Tag Archive for: follow-up plan

Planning a service can take a lot of hard work and organization, from writing the sermon to picking the right music to coordinating all the volunteers needed to make it possible. While you don’t need to be planning out every tiny detail, you also shouldn’t be winging every aspect of your service the day-of either.

(We consistently see churches swing a little too far in one or the other direction!)

To give you a hand at finding that happy middle ground, here’s a list of some best practices for planning your service:

1) Make a church service plan in advance; make adjustments in the moment.

Planning is one of the most spiritual things a leader can do. Have you ever thought about that? Developing a plan is one of the core ways that we, as leaders, shepherd our flock carefully.

Now it’s still wise to allow for necessary, Spirit-led adjustments in the moment, and to remain flexible. But developing a plan helps your team prepare effectively, keeps your team organized, allows you to lead from intentionality rather than urgency, and keeps your overall pace at a manageable level.

2) Prioritizing excellence requires you to give your team time to prepare.

Rarely can a team produce their best at a moment’s notice. For most people, excellence comes when they know what their tasks are in advance, can prepare for those tasks ahead of time, and can even prepare their own heart for their role in the service.

If you’re not sure how much time would be best, ask your team! Giving them time to prepare shows that you care, and allows them to serve with the best of the passion and skills God has given them.

3) Stop texting your volunteers for their availability.

Texting may seem convenient, but in reality, tracking all those details week after week eats away too much of your time. Instead of texting each volunteer for their availability and then having to text them back after you’ve made your schedule, make it easier on yourself and them by utilizing a Church Management Software (ChMS).

Through a ChMS, you can have volunteers input their availability in advance, and the system will automatically notify them when they are scheduled to serve.

4) Communicate your sermon content as early as you can.

The earlier you can communicate your sermon content, the better! This will allow your team to have plenty of time to pick out music, Scripture readings, and special elements that match your sermon content and creates a cohesive service from start to finish.

Overall sermon topics should generally be defined at the start of a series, and a great goal is for your sermon content to be planned and communicated 1-2 weeks in advance.

5) Say “thank you.”

Encouraging your team is just as important in service planning as the elements you include in the service. You don’t want your team to become a revolving door of people. Building a solid team that is engaged in the work that God has called you to do requires that you encourage your team members regularly and show appreciation for what they do.

When you see a team member serving, take time to genuinely thank them. And it never hurts to schedule regular time in your schedule to give them a personal gesture of appreciation (handwritten thank you card, a small gift card, a text, etc.).

6) Always have a follow-up plan.

One of the most important pieces of planning for your service is your church service follow-up plan. How will you connect with new people that just experienced your service? Will people clearly understand what the next step is and how to take it?

Churches with a clear follow-up plan are much more likely to build long-term relationships with guests. Believe it or not, it’s actually something that can be automated!


If you are not naturally a planner, all this might seem a bit overwhelming. It may feel that way initially, but as you make these things part of your routine, you will find yourself with more time and less stress.

Ultimately, this is all about helping your church thrive and fulfill its mission to encourage believers and bring the Gospel to those that are not yet saved! The Holy Spirit has the power to work in our planning just as much as He has the power to work in the moment.

Looking for a church management system to support you in effective service planning? Learn how this core feature works in One Church Software’s award-winning, all-in-one software for churches.

Easter Sunday—According to Pew Research Center, it’s one of the biggest two Sundays people will attend each year and more Americans search online for “church” around Easter than they do any other time of the year. Every day in the life of a church matters deeply, but to say that Easter is the church’s Super Bowl for engaging new people is no understatement!

Whether you’ve already been planning for weeks and know where your team is headed, or if your calendar doesn’t yet have Easter Sunday highlighted, circled, with multiple notifications and a countdown timer, we wanted to share five simple steps you should consider as you get ready for your 2022 Easter Service.

Let’s jump in:

1) Make a clear plan in advance.

Perhaps this should go without saying, but with the number of people that will be coming through your church’s doors (physically or digitally), you need to have a clear plan in place. For many of those people, this is the one time a year they attend a church service. It may also be a chance to welcome back those that haven’t been attending regularly.

Take some time to detail a clear plan with any special elements that need to be created in advance. What are your goals for Easter? Will you have special graphics? Do you need extra help that day to make sure everyone gets a seat? Who are the key people on your team you need to empower to direct others?

By making sure you have a solid plan in advance, you are able to approach the day strategically, and you will avoid stressing out your team by scrambling to organize a service last-minute.

2) Communicate that plan to your team.

Now that you have a clear plan of what your church’s goals are for Easter Sunday, don’t keep it to yourself! That plan needs to be communicated to your team. This could be done over a detailed email, a planning meeting, or through your church management software.

Make sure your team has all the necessary resources to execute the plan and keep up-to-date on what has been accomplished and what’s left undone.

Most of all, this is your opportunity to get your team excited! Help them see the vision for your Easter service this year. Build excitement for them, praying together expectantly for what God will do in the hearts of those who engage with your church on Easter.

3) Make sure you have a guest follow-up plan.

It’s no secret that many churches view Easter Sunday as a prime opportunity to get once-a-year churchgoers or those who have been involved irregularly to engage with your church beyond this one Easter service.

But that doesn’t happen by accident. It requires an intentional follow-up plan.

How do you plan to engage meaningfully with the people who are attending your Easter service? This, of course, starts with how they experience the service itself. Is it easy for them to check their kids into the children’s ministry? Can they find a place to sit easily? Were people kind?

But beyond that, this leads into your follow-up plan. How do you plan to engage meaningfully after the service is over? Do you have a visitor card that is simple and can be quickly completed? Are you planning to send a follow-up text or a carefully-crafted series of emails? Would it make sense to send a thank you gift? What is the next step you’re inviting new people to take?

These are all questions worth asking.

4) Schedule an Easter debrief meeting ahead of time.

All too often, we have a habit of waiting until next year’s planning meeting to ask how the previous year went. But here’s the problem with that: Nobody remembers the detailed breakdown of what went right and wrong!

Instead, we should review what worked well and what didn’t within a week of Easter Sunday so everything is fresh in our team’s minds. Make sure you take good notes that you can find next year.

Is there anything you did this year that didn’t work? Was there anything that worked particularly well? Was there anything you missed that you need to remember to improve on next year?

5) Focus on the truth of Easter.

Ultimately, this one is most important. All of the planning and organizing in the world doesn’t make a difference if you are personally not being reminded of what Easter is all about. How is the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection affecting your heart right now? How should that truth inspire your church to live out their faith in your community? What hope does it give us in a world full of uncertainty and chaos?

As leaders, when our hearts are moved by the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection, and that is our focus while we observe Easter Sunday, we can rest assured these truths will bleed over into the hearts of those we lead as well.

Planning a service like this can take a lot of coordination and support from our teams, but there truly is so much opportunity for us to engage our communities. Take the time to make a plan, and remember your why—to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20a).

Organizing your people and communicating with them is a whole lot easier when you have a church management system doing the hard work for you of helping you stay organized. Learn how One Church Software’s all-in-one solution can help you manage your volunteers, finances, service planning, giving, children’s ministry check-in, event registrations, and much more.