Easter is fast approaching! It’s hard to believe we are already back to that time again after what has seemed like a year in the Twilight Zone. Last Easter pastors and church leaders were having to grapple with how to celebrate Easter at church as a global pandemic invaded their communities. This year, though the pandemic is not gone and life is not quite back to normal, churches are likely to have a bit more of an idea of how to handle Easter to best serve their communities.

Regardless of how your church celebrates Easter this year—whether online only, in-person only, or some combination of the two—you will have guests in attendance! Aside from Christmas, Easter is when most churches see the most attendees in a given year. Even amidst the dying light of a global pandemic, following up with these guests is as important as ever. Having an intentional follow-up process is important for church growth. Hosting a spring community event, for instance, is a great way to invite your Easter guests back to meet church leaders and members so that they may be more comfortable coming back on a Sunday.

Whatever you plan to do for your guests, preparation is vital. Here are three basic ways to get ready for your in-person or physical guests who will arrive this Easter:

1. Prepare ways to collect information in-person and online.

Obviously, you will have some number of guests show up for your Easter services. Some of them may be watching the live stream if you have one. Others will surely show up for the in-person gathering if you are able to meet in your building. You ought to be ready to collect information from guests no matter how they attend your church on Easter. A guest that attends your church and leaves without having given his or her information to the church is a missed opportunity to connect them with the body of Christ and the supportive community of the local church.

There are a number of ways to go about collecting information from guests. The Digital Forms feature in One Church Software is a helpful tool to collect information from guests, whether they are attending in person or online. If you have a church staff member present in your live stream chat, they can just drop the link to the digital form for anyone watching online. If you have access to a computer, iPad, or iPhone, church volunteers could be posted throughout the church to fill out the form for guests as they arrive for the in-person service.

However you do it, just do it! Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with people who attend on Easter.

HELPFUL LINKS
How do I add a form?

2. Ensure your kids check-in systems are ready to go.

Families who are attending a church for the first time need to know that their children are going to be safe and cared for during the service. It could be argued that nothing is more important for the retention of a new family than the efficiency and trustworthiness of a church’s children’s check-in process. If your check-in process is haphazard, disorganized, or otherwise concerning, it is likely you will never see some of the families that attend on Easter ever again.

With One Church Software, you can be sure your children’s ministry check-in process is streamlined and good-to-go so that your children’s ministry volunteers can be focused on making new parents and children feel welcome and safe rather than fumbling with technology all morning.

On top of all of this, families checking their kids in for children’s ministries is another great place to connect information from them! Don’t miss an opportunity to do that as well.

HELPFUL LINKS
Check-In Station Tutorial

3. Set up a way for new guests to message church leaders for more information. 

Through One Church Software, you can set up a way for anyone who comes to your church to text the church. Most people are comfortable texting these days, so this can be a super easy, non-intimidating way for new people to reach out to the church staff for more information about different parts of your church.

One really cool feature of the One Church Software texting tool is that you can create keywords that send automated responses to texters. So, for example, if you want to send Easter guests a text full of information and links for them to get more involved with your church, you can just instruct them to text “GUEST” to the text phone number and they will get everything you want them to receive, without any church staff having to type out anything in real time! To connect it back to the first point, you could have your text service send anyone who texts “GUEST” straight to the digital form you’ve made! Super easy. 

HELPFUL LINKS
How do I set up keyword text messaging?
Keyword Text Messaging with One Church Software. (VIDEO)

Prepare and Connect

You will have guests this Easter, either online or in person. When it comes down to it, making the most of your guest influx and serving them effectively comes down to two tasks: prepare and connect. By taking the time to prepare well, you can make guests feel as welcome as possible on Easter Sunday. Then, by collecting information and following up with guests afterward, you can connect with them and lead them to be more involved with your church family. 

Don’t waste Easter. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect your community to your church and introduce people to Jesus. One Church is here to help you do maximize your ministry effectiveness.