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5 ways to get Easter attendees to return the next week

It probably comes as no surprise that Easter is one of the highest weekends for church attendance. But many of the additional people who attend churches on Easter don’t come back the following week. Here are five ways to get Easter attendees to return to your church.

Connect with attendees personally on Easter

How do you want attendees to feel when they walk through your front doors or join your online service? What emotions do you want them to experience? What tone do you want to set this Easter?

Gather a team to brainstorm questions like these. Determine the goal, then equip and instruct volunteer teams to create that atmosphere. For example, if your goal is to set a welcoming, friendly, and fun tone, recruit teams to greet each person who walks through the doors, decorate the lobby to look like a party, or create a buffet of snacks and coffee. 

If possible, go the extra mile and interact briefly with each new guest personally. Try to remember their names, something about them, and let them know that you’d love to see them back next week. Train a team of greeters to do the same – first impressions matter.

Have an intentional guest follow up system

When planning your Easter experience, don’t neglect intentional guest-follow up. It’s easy to plan one of the biggest Sundays of the year, give it your A-game, and view the week after Easter as a vacation. While that mindset may help your church host a great Easter Sunday experience, it won’t lead to sustainable connection and discipleship.

Instead, change your mindset. Your guest follow-up plan should receive as much intentionality as your worship set, Easter stage design, and sermon. If you want guests to return, plan intentional communication and connection with them post-Easter. And here’s a tip: don’t just follow-up to give them information, follow-up to build a relationship. It’s the difference between shouting at someone through a megaphone and starting a conversation. 

Intentional guest follow-up is one of the key ways to be a good steward of Easter weekend. Determine how your church will collect guest’s information and plan how you’ll use that contact information to build a relationship. 

Communicate a clear next step

In a world where people can choose between hundreds of Netflix shows, stream millions of albums on Spotify, and order practically any meal at a drive-through without driving more than 5 minutes from their houses, people aren’t looking for more decisions to make. Once you connect with attendees on Easter, don’t give them ten different options for their next steps. 

Give attendees one clear next step. That step might be attending a welcome party, starting a discipleship journey, joining a membership class, or jumping into a Bible reading plan. If you haven’t already planned a clear post-Easter plan, take time to map out the ideal steps an attendee would take after attending your Easter service. Then, only tell them the single next step. Don’t overwhelm them with a dozen options.

New sermon series

Why do people keep watching new episodes of a show? Because they want to know how the story continues. Starting a new sermon series after Easter is a great way to invite attendees to hear how the story of Easter continues. After all, as ministry leaders, we know that Easter isn’t the end of the story – it’s the beginning of something so much greater. 

Choose a sermon series to start the week after Easter. If you need ideas, consider a sermon series like Vivid or Who Can Be Against Us, exploring what it means to have a new life in Christ. 

Prayer

It sounds simple, but prayer is one of the most powerful things you can do to get Easter attendees to return the next week. Here are a few ways to incorporate prayer into your Easter planning and implementation. 

Assemble a prayer team specifically dedicated to Easter attendees. Send the team a list of names to pray for, asking them to personally pray for each person who walked through the doors. Leading up to Easter, ask that team to pray for God to move through the service, encourage people to take next steps to connect with God and the church, and draw them back to your church or another church the following week.

Pray before, during, and after your Easter weekend services. Prayer may seem simple compared to other steps, but it’s incredibly important as you minister to Easter attendees.

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