5 Questions to Ask Before Easter

Growth, People
easter, preparation

Most would argue that Easter is the MOST important and significant holiday for Christians. It’s the day we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ is the Risen Savior.

It’s unquestionable that Easter is a HUGE day for Christian churches in America.

Christianity Today, Gallup, and Pew Research Center all agree that more people attend church on Easter Sunday than on most other Sundays.

Christmas and Mother’s Day come in second and third place in the attendance race.

Almost every church in America will see a SPIKE in attendance on Easter Sunday.

Easter is an Opportunity for churches, but it has to be taken advantage of.

If churches aren’t intentional about preparing for these guests, it could actually have a negative impact, rather than a positive one. When people have poor experiences with a restaurant, a grocery store, and yes – even a church, the chance of them returning (or even trying another church) in the future, goes down drastically.

As church leaders, we have an incredible opportunity on Easter to connect with new people, but if we don’t intentionally prepare for them, we’ll probably see a one-day spike and nothing more.

Here are 5 Questions to Ask Before Easter, to help your church be ready.

1. What’s the Initial FEEL?

When you’re visiting a new place, it doesn’t take you long to decide if it’s good or not.

The first impression of your church matters more than just about anything.

Obviously there are lots of things that matter, but if it doesn’t feel good when people drive onto the property and walk into the building, they’ve probably already made up their mind that this is their one and only trip there.

Parking Teams, Greeters and Lobby Hosts can make all the difference in the world. People don’t need help parking their car (most of the time anyway : ), but people in the parking lot, interacting with people, waving and smiling – those things make a HUGE difference. It tells people that we’re glad they’re here. It begins the process of tearing down their defenses, lowering their guard, and helping them open up.

Maybe you already have these teams in place, or maybe not. But think about the initial feel at your church.

  • What does it feel like when people drive onto the property?
  • What does it feel like when they are getting out of their car, walking toward your building?
  • What does it feel like when they walk in?

Create an environment that is comfortable, welcoming and inviting. Even if you don’t have these teams in place already, you can pick a few of your most “caring” people and create a plan that will make the initial feel for guests at your church, a GREAT one.

2. Would a new family like our Kids ministry area?

When new families come to your church, there are few things more important to them than the Kids Ministry area.

In fact, even if the family loves everything else about the church, but they don’t like the Kids Ministry area – Do you think they’re coming back? Probably not.

You don’t have to have a state-of-the-art mind-boggling facility in order to have a great kids area. It’s more about the efficiency, the cleanliness, and the team.

  • Is there a clean process for parents to drop their kids off?
  • Do you have your best people-people greeting parents?
  • Is your kids area clean and bright?
  • Does your team have a well-thought-out strategy?
  • Does it feel “excellent”?

Families want to be a part of a church where their kids aren’t just being watched, but they’re being developed. Try to take a fresh look, and ask: Would a new family who had kids like our kids ministry?

3. How do we get guest information?

If you are planning on having lots of new guests, you need to make sure you have a good system for trying to get their information.

There’s no way to follow-up with them if you don’t have their info, so it’s an important step.

Most growing churches allow people to remain anonymous if they want to. We’d highly recommend not asking guests to stand, or raise their hands, etc. But we should make it as easy as possible for them to connect with us if they’re ready.

Here are some ideas:

  • Connect Cards are a great way for guests and members alike to give you their information.
  • Welcome Center or Guest Information Desks are a great place to point guests to.
  • Having a small gift for guests is a nice touch.
  • Communicate it from the stage. This seems obvious, but one of the most effective things you must do (especially on Easter) is to verbally welcome guests, let them know that you’d love to connect with them, and ask them to share their info so you can connect with them.
  • Text Message. One of the things we offer at Faith Teams is the ability for your church to create a keyword, such as “GUEST”. People can text that keyword to your church’s number, and fill out a digital connect card right on their phone. You can also setup automated texts or emails to go out to people once they submit their info. It’s really simple and quick. (click here to see more about this)

Every church is different, but every church needs a clear plan for getting guests information.

4. Do we have a clear plan for guest follow-up?

Guest follow-up is such an important responsibility for churches.

New people who try your church are gifts that God has sent to you, so we need to have an intentional plan of how we will respond when they visit.

It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed with the amount of information you can find on this subject. Maybe you’ve seen advertisements for elaborate guest follow-up plans and it’s caused you to back away and not do anything, because it seemed too complicated.

Here’s some encouragement: Some of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America have a 1-step or 2-step plan for guest follow-up. We’re not saying that a more complex plan is bad, but don’t feel this pressure to create 16 steps before you start.

You don’t have to have an elaborate plan, but you do need a clear plan.

Here are three simple pieces to start with:

  • Thank them for coming
    (text or email the day after their visit)
  • Invite them back
    (text message the following weekend, inviting them back)
  • Keep them informed of the big events happening at your church
    (add them to your mailing list so they get invitations throughout the year)

If you don’t have a clear plan in place, this is a great way to begin. Start with these, be consistent with it, and add other pieces as you see the need.

5. What will we invite them BACK to?

One of the easiest ways to maximize your Easter crowd is to give them something to come back to.

They may be planning just to visit the one time, but we should give them compelling reasons to come back again.

This year, Mother’s Day is really close to Easter, so that’s an obvious one.

Also, lots of churches start a new sermon series on Easter or the week after Easter.

The key is to build it into your announcements. Make it exciting. And, make it clear that you’d love to have them join you for it.

For example: “Hey, we’re so excited about the brand new series we’re starting next week called “True Help”, where we’re going to be talking about How God is very Present Help for us no matter what we’re going through. You don’t want to miss that – It’s going to be a great series.”

Easter is a BIG Day for your church.

You still have time to make some last-minute improvements to make a better connection and impact with guests who are going to be at your church.

Asking these 5 questions can help you be more prepared.

We’re praying that it’s an incredible day and that you see TONS of new people.

Please let us know if we can help as you work through your plan.

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