10 Questions To Ask When Prepping for Easter
Easter is quickly approaching and churches across the world are preparing for one of the most significant celebrations of the year. For many churches, Easter Sunday brings with it an influx of new visitors, which means careful planning is essential to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone. This may be the only time some of your attendees set foot in your church, but that’s not the goal, which is why all the details matter. From crafting a compelling message to providing accessible accommodations and following up with guests, every aspect of the planning process plays a critical role in creating a memorable and impactful Easter service.
With that being said, here are 10 questions you should ask as you think about your Easter services:
1. How will you be telling the story of Easter this year?
While the resurrection and the significance of that will obviously be essential to your message, there are many other takeaways that you could choose to reflect on. A few examples would be:
Redemption: Explore what it means to be redeemed from sin and death and how the resurrection is linked to our redemption.
Renewal and New Life: Easter is often associated with the concept of new life and renewal. Expand on the idea of starting anew and the hope that the resurrection of Jesus brings believers.
Forgiveness, Mercy, & Grace: The Easter story is also about forgiveness, grace, and mercy, which can be powerful topics to focus on. This can include exploring what forgiveness means and how we can extend grace to others.
Hope: Explore the ways in which Jesus gives us hope for the present and the future, and how we can find hope even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.
Living on Mission: Expand on what it means now that we know the significance and meaning of Easter. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to live it out and share it with others?
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a message that resonates with your congregation that speaks to the meaning of Easter.
2. What resources (e.g., videos, graphics, etc.) will you need to help illustrate the story?
We know this is shocking coming from us—but videos, graphics, and other multimedia can be a really effective way to help illustrate the story of Easter for your congregation. In fact, studies have shown that using graphics, colors, animations, videos, typography or any other form of visuals is effective for better attention, comprehension and retention.
We want to elaborate a bit on using videos and graphics...since that’s what we do here:
Videos: Whether it's a retelling of the entire story or a clip that depicts specific scenes such as the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, video helps us emotionally connect with stories. We actually wrote a whole article on why you should use mini-movies to support your sermons, read it here. We also have a library full of Easter Mini-Movies that you can use.
Graphics and Images: Using high-quality graphics and images can help to create a cohesive visual representation of the Easter story. They can illustrate the crucifixion and other symbols associated with Easter such as the cross, the empty tomb, or the crown of thorns. From title graphics, countdowns, and worship backgrounds to social graphics, and sermon bumpers, and more, there are many ways to incorporate media in your Easter service and beyond. If you want something more custom, explore our stock photos and start creating something original.
3. Is your technology ready and up to date?
The last thing you want is technological glitches distracting people from hearing your message. It's essential to check that everything is working correctly, from the microphones to the speakers, to make sure that everyone can hear clearly. Easter is often the most significant service of the year, attracting both regular, occasional and new attendees. So it's essential that your technology is up-to-date, reliable, and capable of delivering a seamless experience for all.
If you’re live-streaming, ensure all of your technology is working properly and if you have a chance beforehand, do a test run with your team before Easter Sunday. If you’re not live streaming, but might want to, check out this article about getting started with OBS.
Outside of the technology during your service being up to date and working properly, you should also check that your website, email contact information, and telephone system are all up to date with accurate information so people can reach you if they have any questions about visiting or want to follow up after their visit.
4. How will you advertise and promote your Easter services?
We have plenty of Easter graphics on Igniter Media that you could use, but if you’re promoting your Easter service on social media, consider using your platform as a way to show the culture of and people at your church. Here’s an example of how Watermark Community Church used reels to create a more personal invitation to join them at their Easter services.
If you have an email newsletter that you send to your congregation, then you should definitely include announcements of your Easter service (or services if you’re hosting more than one) leading up to Easter Sunday. Make sure you encourage your subscribers to share the invitation with their friends and family.
Another way to encourage people to attend is through events leading up to Easter Sunday or the day of. Maybe this means you host an epic egg hunt for the kids, set up a family photo booth, or offer coffee and pastries for the earliest service. No matter what you decide, make sure you use these events as an opportunity to talk to your guests and make them feel welcomed.
Lastly, the most important way to promote your services is through word of mouth. Encourage your members to invite people in their life who may not know Jesus. You could even provide them with resources on how to share the gospel and invite people to join them. In fact, in a national survey conducted by author Thom Rainer and his staff for his book ‘The Unchurched Next Door’, eight out of ten unchurched men and women said they would come to church—if only someone would invite them.
5. What will the schedule for the day/week look like?
Will you host services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, along with Easter Sunday? Will you be taking communion? Do you have enough supplies for everyone? These are all questions that should be discussed and confirmed well in advance with all volunteers and staff involved in the services. Make sure everyone understands their responsibilities and the sequence of events throughout the week. This can be done through a briefing meeting in person or by providing a written finalized schedule for all staff and volunteers to keep on hand. Or you could do both.
