The Easter Sunday sermon is the most important Sunday of the year as churches overflow with people eager to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
The burden of a pastor is to preach a compelling Easter Sunday sermon that compellingly presents the gospel while connecting with:
- the unchurched
- new visitors
- members who haven’t attended in a while
- regular attenders
The reality of the gospel is earth-shattering and life-changing, and the audience should feel that during the Easter sermon.
Easter Sunday is also a prime opportunity to invite guests to be part of your community, to come back next week, and ultimately give their lives to Christ.
Yes, Christmas is just as powerful and important, but a Christmas series is typically 4 – 6 weeks, while Easter is just one Sunday.
A Few Things to Consider for Easter Sunday
The spike in attendance isn’t all new people. Many of the people in your audience have been attending with some regularity, but on this one Sunday everyone comes on the same day.
When preparing your Easter sermon, give focused thought to getting people engaged with your church. Send a strategic invitation to be part of the community, “Come back next week and worship with us and be a part of a small group.” Find compelling ways in your Easter sermon to share the value of your church community and why being a part of the community can change their life.
What Matters More Than Who
What is preached is more important than who is preaching.
For example, no one is there to see the minister when you attend a wedding. They are there to be a part of the ceremony. As humbling as it may be, people don’t attend your Easter service to see the pastor. They are there to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and what that means for each of us.
It’s good to share a few personal details about yourself to allow new people to get to know you. But, to preach a compelling Easter message, you must stay focused on the gospel’s good news.
A great way to connect and engage with the audience while helping them remember your gospel presentation is with Easter sermon illustrations. Sermon illustrations also have a way of turning on the lightbulb and helping your words connect with the audience and become real.
Strong quotes are also a way to help your audience remember your sermon on Easter.
Keep in mind there will be a lot of distractions.
People are up early and dressed in their Easter best.
Maybe they have checked children in for the first time with strangers and they are nervous (this is more common than you might think).
They might focus more on getting a family picture than getting to their seats on time.
Parents are more likely to bring kids and babies into service than usual, creating more noise and movement.
Make sure you put a lot of work into crafting your Easter Sunday message before the weekend. Internalize your sermon and work hard to think through what you will say so you will be ready when distractions come.
Simple and Short
Keep your Easter Sunday sermon simple and short. If you Google Easter sermon tips, you will find a buffet of articles, but two common themes are keeping the message simple and short. Be precise. A solid 20-minute message is more impactful than a mediocre 30-minute message, but don’t make it drastically shorter than your typical Sunday sermon.
As you talk about the resurrection, don’t forget to share the real-life application. What does the resurrection mean for each person in your church? It will be a brand new concept for some people in your audience and may seem strange. Make sure to acknowledge that.
Use stories of life transformation. What do Easter and the resurrection mean for us today? Talk through the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection and how the story has transformed the lives of people around you.
You might consider doing baptisms on Easter Sunday. They go well with the message and are a real-life, in the flesh Easter sermon illustration.
How to Create Tension for Your New Series
The week following Easter will have a natural bump in attendance and energy. The lobby volume will be a little louder, and there will be an increase in new families, so take time to strategically think through how you can get as many people as possible to come back next week.
Make it a metric you track, don’t just track your Easter Sunday attendance, but intentionally track the following week as well.
It’s a good practice to announce your next series at the end of your Easter sermon. The series after Easter could take new believers through the next steps. What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? Or you could do a more topical series that relates to a large majority of your audience and addresses a felt need.
Give a promo at the end of your Easter sermon for the new series making sure to carefully build tension and curiosity. Don’t just play a fancy video that is graphically fun but explains nothing. Make your promo something that will connect and resonate with your audience and compel them to return.
What Happens After Easter Sunday
Plan to spend about 50% of your time in the planning process for what happens next. How do you get people to come back the week after Easter?
Decide on your follow-up system for new guests. Is it mail, text, email, phone call, or a gift? Whatever you decide, have a plan in place for what you do with all of the contact information you receive on Easter, and make sure you have people ready to do those things ahead of time. A strategic follow-up system will pay huge dividends and encourage people to return to your church community.
The week after Easter should be just as clean and organized as Easter was. Make sure the experience is consistent for your guests. If your Easter sermon is 20 minutes and your sermon is 45 minutes next week, it will throw people off. While it is encouraged not to make your Easter sermon too long, you don’t want it to be so much shorter than your typical message that new attenders feel like there was a bait and switch. Try to be consistent in your services.
Preach A Compelling Easter Sermon
0:00 Welcome to Hello Church!
1:51 Importance of Easter Service
3:36 A Few Things to Consider for Easter Sunday
4:57 A Few Things to Consider about Your Easter Message
11:13 An Example of How to Create Tension for Your New Series
12:51 What Happens After Easter Sunday
14:29 Let Us Know What You do for Easter and the Following Weeks
Easter Training Videos – hellochurchpodcast.com/easter