5 Ways to Prepare for Easter Sunday

Written by Laura Archambault on Feb 11, 2021 in Pastoral Helps

5 Minute Read

It's time to start preparing now for the highest-attended church service of the year. You guessed right: Easter!

When planning for Resurrection Sunday, many leaders face tough choices. If you pursue heavy worship and rich teachings, you risk alienating visitors. If you cater to the unchurched, you risk watering down your service. On top of it all, you must navigate COVID safety guidelines. How do you successfully prepare for a powerful Easter Service?

1. "Walk through" the experience

If you meet in person, optimize the visitor experience ahead of time by having leaders walk through the entire visitor experience from the car, parking lot, lobby, refreshment area, sanctuary, and back to the car. Put yourself in your attendee's shoes. Are there places where it will be difficult to social distance? Will ten people be standing next to each other trying to get coffee? Create a line for people to spread out while waiting, and add a couple of coffee stations to spread out the crowd.

In your walkthrough, pay attention to places your visitors could be confused ("which way to the bathrooms?") or prone to crowding and add signs or volunteers to help direct people.

For a Zoom meeting or website online service, "walk through" the virtual experience. Have a couple of friends log on while you and other leaders handle idle time as people join, handing off from one speaker to the next, and any other transitions (break-out rooms, etc.). Make sure you have plenty of friendly volunteers to answer questions in the chat.

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2. Get creative; get fun!

Is there any spiritual benefit to having fun? YES! Having fun helps regulars and first-timers alike feel a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging builds community. And it's in community where growth takes place. The entire book of Acts shows the spiritual growth that erupted out of a spirit-filled community.

So take advantage of this! Add a fun element to your service to engage people. You want your regulars to remember why they love their church family and guests to know this would be a great church to join!

Easter is your chance to get creative. Brainstorm, and consider your church size, resources, and Covid restrictions.

Here are some ideas for in-person or virtual services:

  • Fun Zoom backgrounds

    • Create Easter backgrounds and email them ahead of time.
  • Free masks

    • Give away masks with your church logo.
  • Spotlight your Congregants

    • Compile a video or collage featuring your church members! They can send photos or 10-second video clips.
    • Possible themes

      : Shoutouts, jokes, or humorous selfies to capture #PandemicEaster or #ChurchIn2021
  • Virtual Coffee

    • Email $3-$5 gift cards to virtual attendees in place of in-person refreshments
  • Raffle prizes

    • Have fun giving away sweets, gift cards, tumblers/mugs, and especially items you can brand with church logos
  • Zoom Chat Trivia

    • The first person to answer each question will be mailed a prize. Don't forget to share the prizes on-screen before the questions to build hype.

3. Make it special for the kids

While planning your service, don't forget the kids! One of the best ways to turn visitors into regular church attendees is to get the kids excited about coming to church. One of the best blessings you can give the parents is a spiritual family that feeds their children. Whether you're meeting in-person or virtually, make sure the kids have fun.

Some ideas:

  • Play games. Pick games that work on Zoom or keep the kids spread out if in-person (like Simon Says).
  • Act it out. Let the kids themselves take part in teaching your lesson. The kids can pretend to sleep while Jesus is in the tomb, then pop up when he rises!
  • Costumes. A fun kids' service can be as simple as the leaders wearing a silly or fun Easter costume.
  • Individual play packs. If meeting in-person, give kids individual play packs for socially-distant fun. Easy ideas include bubbles and sidewalk chalk.
  • Performance: Many churches traditionally have kids perform on Easter. If your kids cannot perform live, pre-record separate videos and compile.
  • CANDY! Whether or not you're able to do an egg hunt, try to find a way to give the kids candy, even if you have to mail it to them!

4. Review COVID guidelines

With constant updates and changes, it's essential to review current COVID guidelines for in-person gatherings. Use health resources like the CDC and local health centers. Make sure you also know any restrictions specific to your state. These things can change quickly; research and circumstances are rapidly evolving. Be sure you're up to date!

5. Adapt your message

In an ideal world, congregants on Easter Sunday would be so focused and passionate that they can't wait to hear the famous story of Jesus' resurrection. They'd hang on to every word as you teach the powerful ramifications of this great victory.

In reality, people are distracted. Some visitors do not know much about Christianity. Some may attend solely to please a family member and have no personal interest in God. And children are bouncing off the walls from all the sugar they ate instead of breakfast. And on top of it all, virtual meetings limit people's attention spans.

And yet, the story we celebrate on Easter Sunday is the most significant event in history. Do you feel torn between a powerful sermon and a crowd-pleaser?

Try shifting your focus to packing the power of your message in a short time. As pastors, your job is to teach the Word of God. So don't sacrifice the quality of your teaching. As it says in Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

How do you pack a powerful message?

  1. Clarify your message. Focus. Choose one clear takeaway that is life-changing, not a complicated teaching cluttered with sub-points.
  2. Condense your words. Brevity is a skill. Aim for a shorter message that conveys the same truth.
  3. Use metaphors and storytelling to connect. People will find it easier to pay attention to stories than lessons.
  4. Use symbolism, imagery, or videos to communicate potent themes briefly.
  5. Use relatable language. Your unchurched visitors don't know what you mean by "redeemed," "washed in the blood," or maybe even "resurrection." Consider using familiar terms to explain, like "Because He died for us, we have a clean slate," instead of "washed in the blood." Or take more time to explain vivid metaphors. You have the power to make sure your audience clearly understands the message of salvation.

Setting You Up for Success

Preparing for Easter in a pandemic can be a daunting task. But if you remember to have some creative fun, take safety precautions, and tailor your message to your audience, you'll be prepared like a pro!

Is God calling you to plant a new church? Our StartCHURCH team will help you get started launching your church before Easter! Please contact us at 877-494-4655 or click the link below to schedule a call with a specialist. We would love to help fulfill the calling God has placed on your life.

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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