Easter’s Over – Now What? 4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum
For those of you in full-time church ministry you likely woke up this morning with a big fat Easter hangover.
Easter weekend included additional services, increased attendance, extra events, more production – every aspect of ministry was in overdrive for the biggest weekend of the church calendar.
Frankly, you and your team are tired. You’ve been working for weeks… even months to prepare. It was a great day but you know this week will be back to reality… possibly even less than reality since statistically regular church-goers attend church less than twice per month, which means only your super committed are going to show up this Sunday.
No wonder you feel like you have the Easter hangover – “a letdown following great excitement” (dictionary.com).
But here’s the thing… you’re the leader. You have to lean into this moment. While all of the things that I’ve named are true and it feels like a letdown, it doesn’t have to be and how your team responds depends on you.
4 Ways You Can Maximize Easter Momentum
Circle your team up and celebrate what was good this weekend. Share stories that you heard about the person who came to church for the first time ever, the family that attended church together, the person who gave their life to Christ, etc. I’m sure you heard stories all day yesterday and probably even got some calls or emails. Share them with each other. This reminds your team of the “why”. Don’t take this for granted.
Celebrate the attendance numbers, salvation numbers, baptism numbers… whatever metrics that matter to you. And remember every number represents a person. It’s not numbers for sake of numbers, it’s numbers for sake of lives.
Celebrate by doing something fun as a team. Go out to lunch. Get a cake. Go bowling. I don’t know what is fun for your team, but you do. Go have fun together!
If you didn’t take the day off today to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with your families, it’s not too late. Send everyone home. Pick another day that everyone can take the day off. Rotate days off this week if you can’t shut it all down for a day. I don’t care how you do it, but give some time back to your staff and their families. I can pretty much guarantee that you all put in extra hours these last few days and weeks. You need the break and so does your team.
3) Follow up.
You and your team made dozens, possibly hundreds of new connections this weekend with first-time guests and casual attendees. Follow up with each person. Hopefully you have a system for follow-up and if so, be more purposeful about that follow-up system than ever. If you don’t have a system for following up with guests, this is the time to make one. Remember, every email, voicemail, welcome card and lobby conversation is an opportunity to help people take another step towards being a part of your community of faith and becoming a follower of Christ. Don’t look at your “to do” list as a bunch of tasks. See the living breathing human on the other end of that medium and seek to connect with them.
4) Stay the Course.
Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Yesterday was a huge day. Next Sunday will probably feel rather ordinary and that’s okay. Stay the course and make every weekend count. You never know when that Easter guest will return and when they do you want to be ready. Make sure every weekend is one where guests feel welcomed and included. Make your church a place where people feel like they can belong any Sunday they come.
Easter may be over, but Jesus is still risen. God still redeems, restores and saves. And he does this work in the lives of people every day, not just Easter Sunday. And guess what? He partners with you to do this amazing life-changing work in the lives of others.
Don’t let the Easter hangover cause you to miss the restoring work that could happen today… and tomorrow… and next Sunday…
“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
His work in all of us continues!