One of the biggest challenges for churches is how to get people to come back to church after holidays and special events. There are many things you can do that I'll be sharing but now is the time for the most important thing you need to do to get people to come back after your Easter celebrations.
You need to schedule an event to give people a reason to return.
No doubt you'll do a fantastic job in your Easter celebration, but think about the people who perhaps came to your Easter service because a friend or family member asked them or the church was holding an event for their children. Easter may have brought up questions. People new to the message of Easter may find themselves asking:
Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And if he did, what does it mean to me?
Plan ahead for your church to answer those questions
There are many ways you can do this. Some that have worked well for churches in the past include:
- A sermon the Sunday after Easter entitled "Is there really life after death for me?" The pastor of a large church in Colorado Springs preached a similar sermon for many years the Sunday after Easter, they advertised it well at the service and to the community. As a result, they always had as large of a turn out than they did for Easter Sunday. If you've done a good job of presenting the resurrection of Jesus, answering the question of "what does it mean to me" is a natural follow-up.
- You can invite them to a series of seeker Bible Studies. They can be something created by your church looking at the life of Jesus or you can use a program like Christianity Explored, which is an excellent presentation of the life of Jesus for people outside the church using the Gospel of Mark. I highly recommend you look at it.
- You can invite them to "Latte with the Pastor." I've recommended this a number of times and in many situations, but the basic idea is to follow up with guests (you did use connection cards, didn't you? If not, please see the materials on them and use the free downloads for them) who gave you their information with coupons for a free latte or two and an invitation to join the pastor to "ask any question you want about the Christian faith" at your local coffee shop. I've made a set of postcards to help you do this. Here they are and the link is at the end of this article:
There are many variations of this that you could do: asking people to come to a dessert at church for open-ended discussions, or for people in the church to have small groups in their homes or whatever would appeal to the age group or community you are ministering in. Whatever you choose, the idea is to do something to engage people outside the church to return to ask questions they have about Jesus.
DO THIS NOW
As you get closer to Easter itself and in the midst of Easter celebrations you'll be too busy to think about what to do after Easter. You need to plan ahead. You need to get all the materials done and ready for it or it won't happen.
Of course, you'll be tired after Easter. Exhausted most likely.
Many pastors take the week off. Taking that time off to rest is understandable, but if you do you miss out on an incredible opportunity to make a lasting, perhaps eternity-changing connection with the people who came on Easter Sunday.
This year, push through the exhaustion, remembering Jesus, "who for the joy that was set before him, endured" and connect with the people you challenged at Easter and lead them to an eternal relationship with Jesus. That is what He came to bring about. It's your task to make it happen in your community.
For follow up materials, go to FREE TEMPLATES for Easter follow up here: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com/templates/easter-templates/#toc-3
While you are there, look around—there are lots of FREE TEMPLATES you can download and use for all aspects of your Easter Celebrations.