The choir has been rehearsing for weeks to bring a beautiful Easter morning anthem.  The pastor has been praying, discerning, and pouring over the sermon and during Holy Week will be putting the final touches on the message. The members of the hospitality team have been brushing up on their greeting skills and recruiting additional people for the expected Easter crowd. The musicians have invested extra time practicing their special music to ensure a beautiful musical experience for all. The church has been cleaned and polished for company. The altar has been adorned with beautiful, fresh spring flowers, candles, the Bible, and special décor which provides visual aesthetics to support the Easter message.

The church is ready for Easter, right? Um, maybe not fully prepared. It’s no secret that Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday are the two biggest guest attendance services. All the focus and energy are placed on the service itself for this wonderful worship experience. Unfortunately, the next week there is most often a big letdown. The buzz, excitement, energy, and guests are gone. How can you maintain some of that momentum?

Here are three simple, yet impactful strategies to consider:

  •         Give your guests a reason to return. Too often our focus is just getting through Holy Week instead of also thinking about what we are inviting them back to the week after Easter. For example, invite them back to the riveting sermon series the church will be starting the following week or a small group experience launching the following Sunday that is a solution to a felt need or problem your guests are likely facing.
  •         Connect with guests personally. Yes, it’s good to be a friendly church. Yet what people are really looking for is a sense of community, relationships, and a connection with people they can identify with. Greeters are a great start, but even better is to have people who have the spiritual gift of gab (with good instincts of personal boundaries) and naturally connect people to others milling around the welcome/entrance area having casual conversations with your guests As they learn things about the guests, these connectors can introduce your guests to others in the congregation with similar interests or affinities (i.e., both have the same age children, both like to golf, both live in the same neighborhood).
  •         Follow up personally. People are looking for a genuine connection that is transparent and authentic. Form letters from the church office will not generally meet that need and desire. This is especially true of the Millennials and Gen Z generations. Ideally, those from the congregation with similar interests or affinities they met on Easter Sunday would invite the guest out for coffee during the following week. Otherwise, it would be the connector who would make the invitation. Offer to exchange contact information during your initial conversation when you meet on Easter morning. Share that you’d love to buy the guest a cup of coffee, hear the guest’s story, and get to know the guest better. The purpose is NOT to sell them on the church. It is about building a relationship. Ask simple, open-ended questions of curiosity. What brought you to the Easter worship service? Have you always lived in the area? What kind of work do you do? What kind of hobbies or interests do you have?  Tell me about your family.

These three relational strategies will not cost anything. They will certainly take some planning and intentionality. Most of all, these strategies will take an investment and focus on people – specifically a focus on investing in guests and relationships. However, this type of investment will be sure to have a lasting impact – a Kingdom impact!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 

Rather in humility value others above yourselves, 

not looking to your own interests 

but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3