Did you know that more people search for “church” online around Easter followed quickly by Christmas? As we know, these are the two most popular Christian holidays for non-regular churchgoers to step through your church’s doors.
For many churches, this is one of the biggest opportunities of the year that we have to not only invite people into your church, but to minister to their hearts.
That puts a lot of pressure on church leaders as they plan for Easter! Whether this is your first time planning an Easter service or your twenty-fifth time, we’ve got 6 common Easter planning mistakes to avoid:
1. Starting late.
At the time of this article, we are just under a month away from Easter. While every church is different in terms of staff, creative teams, in-house graphics, and marketing, if you haven’t started planning your Easter service yet, you should get started!
We think a good rule of thumb is to give yourself approximately eight weeks to plan, set up, and implement every part of your Easter service. But we would also recommend having a vision meeting in the first two months of the year. This will allow your team to have the time and space necessary for great ideas to be developed.
But if you haven’t done any planning yet, don’t be discouraged! It is possible to pull off a well-put-together Easter service in four weeks. We would encourage you to make sure to pull in extra staff and volunteers to help make sure you have the best plan possible. And remember to watch out for the other mistakes to avoid on this list.
2. Leading from duty rather than conviction.
Easter is the “Super Bowl” of church holidays and because of that, it can feel like we have an obligation to plan something big and spectacular. Let us not forget the real reason Easter Sunday is such a big deal. It isn’t because we have an opportunity to grow our church attendance numbers and it isn’t about fulfilling a line on your job description.
Easter Sunday is about helping people encounter the life-changing love of Jesus!
In order to do this, you need to consider how you can give yourself space for God to bring you a fresh conviction of the truth we celebrate at Easter. This week and the weeks leading up to Easter, set aside time for the Spirit to remind you of this truth.
3. Assuming your team is bought in from the start.
Your team is going to put in a ton of time and energy to make your Easter Service possible. It is crucial that they understand and have “caught” the vision of what will take place the day of. You can’t just assume they are bought into the purpose and vision that needs to inform the work they will have to do to make it all possible.
Take some time upfront to cast a vision for what you are hoping to achieve on Easter and how that reaches other people with the Good News. Be sure to share the why and help them see how their specific task connects to the overall purpose of the service. By doing this, you will energize them in the part they are playing to make it all possible!
4. You don’t give a reason for guests to fill out a card (physical or digital).
Easter Sunday is often one of the highest-attended services of the year. If you don’t have a way to collect people’s information, you aren’t likely to see them again until next year. Most churches have a church visitor card, whether that be a digital or a physical card. But what we often forget is to give people a reason to fill it out and turn it in.
People are much more likely to share their information if they are receiving something in return. A great idea that we’ve often heard is to offer a $5 donation to a charity that guests can choose from on the card. This is a great, community-centered way to incentivize guests to fill out a connection card and make follow-up possible!
5. Forgetting to clarify your follow-up process.
Once the service is over, we tend to let out a sigh of relief, maybe sleep in a little on Monday, and then bring in donuts for our staff to celebrate. But what happens next is truly one of the most important parts of your church’s connection with new people!
What are the next steps you want people to take as a result of your Easter service? How are you going to engage them after they leave the building? Don’t wait until after your Easter service to develop the plan here!
Take some time to consider what next steps you are leading people towards, especially those who are new. Then consider how you will prompt them to take that step. One Church Software can help you automate some of this process (even some of the follow-up)!
6. Prioritizing production over purpose.
Our desire to have a powerful Easter service can easily lead us into thinking that production is the most important part; how we perform and if we created a great experience for guests. But we need to remember that the purpose of Easter is not the production of it all. It’s okay to have a flashy production and special effects so long as we don’t get fooled into thinking those are the most important elements of your service.
The entire service could “fail” with microphones cutting out and musicians off-key and church leaders stumbling over our words, and Christ can still be glorified through it. The purpose of Easter is simply this: to celebrate Christ and to share clearly with others why we do so.
We are praying for you, and we can’t wait to hear the stories of how God shows up in your planning, in your service, and in your follow-up this year!
If you don’t have a church management system or are considering switching, you can try One Church Software FREE for 14 days to see all the ways it can help you care for your members, empower your volunteers, and serve your community.