For those of us in church leadership Easter is a special day. It’s also a special day for many people who are not a regular part of a local church. Many people who don’t normally go to church will find their way to church on that day. So, here are five questions to help you get ready for guests on Easter.
1.) How are your facilities? Those of us who are there every week truly have a hard time seeing the things that will jump out at a new person. Take some time to enter your facility as if you had never been there before. Consider these things:
- Street access: Can people driving by easily identify where you are located and how to get into your property?
- Parking: Is it easy for guests to know where to park? In larger churches trained parking attendants are a great idea. In smaller churches this might not be necessary. Still, even in smaller churches, good signage is a big deal. You may be thinking that you are just over the children’s/youth/preschool ministry. But if parents can’t find their way into the building their kids can come to your ministry.
- Entrance: Good signage is a big deal here as well. Make sure people know where to enter the building.
- Inside: This is where a family ministry leader can really impact the experience of a guest family. Do you have people in the front of the church to welcome guests? Can guests easily see where their kids should go?
- Cleanliness: This is another area that can be easy to ignore. Look around. Look up. Are there months (or years) worth of cobwebs collected in the corners? Are there stains in the carpet that you might be able to take care of between now and Easter? Does the paint on the walls need to be touched up a little?
2.) How is your check-in process? This is another area that can be easily overlooked. Consider these points:
- Do you HAVE a check-in/registration process? If not, you really need one. This can be as simple as a binder where the registration cards are stored, in alphabetical order and a paper sign-in sheet. There is still time to put something in place before Easter.
- Can guests tell where to go? Is your check-in station in a visible spot? Is it clearly marked? Do you have signs that point to it?
- Is your registration process difficult for new people? Your existing people may not have an issue with your current process, but what about a person who has never been there before? You may not have time to change your process. But, could you put extra people there strictly to help new people get registered?
- Is your team trained? Lastly, make sure that the people you have planned to serve that morning are well trained.
3.) Are you welcoming kids, or just their parents? It can be natural, as adults, to greet other adults and overlook the little people who are with them. Whether you are in children’s, preschool, or youth ministry, make it a point to greet the kids as well as the adults. If greeting children, take a moment to bend over, or kneel down and look them in the eye. Ask them their name. If you shook the parent’s hand, shake the kids hand too. This will make children feel special and it will make teens feel a little more grown up and respected.
4.) How will you follow up? At many churches we are great at putting on big events. We can do a special Sunday, like Easter, on a championship level. Then, after the event passes we have no plan for following up with the people who were there. So, Monday we scramble to try to put together some sort off meaningful follow-up plan. Now is the time to plan how you will follow up. The Internet is filled with great follow-up ideas. Put a plan together NOW for how you will follow up. Recruit people to help with this follow-up. Assign each person a specific task. Then get it done.
5.) Why does it matter? Easter really is a special service. For my church, I am praying for many new people who will come to hear the message of hope that comes from Jesus. None of this is simply so that we can fill seats or pat ourselves on the back for how many people we to get in on this one day. Rather, it is so that more people can hear the gospel. In the weeks between now and Easter, as you drive around town, as you shop, as you eat out, look at the people around you. Consider that the majority of those people will not be in church this Sunday. Most of them will not be in church on Easter either. That means that those people will likely not hear the gospel. That’s why all this matters.
Some of those people you see WILL get into a church on Easter. It may be their first time ever, or the first time in a long time. In either case, we want to do these things in order to give them the best chance to hear the gospel and, hopefully, respond to it.
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