I spend most of my week talking with pastors. Though advent is a busy season for their ministries, I’ve been surprised to hear over the years that Easter might be an even busier time for them.
Palm branches and Easter lilies need to be ordered. Children’s choirs and orchestra pieces need to be arranged and practiced. “Visit Us” mailers are designed and distributed, while inviting road signage is drawn up and displayed. Finally, don’t forget the meticulous planning that is required to create a memorable and meaningful Good Friday service.
Having a Strong Post Easter Ministry
Overall, most churches work overtime in the weeks and months leading up to Easter Sunday. Both pastors and laypeople alike devote themselves to their specific roles and responsibilities in order to magnify the name and gospel of Jesus as much as possible in their surrounding communities.
While it is wonderful that so much focus is given to the weekend of April 16th, ministries need to make time in the days before Easter arrives, to brainstorm and implement an equally strategic post-Easter ministry plan. If the primary goal of the church is to make disciples, then we must provide clear avenues for our Easter visitors to stay connected and grow closer to Jesus on April 23rd, 30th, and beyond.
Every visitor is different. Some stop by your church a few times a year. Others hop around from congregation to congregation when Easter and Christmas Eve shows up on their calendar, year after year. Perhaps some who visit your church this year may have never even set foot in a church before. With each of these possibilities in mind, your ministry must provide a clear roadmap for each of these types of visitors to stay connected to your ministry in a meaningful way, even after the holiday ends.
Your standard visitors pack is a decent start, but most of the visitors that I just named probably won’t take the time or initiative to pick up a basket, bag, or coffee mug before they exit your building on Easter Sunday. Your best chance of staying at the forefront of their minds is to make certain that they have something in their hands that’s not easy to discard or throw away as they exit your doors that day.
If you normally hand out a bulletin made out of thin paper on a typical Sunday, perhaps partner that program with a uniquely shaped and custom designed cardstock bookmark that tells visitors how to stay in touch. If it’s finished well, has good weight and thickness to it, and feels expensive, your visitors will be less likely to throw it away. They’ll certainly have a higher chance of hanging onto it if the content is relevant to them, calls them to obvious action, and is mentioned from the pulpit during your allotted time for announcements. Picture something like this…
Title: “3 Ways to Stay Connected After Easter”
Subtitle: “We’re so glad you’re here and would love to stay in touch!”
“Option 1: Come Back Next Week!”
“Option 2: Check Out Our Next Special Event”
“Option 3: Tune In Online @ :insert livestream link:”
Verse on Back: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 NIV”
Giving folks 3 simple options like this is exactly the kind of direct invitation that they need. For those who pop in every month or so, inviting them to attend the following week is a worthwhile ask. If this is too intimidating for them, let them know that they can visit an upcoming special event that’s more casual, as they might be more open to coming to something like this. Finally, if an in-person event is still a bit too scary for them, share a link where they can tune in and watch your church online. Live streaming your services is a great tool to assimilate new folks into your congregation that might be entirely new to this whole church thing.
Overall, your church is pouring your heart into making your Easter service special and gospel centric. Perhaps consider spending a little time getting strategic about how you can stay top of mind and drive future involvement from those visiting your building on the holiday weekend. Providing a few clear options will show your visitors that you’re flexible, you’re thoughtful, and that you want to meet them where they’re at.
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Brett Bzdafka is a former Pastor and Bible Professor, Brett has a BA from the Moody Bible Institute and MDiv from Columbia International University. As Church Development Manager at BoxCast, a live video streaming company founded and led by believers, Brett enjoys connecting with church leaders and enabling them to spread their ministry beyond the walls of their church through technology.