Easter is just a few weeks away! To help you prepare, here’s a checklist for one of the most visible weekends for your church in your community.
Get your house in order.
Think through what attending your church service would be like if you knew absolutely nothing about your church, and didn’t know anyone.
Is it easy to see where the church is? Do signs point to parking and drop-off areas?
Can you tell where to take your children?
Is the children’s check-in process welcoming, clear, simple, and secure?
Are the facilities clean, do they smell good, are they comfortable and inviting?
Is there clear signage pointing to restrooms and the auditorium?
Prepare your team.
Your team needs to be confident that they know how to answer questions. They need to be so full of the heart and vision of the church that it oozes from them when a guest has a question. As the pastor (the chief cultural architect for your church) you must lead the way in cultivating this heart and vision in your team. Remind your team relentlessly that this weekend is all about getting people to Jesus.
Does each member of your team understand the crucial value of what they do in light of helping point people to an encounter with the love of Jesus?
Is your team ready to welcome people home, to answer questions clearly, and to reflect the heart of the vision of the church?
Language defines culture. Does your team know your language? Make sure your language isn’t a secret code, but rather an easy-to-understand expression of your heart. Don’t let Christianese be a barrier to newcomers.
Serve your community together.
Don’t just do this as a “marketing” gesture – serve your community because you have something to give those who are hurting. Offer hope.
Look for ways to serve those who may never be able to give back or come to your church.
Ask your local city officials where their greatest unmet needs are and offer to help provide volunteers to meet those needs.
Look for ways to serve that you can continue to engage in after Easter.
Be prepared for an increase in the amount of followup to be done the week after. Are you ready for a lot more first-time visitors and salvation followups to be done? Make sure these don’t sit undone for days because you’re not ready for the increase.
Think through “what-if” scenarios.
Expect the unexpected.
What if more people come than we have parking and seats for?
What if it rains or snows?
What if we have more babies than expected in the nursery? Do we have enough Goldfish?
Get the word out to your community.
Remember word-of-mouth is still the best way (and social media is like word-of-mouth on Red Bull – and it’s FREE).
Make sure your online presence is solid and reflects you well. The vast majority of your guests will check your church online before they come. This is true for your website as well as your social media (primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
Encourage your church to talk about the Easter weekend in their own circles of friends and co-workers, and on their own social media.
Consider doing a mailer or other local promotions, but only as an accent to what you’re doing through social media and word-of-mouth.
Have your plan in place for the week following Easter before Easter.
It’s easy to put all your eggs in the Easter basket and then when the big weekend is over, you don’t have the creative energies left to put your best foot forward the following week. So plan it ahead of time.
This is for you as well as your team. Make sure somewhere in the busyness of your week to create time to rest. You and your spouse and your team don’t need to go into this weekend worn out and exhausted, but energized and ready to give it your best.
This point simply cannot be emphasized enough. Prayer paves the way for us to see supernatural life-change happen. Get your team together to pray. Call a special prayer gathering for your church to pray. And make sure to focus your own heart on prayer.
One last thought before you get going on this… It wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at this list as an every-week plan. It’s really what you want to be doing on an ongoing basis. The good news is that you can.