Holidays like Easter usually see a significant spike in church attendance, but the goal isn’t a one-time visit. So, what’s your plan to ensure Easter visitors get connected?
Just announcing from the stage, “We hope to see you next weekend!” won’t be enough for many people.
In this podcast, we talk about some factors to consider to ensure all your Easter visitors can easily connect to your church.
Table of contents
- How to Get Easter Visitors Connected
- Get the Church Involved in Connecting with Easter Visitors
- Connecting With Everyone Who Attends at Easter
How to Get Easter Visitors Connected
You need a clear and uncomplicated plan to connect people, then make sure everyone in your church is on board. This could be your normal assimilation process, or you might decide to do something extra, like a unique visitor’s table or gift.
1. Outline an Easter Connection Plan
Your Easter connection plan should answer these questions:
- Who is responsible for connecting with Easter guests?
- How will you collect Easter guest information?
- What type of follow-up communication will you send, and when?
- What would you like your guests to do following Easter weekend?
This last point is a bit of a loaded question. Too often, our follow-up plans require the person new to our church to do something – attend a class, read a book, or join a group of total strangers to make awkward small talk.
Would you want to do any of those things, and do you have the time? If your answer is no, chances are good that your Easter guests won’t either.
Instead, focus on what you can do to serve them and make it super easy.
2. Get Guest’s Contact Information for Follow Up
You don’t need people to sign their lives over or commit to an eight-week class after just one visit. They’re probably not ready for that.
But you do want to ensure they come back again, and the best way to ensure that is to get their contact info for a follow-up. Usually, an email is sufficient to start the relationship and communication. You can also provide an option to receive text messages if your church has a texting service.
According to Barna, 19% of Millennials are comfortable giving their physical address, and only 12% their phone number, so email may be the best bet.
In exchange for info, you could give each Easter guest a gift like a small Easter basket with church information and a token of appreciation like a gift card to a local coffee shop.
Don’t forget about online visitors. They should have an online form available, and the gift can be a digital download or e-gift card.
In fact, a digital gift may be more popular for both online and in-person guests as some are still checking out your church, and this doesn’t require contact. You can deliver this through a link via text or email.
However you get their contact information, make sure it’s minimally invasive and requires little effort for your Easter guests.
3. Have Options Available For Those Who Want More
On the other hand, guests may have walked into your church ready to go all-in. Maybe they’ve been casually attending, were significantly impacted by the service, or are new to the area and looking for a church home.
Your plan to help Easter guests get connected should have the flexibility to meet people where they are. Some ways to do this:
- Have experienced volunteers or staff available to pray and talk with people after service.
- Direct people on how to make church their home (often a connection or membership class).
- Get people into community – have a gathering spot after service, or provide small group sign-ups.
- Have physical or digital resources available to help them grow in their faith.
4. Follow Up Promptly
Don’t wait too long to send a follow-up text or email. You can do it the same day, or try to send it at least within 1-2 days of their visit.
The message should be brief but contain a few links to connect further and learn more, such as checking out one of your church’s most popular sermons, your kids or youth ministry details, or joining a small group.
Get the Church Involved in Connecting with Easter Visitors
The follow-up plan should involve more than just the staff. Easter is an excellent opportunity to get your congregation involved, and this ensures nobody falls through the cracks.
Connection starts with the welcome experience. After all, many people will make up their minds based on the first impression.
Train your greeters, kids volunteers, and guest service teams on how to connect with Easter guests, which includes:
- Answering any questions guests might have about the service or the church.
- How to approach and engage a new person with the right balance of friendliness and respect for personal space.
- What the win is for a new guest (for example, fill out a connection card or go to a table to receive a gift)
All that being said, make sure your volunteers and staff are looking to connect with people personally, not just move people through a process or get them to fill out a card.
Connecting With Everyone Who Attends at Easter
It’s easier to connect with everyone if they’re at the church longer than just service. You can host special Easter weekend events and activities that they would enjoy and cause them to stick around.
This could be as simple as serving donuts and coffee after the service or having an Easter egg hunt or photo opportunity.
People who are brand-new to church may be completely unfamiliar with church jargon and processes. It might not make sense to them why they would go to a membership class or join a small group. Offer activities they can easily understand and will find appealing.
- Have a clear plan for connecting with Easter guests.
- Involve your church members through welcome teams and after-service events.
- Follow up promptly, and keep things simple for new guests.
Building a relationship is a process and requires trust over time. The main goal is to have your first-time guests come back again. Connecting is the first step, so make things clear and accessible for everyone.