Easter is a time to celebrate the miracle and triumph of Christ’s resurrection with renewed hope. As a church, you’ve worked tirelessly to include both congregants and the community in your services, outreach, and events all to celebrate new life in Christ. New life means that there are new ways to live and engage with each other in order to be more dedicated to our Lord. While Easter rings in at the top of the list, per Lifeway Research, as the highest attended holiday church service, how to bring people back to church after Easter is the challenge.
No doubt that your church has put much emphasis on Easter services in order to attract the local community to not only attend but also begin the process of true discipleship. Thinking about how to get more people in church on a regular basis, means that you must concentrate on conducting each activity in a way that connects people to God via our collective and individual active participation:
- Remember that your community is an extension of your congregations. Your mission field goes beyond its membership to include all the people God calls you to serve.
- Strive for meaningful engagement with others, not superficial gestures. If the motive is simply to get them to come to church, people will see right through it.
- You must be prepared to meet people where they are. The song, ”Prepare ye the way of the Lord” sung on Palm Sunday according to Isaiah 40:3-5, is a calling to continuously be like John the Baptist who was creating a favorable environment and making it easy for Jesus to enter into and operate in the lives of the people.
- Challenge each church group with an inside focus to find a way to become involved with the community outside the church in a consistent way. For example, the children’s choir might sing at the nursing home, or the deacons could sponsor a neighborhood clean-up in their respective neighborhoods.
- Remember that Jesus primarily engaged people through everyday encounters, rather than in the Temple or synagogues. He fed people, met their everyday needs, and enjoyed the fellowship of others. How are you trying to emulate His great example on a regular basis in order to:
- connect with them on a personal level
- draw them into a relationship with God
- encourage them back to church after Easter
The contact information that you collect from your Easter church visitors is the exact information that they want to share with you. Utilize this to connect with them on that introductory level. While this seems basic and generally understood as follow-up 101. It really is the next vital step to actively engage with each individual visitor.
- Perhaps they shared a prayer request or listed their children’s ages and/or names- add this to your church database to begin your connection journey.
- Track your engagement with them, even if it is one-sided only on your end. Reflect on how many times you were invited to something before you decided to try it out for yourself. Handwritten notes go a long way in our digital world, and children especially enjoy receiving mail!
- Thinking outside the box is crucial in following up with visitors. No matter when they may have attended, but especially after the miraculous Easter message has been heard as it is the foundation of our faith.
- With the help of a passionate and engaged congregation, the community will be grafted into the church as a way to develop and strengthen affirming and life-enhancing relationships pointing to our Father.
- Just as Easter service invitations were shared via social media, mailings (digital & paper), and from person to person, you must invite the community back to learn more about what the resurrection means and how Jesus is real today.
- You’ve prepared the soil and the cultivation process has immediately begun. So what is the next sermon series, bible study, and community outreach on the church calendar and why should they attend?
- Be intentional with these next steps and put just as much effort into, if not more, welcoming them back. After all, there’s no better time to invite, embrace and engage with them.
Remember that what we’re celebrating and building upon is a miraculous spiritual event that has brought hope to billions of people throughout history. When people come to worship and celebrate the resurrection at your church, it’s a big deal! All of the plans are important. But not as important as letting God lead you to reach your community in a profound way this Easter and beyond. And remember, we’re praying with you, trusting that God will lead your church to big things for His glory!
As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, and problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring International.