Typically, on this day we have no problem attracting people to our churches. However, the challenge before us is to create such an experience that our visitors increase their visits from one time of year to multiple times a year — to eventually become active members of the Church.
As pastors, we MUST commit to planning earlier for our Easter services. Treating this day like any other Sunday would be a missed evangelistic opportunity.
Many churches that are seeing increases in membership, plan for these services a year in advance. This demonstrates that they are being not only evangelistic, but ‘intentional.’
With just a couple of weeks before Easter, I believe we still can put together some new things to have a successful evangelistic Easter Service.
Here are 7 things we can do right away to ensure great experience this Easter:
- Glean Colleagues’ Resources. Pastors, consider resourcing sites like the following to get your creative juices flowing: sermoncentral, preachingtoday, sermonillustrations, preaching and sermoncloud.
- Use your team. Engage others in a brainstorming process for planning your Easter service so that the day can look and feel different than any other Sunday. Having members of your worship, music, audio/visual team, ministerial staff, ushers, dancers, etc. could go along way in making this day a great experience. Valuing the feedback of others can only prove to be positive as they too are invested in this day. Their excitement will create a buzz.. This process alone will fill some more of those seats.
- Keep sermon short, but impactful. We’ve all seen it, the glow in the pastor’s eyes when he sees a full house. Nothing’s worse than too much editorializing. Editorializing is the ‘fat’ that really isn’t crucial in making your point AND it takes up more time than you realize. A good friend once told me “Leave them wanting more.” Otherwise they will say to themselves, “Okay this should last me until next year.”
- Keep message simple. This day is not a good day to get fancy and to show off your oratory skills and your knowledge of Hebrew. The focus should be to share the good news of Jesus Christ. When the service is over, what is it that you want them to leave with?
- Use other resources. There are so many resources available to help you drive your message home. Consider the use of props, a short 2-minute skit, a video (sermonspice, wingclips, churchmovie clips) or a dramatic reading.
- Welcomed your guests. The gift of hospitality was ‘BIG’ during biblical times. Train your ushers and greeters for this day especially. Have your most pleasant ones at the door greeting. Make sure they go the extra mile.
- Invest in a gift bag. Every guests should leave with something tangible to remember their experience. This should be considered an investment, not a bill. At minimum, they should leave with a gift bag with the contents of at least a brochure describing your church ministries, some candies and a visitor’s card. If you are serious about their return visit, you should also enclose a pen and ask them to fill out their card and drop it in the collection plate and then send them a note thanking them for visiting your church.
These seven ideas could be put in place even if Easter was just one week away. The idea is to do something different. Your visitors would appreciate and it would breathe new life into your existing congregations. It’ would be ashame if your Easter Sunday looks like any other Sunday.
Do you have any other ideas on how our churches can make Easter a tremendous experience for our visitors?