Important details may vary by staff member or volunteer team, but should include the start and end times of each service, any breaks or transitions between services, and any special events or activities that are planned that your staff and volunteers should be aware of. This could include taking communion, setting up photo booths, after service prayer groups, refreshments before or after service, and any other activity or event.
As obvious as this might seem, it’s also important to communicate the schedule to attendees well in advance. This can be done through the church's website, email newsletter, social media (find graphics on Igniter), or other communication channels. This will help ensure a positive experience for attendees, volunteers, and staff.
6. Will you need extra volunteers? How will you coordinate and communicate with them?
Chances are you will need extra volunteers. Here are a few things to consider when coordinating volunteers:
Roles and Responsibilities: Identify the roles and responsibilities for each team and volunteer. From the parking team, to the welcome team and tech team, this helps ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them. This prevents overlap in coverage and diminishes the chances of anything being forgotten.
Scheduling Shifts: Create a schedule that is easily accessible and outlines when volunteers are required and for how long. One platform that we’re all pretty familiar with is SignUpGenius, but if you want to try something different check out this article on the top 10 volunteer management software solutions.
Training and Support: Provide volunteers with adequate training and support to help them feel confident in their role. This may include written instructions, video tutorials, hands-on training, or mentoring.
Communication: Set up a system to ensure open communication with volunteers before and during the event. Maybe this means each volunteer team lead creates a GroupMe chat for their team. Discord is another option where you could dedicate a channel to each volunteer team, as well as a ‘general’ channel for all volunteers to communicate. The direction you decide to go is dependent on the size and needs of your team, but whatever the case is, you just need to ensure you have some form of open communication with your volunteers.
Recognition and Appreciation: This one should go without saying, but make sure you always recognize and appreciate your volunteers. Thank them for their time, effort and support, because it couldn’t happen without them.
7. How should you prepare for parking?
Nothing ruins your day faster than bad traffic…So preparing for parking for Easter Sunday services is crucial, especially if you’re going to have more than one service.
Here are some tips for preparing parking:
Assign a parking coordinator to manage the logistics of parking, traffic flow, and parking team volunteers.
Identify and mark parking areas that will be available for attendees. Consider designating a specific area for cars with children.
Ensure that there is adequate space for parking and traffic flow.
Have clear signage and directions for parking to guide attendees to the designated areas.
If you expect a lot of people, consider shuttle services to help attendees reach the event.
8. Will you be providing refreshments before or after the service?
Serving coffee, tea, or pastries before or after the service can give people the chance to socialize and connect and provide space for attendees to continue to reflect on the message of the day. It can also create a positive first impression and help build relationships that can lead to deeper connections and involvement in the community. However considering point #7, if you have multiple services, ensure that you have a well thought out parking and traffic plan in case people linger a long time before your second service starts.
Side note: If you do decide to provide food, consider factors such as dietary restrictions and allergies. Make sure you provide something for everyone and clearly label things as gluten, dairy, or nut free.
9. Is your service accessible and accommodating for individuals with mobility impairments or other disabilities?
Ensuring that Easter services are accessible and accommodating for individuals with mobility impairments or other disabilities is essential for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. This includes providing accessible entrances, parking spaces, and seating areas, as well as making sure that hearing and vision-impaired individuals can participate fully in the service.
You might consider providing sign language interpretation or other assistive technology for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. You could also provide larger-print bulletins that can help individuals with vision impairments participate fully as well.
10. How do you plan to follow up with new guests?
Following up with new guests after Easter services is crucial and you don’t want to wait too long before reaching out. There’s a variety of ways that you could choose to follow up with guests. One example would be sending a personalized email or handwritten note thanking them for attending and inviting them to future events or services. This can help build a positive impression and show that you value their presence, and hopefully encourage them to come back!
Another way you could follow up would be to schedule a personal phone call or in person meeting with a church leader, staff member or volunteer. This provides an opportunity for deeper connection, address any questions or concerns they may have, and help them along the membership process if they’re ready to jump in.
One last tip:
Start thinking through any and all potential obstacles you might face and try to come up with a game-plan now for any “what if” situations. This can range from ‘if sound goes out’ to ‘if the weather is bad’. Whatever the case, you don’t want to be scrambling the day of trying to figure out what to do.
If this article was helpful, share it below! It's our hope that everything we do is of value and helpful to the church. We know planning for Easter can be a stressful time for church staff and volunteers, so we hope this article will serve as a good resource for you this year and in the future.