AMP UP YOUR EASTER IMPACT
The ministry stress of the Christmas season has melted away, but the thaw of springtime reveals Easter is just around the corner (Sunday, March 27)! Every church understands the spiritual significance of Easter. The question is, “Are we capitalizing on the huge opportunities Easter can bring for outreach and growth?”
The church where I serve continues to strategize how to harness Easter’s potential for maximum Kingdom impact. Last year we saw a 700-person jump from our regular attendance to Easter Sunday. Here are a few ideas that have worked well for us:
While worship services are held inside as usual, a “hospitality tent” or “welcome tent” outside on church property can create the perfect setting for making guests feel at home. We rent a large, white tent and add custom signage to the exterior. Friendly volunteers fill the tent and make sure everyone takes advantage of family photo stations, food and great conversation. The tent is open to everyone and includes a special area for guests. First-time guests are given a gift, and we gather their information so we can follow up with a handwritten note the following week. The welcome tent is also a great place to promote the upcoming message series. Regulars and guests alike leave church with a smile on their face and excitement about next Sunday.
See the Sundays leading up to Easter as your church’s runway toward the big day. Encourage your congregation Sunday after Sunday to invite their friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to Easter services. Mentioning this one time or in one way is simply not effective. Take a month of Sundays to get the message across creatively. We place an attractive booth in our lobby area where our people can pick up invitation cards, information and special give-away items like candy, etc., to make it a little easier to ask a friend to church. We introduce a new item each week to ensure the announcements are fresh and that there’s always another reason to come by the booth. Rather than just telling people to invite others, you are giving them tools to follow through and do it.
Easter Sunday is special, and rightly so. We all want the worship service, message and all the details to be excellent. The truth is, this April 5th your church will have more guests in attendance than perhaps any other Sunday throughout the year. It makes perfect sense to put your best foot forward. One caution – in your efforts to make the day special and memorable, make sure your guests get an accurate impression of what your church is like. For example, if your church dresses casual on Sundays, don’t slap on the suit and tie for Easter. If Easter is the only Sunday of the year an orchestra would play on your platform, you might reconsider your plans. Here’s the point – if guests return the Sunday after Easter and think they’ve accidently walked into the wrong church because it’s so different than the week before – I think we’ve missed an opportunity. Be the church God is calling your church to be, and don’t apologize for it. Even though Easter services may be the best experience all year, go to great lengths to make sure the details and feel that make your church unique come shining through.
Every church staff member and devoted volunteer knows the stakes are high on Easter Sunday. With prayer and planning we can put ourselves in a position to be used by God in amazing ways! May this Easter Sunday be a springboard for future growth and life change in your church!
Darren Walter is the Lead Pastor at Current – A Christian Church in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
The church averages 1,250 in attendance at this time. www.currentchristian.org