Tag Archive for: holiday

Easter Sunday—According to Pew Research Center, it’s one of the biggest two Sundays people will attend each year and more Americans search online for “church” around Easter than they do any other time of the year. Every day in the life of a church matters deeply, but to say that Easter is the church’s Super Bowl for engaging new people is no understatement!

Whether you’ve already been planning for weeks and know where your team is headed, or if your calendar doesn’t yet have Easter Sunday highlighted, circled, with multiple notifications and a countdown timer, we wanted to share five simple steps you should consider as you get ready for your 2022 Easter Service.

Let’s jump in:

1) Make a clear plan in advance.

Perhaps this should go without saying, but with the number of people that will be coming through your church’s doors (physically or digitally), you need to have a clear plan in place. For many of those people, this is the one time a year they attend a church service. It may also be a chance to welcome back those that haven’t been attending regularly.

Take some time to detail a clear plan with any special elements that need to be created in advance. What are your goals for Easter? Will you have special graphics? Do you need extra help that day to make sure everyone gets a seat? Who are the key people on your team you need to empower to direct others?

By making sure you have a solid plan in advance, you are able to approach the day strategically, and you will avoid stressing out your team by scrambling to organize a service last-minute.

2) Communicate that plan to your team.

Now that you have a clear plan of what your church’s goals are for Easter Sunday, don’t keep it to yourself! That plan needs to be communicated to your team. This could be done over a detailed email, a planning meeting, or through your church management software.

Make sure your team has all the necessary resources to execute the plan and keep up-to-date on what has been accomplished and what’s left undone.

Most of all, this is your opportunity to get your team excited! Help them see the vision for your Easter service this year. Build excitement for them, praying together expectantly for what God will do in the hearts of those who engage with your church on Easter.

3) Make sure you have a guest follow-up plan.

It’s no secret that many churches view Easter Sunday as a prime opportunity to get once-a-year churchgoers or those who have been involved irregularly to engage with your church beyond this one Easter service.

But that doesn’t happen by accident. It requires an intentional follow-up plan.

How do you plan to engage meaningfully with the people who are attending your Easter service? This, of course, starts with how they experience the service itself. Is it easy for them to check their kids into the children’s ministry? Can they find a place to sit easily? Were people kind?

But beyond that, this leads into your follow-up plan. How do you plan to engage meaningfully after the service is over? Do you have a visitor card that is simple and can be quickly completed? Are you planning to send a follow-up text or a carefully-crafted series of emails? Would it make sense to send a thank you gift? What is the next step you’re inviting new people to take?

These are all questions worth asking.

4) Schedule an Easter debrief meeting ahead of time.

All too often, we have a habit of waiting until next year’s planning meeting to ask how the previous year went. But here’s the problem with that: Nobody remembers the detailed breakdown of what went right and wrong!

Instead, we should review what worked well and what didn’t within a week of Easter Sunday so everything is fresh in our team’s minds. Make sure you take good notes that you can find next year.

Is there anything you did this year that didn’t work? Was there anything that worked particularly well? Was there anything you missed that you need to remember to improve on next year?

5) Focus on the truth of Easter.

Ultimately, this one is most important. All of the planning and organizing in the world doesn’t make a difference if you are personally not being reminded of what Easter is all about. How is the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection affecting your heart right now? How should that truth inspire your church to live out their faith in your community? What hope does it give us in a world full of uncertainty and chaos?

As leaders, when our hearts are moved by the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection, and that is our focus while we observe Easter Sunday, we can rest assured these truths will bleed over into the hearts of those we lead as well.

Planning a service like this can take a lot of coordination and support from our teams, but there truly is so much opportunity for us to engage our communities. Take the time to make a plan, and remember your why—to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20a).

Organizing your people and communicating with them is a whole lot easier when you have a church management system doing the hard work for you of helping you stay organized. Learn how One Church Software’s all-in-one solution can help you manage your volunteers, finances, service planning, giving, children’s ministry check-in, event registrations, and much more.

Christmas is a time when there is hustling and bustling in stores, people are visiting relatives they haven’t seen all year (or longer!), and when it comes to church, you’ll likely see a few more new faces.

Whether it’s the sporadic member, the major-holiday-only attender, new guest, or even a relative of a regular attendee, this is a time of year when you are likely expecting additional people to connect with your church in some way. For many, this will be the primary time those individuals will connect and receive encouragement from a church in the year.

What an incredible opportunity we have!

As we enter this season, here are a few things we want to encourage you to keep in mind for your church Christmas service(s) this year:

1) Remember that people are still hurting and recovering from the disruption over the past two years.

Be mindful to acknowledge and consider that things aren’t “back to normal” yet. Over the last two years, many of us were cut off entirely from our community of support or were pushed to interact with them through a screen because of the pandemic. This was a major disruption that will likely have lasting effects for years to come. The best way to support people this holiday season is to make sure your church is a place where they can find stability and hope.

2) Be sure you have a first-time visitor follow-up process.

After new visitors walk out your door, do you have a plan to connect with them? Invite them back? Take some time before new people arrive to make sure you have a clear follow-up process. This is important to have set up year-round, but it’s doubly important around the holidays. And if you already have a follow-up process, take some time to review it before your Christmas services.

3) Don’t be afraid to approach Christmas with the same innovation you approached it with last year.

Last year, churches had to consider how to reach people when they couldn’t gather together in a physical space. As a result, many churches got creative with ways to connect with their community and offered additional resources to promote connection. While in many places, in-person gatherings are nearing their usual capacity, that doesn’t mean you should forgo a fresh approach this year.

Online resources, livestreams, video calls, and group study guides are a great way to reach a wider base of people than you may be able to with a physical service alone. What methods did you use last year that were particularily successful? Consider offering the most popular of these, or a version of it, again!

4) Make sure you are engaging people outside of Sunday.

We have a tendency to focus all our efforts into our Sunday service or Christmas Eve services, but what about the other six days of the week? Instead of only focusing on the service, plan ahead to have encouraging emails, text messages, weekly resources, or even some Christmas cards throughout the holiday season. Also, consider how you can be a special blessing to people around this season. If there is someone that doesn’t have family around to celebrate Christmas with this year, invite them to an event, go caroling at their house, or do something special to remind them they are valued and supported.

5) Don’t wait until next year to review how your Christmas service went.

If you don’t take the time to do this right after your church Christmas service, then it will likely be 11 months before you consider it again and, by that time, you won’t remember. By taking the time to review what you did well and what still needs improvement while it’s all fresh in your mind, you’ll be that much more prepared for next year!

6) Let the Truth of this season impact your heart, too.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in decorating, planning the message, and making sure that the service is just right that you forget to let the truth of Christmas impact your own heart. This is the time of year that we remember the incredible truth that Jesus came to earth as a humble child, fully experiencing our humanity, to freely offer us salvation, redemption, and hope. Don’t merely focus on communicating this truth to others; be sure to meditate on it in your own life and walk with God.

This Christmas, remember that the most important thing you can do is to share the Good News with others. That our voices might join in with the shepherds, wise men, and angels in saying, “…I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…” (Luke 2:10 ESV)

Merry Christmas from all of us here at One Church Software!