them of how important it is that they pour out genuine love on every person who shows up.
The Actual Service Flow
Nobody wants to be part of something that is sub-par or poorly-put-together. It’s just awkward. From the pre-service count-down, to the final wave as they are pulling out, it all matters. Work hard on putting together an experience that feels good and is full of excellence.
The Power of God
No matter what you do to prepare, the Power of God is the difference-maker. If you haven’t already, call your Prayer Team and ask them to start praying for Easter weekend. God expects us to give our best effort, but let’s also expect that God is going to do HIS part, which is impacting the hearts of the people who are going to show up.
2. Your FOLLOW-UP has to be Good
Blunt Disclaimer: To be clear, no amount of follow-up will bring a person back to a place they didn’t enjoy. We MUST create a great experience for people when they visit our churches. But assuming they had a great experience, they also want to know that they were noticed. They want to hear that you were glad they came. This is why “Follow-Up” is so important.
Over time, you should put a lot of effort into your follow-up plans, but even if you don’t have anything setup already, here are Two Texts you can setup Today, which are very effective as a starter plan:
They need to hear from you within the first 36 hours. This simple text is REALLY important, because it lets them know they’re noticed, welcome, and being prayed for. At my church, this first text goes out on Monday mornings. It’s a simple text that says something like, “Hey [first name]! This is Pastor Brian from Crossroads. I’m so glad you joined us yesterday. We’ll be praying for you this week!”
If a person hasn’t been in the habit of attending church, as simple as it sounds, they need a reminder. This text can be sent on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (near the end of the week), and it says something like, “Hey, I hope your week has been good. We’ve been praying for you this week, and would love to see you again this Sunday.”
NOTE: If you’re already a Faith Teams user, you can easily set this up as an Automated WORKFLOW. Let us know if you need help setting this up. If you’re not yet a Faith Teams user, you can try it free for 10-days, and your Free Trial includes everything, even Automated Follow-ups.
3. The OPPORTUNITY for THEM has to be Good.
When people visit your church, they probably already have an idea that they need God, but their real questions revolve around the local church. Even if they’re not aware of it, they’re asking themselves several things. Here are two big ones that you can answer for them.
Is this church legit?
Again, the “personal experience” matters so much. People will decide if your church is legit based on the personal experience they have.
Is there a place for me?
This is a big one. As church leaders, we have to make it crystal clear that “There’s a place for you here!” They want to see that this is a vibrant church with real plans to make an impact in the world, and that there is a place for them to jump onto the team. As you think through your communications for Easter, make sure your transitions aren’t wasted. Use every inch of the service intentionally.
Let them know that your church is a place where they can BELONG and be a part of something bigger than themselves, and clearly communicate what their NEXT STEP is if they want to get involved. At my church, we never have a service without mentioning our “Discover” class, which is the clear Next Step for people who are looking to get involved.
This Easter, God wants to use the local church to impact the world. But not just for a day. He wants us to be AWARE that people are going to show up, and be READY to make an impact in their lives.
Here at Faith Teams, we’re praying for you and your church, and believing that you’re not only going to have a great Easter weekend, but that God is going to help you see more families become part of your church family!