New people will attend Easter services in your church this year. But, what are you doing to make the decision to attend your church clear and easy? How do you promote Easter in your community and how is it different from the church a few blocks away? We’d like to share some ideas on how to promote Easter Sunday with technology that will help to expand your Easter community outreach ideas as well as equip congregants with their personal invitations.
Update the homepage of your website.
You should have a big, bold banner on your church homepage with Easter event details and an option to “Plan Your Visit.” This link/button could lead to a simple webpage with event details, what to expect, and a contact form. It’s a great way to help people through the awkwardness of a new church experience and capture their information for easier follow-up later.
- Create a banner across your entire homepage that appears above the fold on desktop and mobile devices – front and center.
- Help people plan their visit by making general information about parking, kids, attire, and service flow easily accessible.
- Display pictures of the entrance and lobby of your church so people feel like they already know where they are going when they arrive.
Leverage social media for your Easter church outreach.
Facebook Ads is a super simple and easy way to create a buzz. Follow its suggestions for boosting a post or creating an ad, invest a couple of hundred dollars, and watch people start attending your event. Give people reasons to respond to your Easter service event with “interested” or “going,” by offering a free gift to a random person or sharing some sort of beneficial resource.
Instagram Stories is another great way to leverage social media. By creating interesting
stories, you give your followers an opportunity to engage in and share the conversation.
- Once people have indicated they are going to your Facebook Event, keep posting cool content and teasers to keep them engaged and sure to come.
- Use questions and polls to get your people talking and sharing posts.
- Define your audience as specifically as possible, while still reaching the most people, on Facebook Ads with images and pictures that have less text and more genuine appeal is key.
- Ask your people to share these posts and create their own posts, text messages, and emails with the content you provide them (perhaps even with congregant tool kits) as part of your Easter outreach ideas.
Information you can use.
Think through what your church values and how knowing more about those things could help propel the vision of your church forward. For example, if your church values small groups, you might want to find out information from visitors around which you could make recommendations for groups.
- Use a variety of online surveys via email and social media to gather information in small bits.
- Ask questions and get answers on social media around topics that matter to your ministry, not just data for data’s sake.
- Discover “felt” data, like how people feel about certain topics, issues, or ideas.
- Craft guest experiences and spiritual formation opportunities based on what you discover.
Convenience and security for children.
Now more than ever, parents have high standards for the care of their children. Promote on your website and social media that your children’s ministry check-in process is fast and easy, all while providing parents confidence and security. Publish your children’s ministry info on your website so by the time they visit, they already feel like they know you and, more importantly, your heart for their kids.
- Use an online check-in system with matching security stickers.
- Use touchscreen technology so parents can enter their own information.
- Have multiple check-in points to share the load.
- Assign station greeters to connect with one parent while the other is filling out information.
- Have different lines for first-time guests and another for regular attendees.
Connecting with people is how you help them grow spiritually. This is about people moving from isolation into the embrace of the Christian community and from the sidelines to the heart of ministry activity. We’re talking about technology being used to invite people into the church at Easter (and beyond!), build relationships, equip disciples of Jesus, and help them to move together in one direction, living as the light of Christ in a darkened world.
Three words you may not have thought you’d hear in one sentence might be church, technology, and Easter; however when you take to heart the mission of Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” these three words hold great significance. We are the church and we want to build the Kingdom. Technology is a tool that helps us to spread the Good News- beyond our immediate circles- of Resurrection Sunday, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. So be it.
Rev. Chuck Salter, Vice President of MissionInsite and Ministry Advancement, joined ACS Technologies in 2019 when ACS Technologies acquired MissionInsite, a company he co-founded that provides community demographics and data analytics to the faith-based market.
Chuck is a clergy member of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has over 30 years of experience in the strategic use of community demographic information, has served as a church planter, and has provided UMC Conference leadership in missional development and ministry advancement.