Church can’t happen if people don’t show up. Seeing new people come to faith in Christ and find wholeness excites everyone, and what better day to see the transformation than on Easter Sunday? We want to see God’s Kingdom reign in the hearts and lives of others. How to increase church Easter attendance is not a numbers game, but numbers matter because every number has a name and every name matters to God.
If you want answers to what can a church do to increase attendance you need to first focus on 3 things:
- Let people know you’re there: If people don’t know your church exists, they won’t show up. Marketing, advertising, and branding happen whether you like it or not. You can take control with God’s guidance or you can hope it will just happen.
- Let people know you care: Jesus said they’d know that we were His disciples based on our love (John 13:35). Love is a verb (link to SEO blog: How to Communicate Differently on Easter). What do people see your church and members doing? Even though we don’t do good works to be praised by men, the Scripture is clear, “They will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). But they can only see our good works if we’re doing good works.
- Let people know they matter: Visiting a new church is stressful. People make decisions on your church in the first 10 minutes. Make people feel welcome and valued. Treat your guests like you would treat guests in your home.
You don’t have to have a giant budget to increase church attendance for Easter, the authenticity of your ministry is what will engage newcomers and keep them coming back. Afterall, not every Sunday is Easter Sunday,
I would encourage you to implement these on a weekly basis to increase church attendance:
- Open your minds, hearts, and doors to new faces, even if it means changing up your music, sermon content, Sunday School, and enlarging your personal circle of Christian and non-Christian friends.
- Know that personal invitations are the most effective method of increasing worship attendance. Invest 60 seconds once a week to invite someone to attend worship with you. Can you imagine if even 25% of your congregation did this regularly?
- Make a good first impression with the appearance of your building and landscaping. A well cared for exterior lets guests know that you are expecting them.
- Clearly indicate the main entry to your building so that worship guests can easily identify it.
- Keep Easter Sunday invitation cards or Sunday’s bulletin in your car or on your desk until you have given it to someone along with your personal invitation for them to join you in worship.
- Distribute door hangers in target neighborhoods near your church. It is more effective to cover the same 500 doors six times, than to do 3,000 doors one time.
- Purchase temporary yard signs to put out for a few days and then remove. They catch the eye and are relatively inexpensive. They should be very simple with your church name and address plus straightforward wording, such as: “Worship 10 a.m. Sunday. You’re Invited.” OR “Easter Sunday 11 a.m. You’re Invited.”
- Don’t hide your cars. If there is parking in front of the building, use it. Cars in the parking lot lets the community know that something important is happening at your church. Reserve the best parking spaces for guests.
- Make the nursery and Sunday school/children’s wing the nicest rooms in the church to attract and keep families with young children. It should be clean and well equipped, in an easy-to-find location close to the worship space, and staffed with adults. You will need a check in and check out procedure along with background checked volunteers wearing a photo ID.
Take heart and be prepared that not everyone will return after the influx of Easter church attendance and that is okay! Christianity is not a one-time event. It’s a life with Christ in community with others. Remember, discipleship doesn’t happen by chance anymore than someone accidentally becomes a surgeon or astronaut. It takes years to learn how to live as members of God’s Kingdom because the values and principles are not like earthly ones. You have earnestly welcomed them and planted seeds by teaching God’s Word, thus making a connection between the Scriptures and their lives. They will be impacted!
Cary serves as ACS Technologies’ Chief People Officer. He joined ACS Technologies in 2012 with more than 20 years of progressive and strategic Human Resources leadership experience from multinational corporations such as Roche Pharmaceuticals, Becton Dickinson, and Baxter Healthcare International.