As a Pastor, I have heard a lot of what you should and shouldn’t do during Easter and honestly, it is a little overwhelming once you pause to think about it.
As leaders, we should avoid falling into the “comparison” trap with what other churches or ministries are doing during this time; you can easily drift from your calling.
i am not suggesting you don’t learn and even implement some strategies from others, but be careful to be who you are and nothing else.
Every church is unique in many ways. Age groups are different, music is different, children programs are different, and the way the message is presented is different. But if you want to engage those who you were called to reach, you must be determined to be who God created you to be.
Sure, there are many great ideas out there, and the Internet makes it so easy to rip off ideas from everywhere. But even if you succeed in being who you were not called to be, such success may not last.
let me share with you a few ideas that we plan on implementing during this season and on easter sunday to engage new families.
1. BE RELATIONAL
People need people. Nothing takes the place of real people interacting with each other. Find a strong group of greeters who are willing to go the extra mile to make people feel welcome. I have many stories of people staying at our church simply because of the way they were greeted the first time they came to one or more of our services, sometimes it takes several weeks for families to be engaged. I am sure there are some we’ve missed, but the point is that you must be intentional about this and make sure you create a welcoming culture. Remember, people need people.
2. FOLLOW UP
A gift for new guests, a letter a few days, an email or several emails, a text even weeks after they visited; follow up, follow up, follow up. There are some great tools out there for this, we love text-in-church. In just one month after we began to be more intentional and developed a system to follow up with new guests, we engaged more than 20 people. If you don’t have a system or a process to follow up with your visitors, take one day to develop a plan. Gather a team of passionate people in your church who might be willing to send out texts, make phone calls, and as a Pastor/Leader take the time to send out a letter and some emails. It works!
3. MAKE IT SIMPLE TO CONNECT
We have tried many things to have people connect with us. But the best thing we’ve done is simplifying the process. If you present too many options, people will feel overwhelmed and not connect in any way. These are the only ways we tell people to connect from the stage: “Please text connect (to our number) and/or download our church app, we would love to connect with you” that’s it! Our hand out has three ways to connect: the text, the app, and social media.
If you make it easy for people to connect, you increase your chances of them actually connecting, so simplify, simplify, simplify.
[Tweet “If you make it easy for people to connect, you increase your chances of them actually connecting.”]
4. PRAY FOR THE NEW PEOPLE
This might be the best advice of all these suggestions. In the end, we want people who are far from God to find hope in Jesus. I love getting to see the new names each week and praying over them. A lot of times, I can’t connect a name with a face until later on, but by learning their name and praying for them, they become more than a number or a new guest. All those names represent real people in search of answers. And each week my prayer is that they may find the answers they are seeking in Christ. It’s ok to count, but it is even better to pray for those we count.
Whatever you are planning for this season, stay true to yourself as a Leader and as Church. Some people will not connect with you no matter what you do, but you will be amazed of how many people will connect with you regardless of what you do when you stay true to yourself and embrace who you are.
[Tweet “Whatever you are planning for this season, stay true to yourself as a Leader and as Church. “]
people want honesty and when they find it they are willing to connect and be part of something bigger than themselves.
I hope every church takes this time of the year as an opportunity to reach those who God has called them to reach. The harvest is ready, stay true to yourself!
What ideas do you have for engaging people this Easter season?