Ten In-Person and Digital Ideas To Engage Attendees Beyond Easter

What if attending Easter Sunday Mass was like embarking on a transformative pilgrimage to the Holy Land? When you arrived in Caesarea (or the first holy site on your itinerary), your heart was filled with anticipation and excitement as your guide shared a meticulously planned itinerary mapping out every day of your journey to Nazareth, Cana, Bethlehem, Gethsemane…. every turn stirred a deeply spiritual encounter as you experienced the sites where Jesus once walked, lived, and performed miracles. Your guide ensured that every experience deepened your faith and connection to Jesus.

This year, imagine yourself as a pilgrimage guide at your Easter Sunday Mass and define a path for attendees to take that will keep them returning to your parish all year long. Start your planning with this list of ten ideas for in-person and digital experiences to engage your Easter congregation.

1. Launch A New Service Project

Begin a new tradition by launching a service project on Easter Sunday. Invite attendees to participate in a community clean-up, food drive, or another service initiative that aligns with your parish’s mission. This hands-on approach is a point of engagement with minimal expectations, but the highest opportunity for impact without the pressure of joining a group or a ministry.

Work with your project leader to keep track of volunteer involvement as they move towards project completion. Take the time to celebrate the hard work your team put into the project, and encourage volunteers to share photos, stories, and successes to bring them closer together.

2. Organize Easter Photo Ops

Set up a well-lit space with Easter-themed props and backdrops. Recruit volunteers or hire a pro to capture memories from the day. Expect a long line of people waiting to take their photos, so be sure to have a few volunteers trained to connect with them and help your photographer stay organized. Don’t forget to create a digital photo gallery where attendees can download their pictures, share them on social media, and tag your parish.

3. Schedule Social Media Challenges

Create a hashtag and encourage attendees to participate in weekly challenges that reinforce the message of Easter. This could range from acts of kindness to gratitude posts or sharing stories of personal growth throughout each Sunday of the Easter season.

4. Serve Up Fancy Coffee

Elevate the typical church coffee and donuts by offering “fancy coffee” coupons with options like cappuccinos, lattes, or flavored syrups. Distribute coupons to your ministry leaders and ask that they join you in creating a welcoming parish experience by inviting new attendees on Easter Sunday to coffee next Sunday. Rent a coffee truck for the day and have your ministry leaders available to greet people who bring their coffee coupons. It’s a small upgrade that can create a buzz and encourage fellowship.

5. Renovate Your Website

Refresh your parish’s digital “front door” with a website renovation. Four weeks before Easter, have a simple form available on your homepage that invites people to sign up if they’re new and plan on attending Easter Sunday Mass at your parish. Once you receive their information, send them an Easter packet complete with a schedule, parking directions, and the activities you have planned for the day. This also allows you to capture their information and follow up with them after Easter with opportunities to further engage them in your parish. Also, ensure your entire website is user-friendly and has updated information on upcoming events and community involvement opportunities.

6. Inspire With Video

Are there any Jonathan Roumies in your parish? How about your local Catholic high school theater program? Bring the story of Jesus’s resurrection to life by producing a quality video that inspires, connects, and engages. It’s content that can be created once and repeatedly shared on your website, church app, email, and social media channels.

7. Invite To A Livestream Q&A Session

On Easter Sunday, invite attendees to download your church app and join you for a livestream the following week. It will be a space where they can ask questions about what’s making headlines in the Church, the latest trends, or any question that’s on their minds. The idea is to provide them with an easy way to engage in dialogue with your parish leaders outside of Mass, small groups, and ministries.

8. Host An Easter Walk or Run Event

Walk/run events are popular and perfect for all ages. You can decide to use the event as a way to raise funds for a good cause or simply as a way to connect with your parish community. Engage participants to join you for weekly training sessions leading up to the event, and encourage them to bring a friend to join in on the fun.

9. Set Up An Easter Prayer Wall

Create a temporary digital prayer wall where attendees can post their prayers and reflections during the Easter season. This allows for a continuing conversation about faith and support from your community.

10. Start Virtual Clubs

With virtual clubs, the sky’s the limit. You can start a book club that focuses on themes relevant to the Easter season, such as hope, renewal, and transformation. Meeting discussions can be held online, and it’s a great way for members to stay connected from afar.

As a parish leader, be open to feedback from your community to tweak and tailor your efforts. Which activities resonate the most? What new ideas can you bring to the table? By providing diverse in-person and digital experiences, you can maintain a vibrant community eager to engage all year round.

Need more ideas to engage new attendees this Easter? Download our Welcoming Parish Easter Guide.

Download the Guide

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