It’s been a tough year but things are finally starting to look a little better! Virus rates are down, vaccinations are up and people are starting to get out and attend larger gatherings – including church services.
No matter how you are currently meeting – in your building, outside, online or some hybrid of those – you want to see higher attendance and engagement for Easter. Following Easter, you will need a plan to move forward and keep your congregation, returning members and visitors engaged and back in the habit of attending church.
Don’t lose your Easter momentum!
Ministry never stops. In fact, the season after Easter is prime time for reaching out. Families will be looking for fun, safe activities and places they can go that get them out of the house (finally). These days, your community needs the hope your church can provide even more than ever.
And we are here to help. Here are two new ideas and a few resources to help you keep engagement high into the summer months:
1. Plan a Powerful Sermon Series and See Easter Attenders Return
In a normal year, most churches start to wind down their ministry activities heading into summer as people go on vacation and attendance drops. But it’s 2021 and so much has changed. PLUS an early April Easter still provides you with seven weeks of ministry before Memorial Day! So keep your momentum and put those weeks to good use by building up your ministry and connecting.
This year there are some great new series that will not only connect visitors but will also increase the spiritual growth of your attendees as well: Consider these three options for April/May – all of these kits can be customized to fit your church and are licensed for use in person or online:
The new Mother’s Day Celebration one-day event kit is designed to celebrate and inspire the women in your church who are Godly servants to their families. Featuring a fresh design and sermons based on the life of Mary the mother of Jesus, the digital kit includes videos, social media graphics and sermon slides so your whole service can be coordinated and professional.
This new 3-week sermon series is perfect for our times, addressing some of the hottest topics in our culture from a Biblical perspective:
• Week 1 – What Does Jesus Say about Racism • Week 2 – What Does Jesus Say about Politics • Week 3 – What Does Jesus Say about Religion
In a world that is increasingly divided, it is important that Christians allow Jesus to be their common denominator. This three-week series explores how Jesus shows us how to act and show love to the people around us – even when we don’t agree.
The digital kit includes sermons, videos, graphics for your website and social pages and slide templates. Just download and customize to fit your style and make it your own! Click here to watch a preview video about this kit.
2020 was a pretty stressful year and spending more time at home with our loved ones can make relationships more strained. That is where this relevant series can attract families.
This four-week series is perfect for the challenging times we live in with sermons on friction in families, marriage, finances and faith. And again, all the resources can be instantly downloaded so you can get started planning right away and they can be used online or in person!
TIP: Subscribe to the Outreach Church Kit and Video subscription service and get instant access to every church kit and video that Outreach offers – including the 2021 Back to Church Sunday and Advent kits!
2. Make your Church A Safe Place to be in Person
Some of the people who are coming back into your church building may still be nervous about in-person gatherings. No matter the statistics in your area or how many people have been vaccinated, there is going to be some trepidation when it comes to returning.
As a church leader, your best strategy is to make your building as safe as you can and then communicate clearly about those steps.
Everyone has an opinion these days about safety protocols. And depending on your location, you may need to comply with local governmental regulations. As followers of Christ we want to make sure nothing we do will hinder the Gospel. If you choose to be cautious and maintain stricter guidelines there are a variety of tools that can help.
• Provide sanitizer and touchless dispensers in key areas around your church: by entrance and exit doors, outside the worship center, by the restrooms and near children’s areas.
• When offering the Lord’s Supper, make sure you use all-in-one communion cups that are sealed and safe. These cups fit into traditional trays, if you are ready to use those, or because you don’t have to worry about spills, they can be set on a table or in a basket.
Finally, anytime you have groups of people gathering there are going to be germs and not just COVID. Investing in an EPA-approved disinfectant and spray applicator that you can use between services, is a huge step toward making sure your staff, volunteers and congregation are as safe as they can be. To learn more about how these types of disinfectant works, watch this informational video
3. Invite Visitors to Attend
Finally, reach out to your community and invite them to return to Church – but give them options. Online services are not going away – in fact it’s become its own “campus” for many churches. But no matter how you hold services no one will come or watch if you don’t invite them to be part of your community.
Send a postcard invitation to homes around your church. Make sure it includes details about your sermon series, how to watch online or attend in person and provides an online link they can use to learn more. Postcards are a fast, effective way to grab attention in a digitally-weary world and they have staying power, so even if you don’t see numbers go up the first week, you may in the coming months as people feel more and more comfortable going out.
With a little investment, your church can see more post-Easter engagement and keep visitors into the summer months.