5 Mistakes Churches Make When Preparing for Easter

5 Mistakes Churches Make When Preparing for Easter

It takes a lot of work to prepare for Easter services. There are more people attending church this weekend than any other time of year—making your Easter sermon and worship service both an annual challenge and a huge opportunity.

That’s why it’s so vital that your team is firing on all cylinders as you prepare. You want to make the most of this opportunity, and that means you need to think through every aspect of the service.

Here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you prepare for your Easter sermon.

1. Not planning for enough people

Whether your church has been continually growing since Christmas or you’ve had about the same number of people for months, it can be hard to anticipate how many more will show up for Easter. Not only will more of your members show up, but their friends and family are more receptive to invitations, and you’re also bound to have some visitors who simply wanted to be at a church for Easter.

More people means more cars, more kids, more seats, more coffee, more foot traffic, more bulletins, more everything.

Your team needs to look at past Easter services, recent growth trends, and your current member count to estimate the number of people you’ll need to prepare for. Then you need to think through the implications that number has for your children’s ministry, your parking situation, the flow from your foyer to your sanctuary, etc.

How many more volunteers do you need on hand? Do you need to make other parking arrangements? Do you have overflow seating?

Drastically changing the number of people in your facility may change the way you have to use your space. Your team needs to be prepared for that. To discover how your church can best prepare for the Easter crowds and even pack out this year’s service, check out the free ebook, How To Fill Up Your Church This Easter.

2. Trusting unreliable tech

Imagine: You have more people attending your church than you’ve ever had before. Everything is going great—until your presentation software crashes. Or your buggy kid check-in software goes down…again. All of these things contribute to people’s experience of your church and can affect whether or not they come back.

So if you’ve been on the fence about making upgrades, now’s the time. Download the free ebook, Church Technology’s Buyer’s Guide today for a comprehensive technology purchaser checklist.

3. Not offering digital giving

You’re going to have more people in attendance than any other time of the year. Even if you tell visitors not to put anything in the offering plate (besides contact cards, of course), you can expect increased giving because more of your members will be here on this weekend.

But if you don’t have an online giving solution, you’re leaving money on the table. People carry less cash and write fewer checks, but the vast majority of American adults carry a credit or debit card. Digital transactions have already become the norm, but many churches are lagging behind. They expect people to prepare for the offering by stopping at an ATM or grabbing their checkbook (which they almost never use).

If you don’t offer digital giving, there will be people who feel led to give but can’t—not because they don’t have money, but because you can’t accept their money.

4. Not having a follow-up plan

What happens after your Easter service? How do you get all those visitors to come back? And what are you going to do with all those contact cards?

Some of your visitors may come back on their own. But if you don’t have a clear follow-up plan in place (like an email series), you’re not making the most of this opportunity. In order to maximize the number of people who return after their experience on Easter, you need to think about the most appropriate next step for them to take, and the best way to tell them about it.

What do you want visitors to know about your church? How will you encourage them to make you a regular part of their weekend? Make sure your church is ready for the post-Easter period long before Easter actually rolls around.

5. Starting preparations too late

When you’ve been doing Easter services for years (or even decades), it’s easy to feel like you don’t need as much time to prepare as you used to. It’s not your first rodeo. You know how long things take and you’ve had plenty of practice.

But Easter is such a big opportunity for ministry that most churches start preparing months in advance—especially more seasoned teams.

Regardless of how experienced your staff is, things like recruiting volunteers, securing additional parking, preparing a knockout Easter sermon, upgrading tech, and designing the perfect follow-up plan simply take time. If you start too late, things are going to fall through the cracks. Someone’s going to forget something. Or you’ll encounter problems you don’t have time to solve.

Focus on what you can control

Some mistakes can’t be helped. Especially when your staff and volunteers are under extra pressure. But with good preparation, and by focusing on the things you can actually control, you’ll ensure your team makes as few mistakes as possible—so you can take advantage of this opportunity to share the gospel and celebrate the resurrection with your congregation.

To discover how your church can prepare for a successful, packed out service this Easter, download the free ebook, How To Fill Up Your Church This Easter, today.

Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson has been a volunteer youth leader with Young Life for nearly a decade. He writes in the Pacific Northwest, where he lives with his wife and twin boys.