It’s officially the Easter season! Most people might see it as just a weekend, but if you’re a church leader, you know that it becomes a season. It is one of the few times each year that you know new faces, new families and new opportunities will walk through the doors of your churches.
The local church has a powerful and practical opportunity during this season to begin to reach, connect and engage new people as part of the church community or body. As a former lead pastor who was and is passionate about local outreach and connection, I would love to share a few practical pointers with you as you prepare to reach your community.
1) Speak the language of those you want to reach.
First, remember that we have been called to reach and serve people who are not part of the local church and who likely have not experienced faith like we know. Easter is a time when many who would never venture into a church feel compelled to go.
With that in mind, your approach and language needs to be relevant to those folks. I am not suggesting that you change the message, just the approach.
When preparing invites to your Easter experiences, consider a shift in your invite language and how you describe your events. Too often we use phrases such as “Come Celebrate the Risen Lord” or “the Glory of a Risen Christ”. While these are true, relevant and important phrases, people who have never been part of a church find this language to be hard to relate with or understand. Instead, consider using phrases such as “Come Discover Life Like Never Before” or “We Invite You To Experience The Power of The Easter Story”. These phrases are more likely to connect with your potential audience. And, for those afraid of religion, these phrases don’t trigger emotions found in that fear.
2) Host onsite events.
Another valuable lesson I have learned has everything to do with events. Around Easter, many churches plan events such as egg hunts, cookouts and more. If I have learned anything, make sure you host your events onsite. Let people come and see who you are, where you are and become familiar with your church in non-threatening, accessible environment. It will help people make an informed decision on whether or not they would like to come back.
3) It’s all about the experience.
My number one piece of advice for you: make sure you have the happiest, kindest and most welcoming volunteers on earth! You can have an event go bad, preach a bad sermon, have bad music, but, if your volunteers are top notch, people will want to come back. It is all about relationships and connections. Create a memorable experience by greeting each guest, welcoming their kids and showing gratitude for their visit. This can completely transform your church and your Easter.
My hope is that this will help you reach more people on Easter!