Five Reasons for Pastors to Invest in Easter
A pastor has a million things to do. The list never gets shorter. In light of this, why would a pastor purposefully add more work in preparation for a day that is already a built-in “success?” Here are five reasons to consider having a special Easter emphasis:
- Unchurched people are most likely to attend on Easter.
Easter is considered the biggest of big days in most churches. As believers across the globe gather to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, Easter is the day when the most people, including unchurched people, are likely to attend a worship service. Instead of trying to focus all your energy and effort on planning separate events to invite the unchurched to, why not capitalize on individuals’ openness to attending on Easter? Consider how you can maximize your church’s energy and resources in an effort to reach the most people through this built-in outreach opportunity.
- Your congregation can participate in outreach.
LifeWay Research conducted a study in 2016 which revealed that over 50% of unchurched people would attend a church service if a friend or family member invited them. Since Easter is already a day when many other guests will be present, it provides an easy opportunity for your church members to extend a low-pressure invitation to their friends and neighbors. Lead your congregation to pray for the unchurched people they would like to invite, asking God to make them open to the invitation. Consider creating customized Easter invitation cards, complete with your church’s information, and provide those cards for your members to distribute in the days leading up to Easter.
- Your congregation can participate in ministry opportunities.
Many church members want to participate in meaningful ministry, but they do not know how or where to find it. In anticipation of having a big crowd on Easter Sunday, brainstorm all the potential ministry opportunities that might exist for church members. Ministry opportunities are numerous and include door greeters, parking lot greeters, ushers (especially if seating is limited), welcome desk greeters, follow-up volunteers, and children’s ministry workers. You may also wish to consider additional ministry opportunities for Easter morning such as operating a family photo booth, providing adhesive nametags for every attendee, and providing a gift for first-time guests. Carefully consider how you can train and mobilize your congregation to serve in those areas of ministry. As a result, they can enjoy the gratification that comes with helping the church reach out to the lost and unchurched with the Gospel.
- You can conduct an evaluation of existing church strategies.
Preparing for a big day like Easter gives you a great excuse to do a checkup on several of your church’s overall systems or strategies. Since many guests will attend, you want to make certain that you are well-prepared. What if those same guests return the following week? Will the church be prepared? With that in mind, what is your church’s ongoing strategy for:
- Worship service planning
- Guest follow-up
- Outreach in the community
- Guest and new member assimilation
- Starting new classes or groups
- You can enjoy God-given momentum.
The Sunday after Easter can be a letdown. Often attendance is back to normal, and the church settles back into a routine. In an effort to combat the post-Easter letdown, consider ways to capitalize on the excitement of Resurrection Sunday by celebrating things such as:
- Church members’ burden for unchurched people.
- Church members’ efforts to invite the unchurched.
- Church members’ willingness to serve in ministry opportunities for Easter.
- Church members’ willingness to participate in follow-up.
- Any changes the church was willing to endure specifically for Easter.
- The mission field into which God has placed your church.
- Any decisions that may have been made on Easter or as a result of follow-up.
Make a point to enjoy a special time of celebration, and then continue to celebrate regularly. As you celebrate with your congregation, pray for God-given excitement and momentum that will enable your church to catch a fresh enthusiasm for reaching unchurched people, not just on Easter, but all throughout the year.
As you make plans to invest time, energy, and resources into Easter, remember that the “success” of the day is not primarily based on the size of the crowd. Ask God for wisdom and excitement about how to maximize your congregation’s celebration of Jesus’ resurrection in a way that results in unchurched lives being transformed and the church being strengthened! For more information about how to get ready for Easter, visit www.absc.org/bigday or contact the Evangelism and Church Health Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention at (800) 838-2272.