All Christians – and most non-Christians – know the fundamentals of Easter: Easter is a celebration commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And most people know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very belief on which Christianity is founded. It's how Christians know that a first-century preacher was not just a preacher but actually the Son of God: He rose from the dead.
But we celebrate Easter not just for historical reasons. We celebrate Jesus’ triumph over death as our own triumph over death, too. His resurrection affords us all resurrection and eternal life with God.
So while the rudiments of Easter are commonly understood, Christians recognize a larger reason to celebrate: Life triumphs over death.
For Christians, Easter celebrates our deliverance from evil.
For Christians, Easter celebrates how the resurrection of Jesus changed the course of humanity – and the world.
For Christians, Easter celebrates that Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice has given us eternal life everlasting.
And so it comes as no surprise to pastors and church leaders that Easter is a big – HUGE – attendance day, rivaled only by Christmas. And those attendance numbers provide us with incredible opportunities (read: people) that may not otherwise present themselves (read: attend) to personally engage new or bi-annual guests.
And your Easter service is your first impression. It’s your opportunity to welcome newcomers or returning guests so that you can convert drop-ins into disciples.
So we’ve rounded up a few articles that speak to the importance of putting your best foot forward so that you can retain the gains from this momentous celebration.
“There are two big days that every pastor circles on his or her calendar – Easter and Christmas. These two holidays often result in record attendance, and they represent the most natural opportunities for any church to attract visitors and assimilate disciples.
“Easter is a great opportunity to implement a strategy to invite, retain and assimilate guests. In this three-part series, we’ll talk about how to mobilize your efforts before Easter, maximize your service on the day itself, and continue the momentum afterward by assimilating new people into your church.”
“Let’s face it, Easter Sunday is the Super Bowl for Church. Why? Because people are more inclined to go to church on this day than perhaps any other day on the calendar. This gives you and your team an incredible opportunity to reach new people with the Gospel and create a season of growth.
“Hopefully you’ve been preparing your people to pray for and invite those they know who need to meet Jesus. Our job as church leaders is to maximize this opportunity to present the Gospel and capture the attention of people who may be coming to church for the first time in a long time.”
“With Easter right around the corner, it’s never too early to get your church and staff ready for the big day. The key to making the most of any big day in your church’s life is having a carefully thought out plan and executing the follow-up.
“Maximizing Easter begins by building momentum leading up to Easter, but it also involves striking while the iron is hot and keeping the momentum going. An influential leader will not only plan well but execute consistently. This takes getting your people on board. By showing them the benefits of the lead-up and follow-through, you can make sure each Easter is great and God gets the glory he deserves.”
“It’s usually encouraged to plan well in advance for Easter Sunday, but don’t panic if you’re just beginning. Compile a checklist and timeline leading up to Easter and start assigning and executing tasks. Forming a special team of church staff members and/or volunteers will help your church be sure nothing is overlooked in preparation.
“With the countdown to Easter on, let’s get strategic and clearly communicate to those who enter our doors the message of the resurrection and the identity of your church.”
“There’s no doubt you’ve spent this month encouraging your church to invite friends and family on Easter. You might have put a few invite cards in their hands. Maybe you bought billboards to make a big splash. Surely they’ve heard you say it from the stage. With all that time and money invested, you can expect some new faces on April 16th.
“But when unchurched people walk through your door this Easter, will you be ready for them? In my experience, many churches over-estimate their level of readiness to reach unchurched people.”
With careful consideration and planning, Easter can mark the start of a new year – a new life, really – for your new or bi-annual guests.
It can be the turning point wherein they go from passive pew occupant to active disciple giving of their time, talents and treasures.
Let Easter fill your pews on Sunday, April 16th, and let your service and stewardship keep them there every other Sunday of the year.