Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash
As a church, you’ve probably seen the crazy spike in your attendance with new, old, and current Easter visitors on Easter Sunday. Whether it’s the desire to get out in a new outfit or to celebrate the risen Christ either online or in-person, people tend to flock to churches on this desirable Easter Sunday morning. While COVID-19 will still impact Easter, preparing for this morning by planning to engage each of your Easter visitors may help people see you are more than just a building to be visited or streamed once or twice a year. But don’t feel overwhelmed if you don’t have a plan yet! We’ve gathered the top ways to engage first-time church visitors on Easter so you can start your plan off right.
Appoint a “Welcome Team”
The people who are welcoming your Easter visitors may be among the most important groups of people at your church on Easter Sunday. These are the first people your visitors see, so having a plan in place is essential! Gather your welcome team and plan for each of them to engage your new Easter visitors, either online or virtually. Encourage them to wave at their friends and family but remind them to use the welcome time to engage with those they do not know. Hand out a list of talking points, so they are equipped when first-time visitors enter your church. During the welcome time, make sure your team understands how important it is to gather future contact information from your visitors. Whether it be an email or phone number, this piece of data will be vital for the last step in engaging your Easter visitors. You want people to leave with a feeling that they were not just another number at your church but rather someone your church deemed important.
Include your online audience in all your messaging from the platform. Welcome them to the service and direct them to a quick online visitor form. Make the web address easy to find and put it on screen at the beginning and end of the service.
Have vibrant, welcoming signage and connect cards available throughout the church.
When you walk into a new place, you aren’t familiar with anything. Even finding the restrooms can be complicated in places with very little signage. Use Easter morning to over-communicate where things are in your church and how grateful you are for people to be there. Place “Welcome” and “We’re Glad You’re Here!” signs around the lobby. Make sure people who have no idea where classroom 107 is can clearly and quickly find its location. As a church staff member, you have walked the halls of your church more than anyone and can probably find any room with your eyes closed, but don’t let the fact that someone can’t find a Sunday school room (or the restrooms) be a reason they don’t come back. You want your Easter visitors to feel equipped and at home as soon as they enter your doors.
Another important piece is placing small blank connect cards around your church for people to fill out on their own. Try putting these cards in every chair in your worship gathering. Use these cards as an insert in your morning bulletin. Place them on tables in your church lobby. You can encourage people to leave their filled-out cards in their chairs, on the offering plate, or at a set location as they leave. The cards help gather information and provide a more detailed way of welcoming your Easter visitors to your church.
For the online audience, have digital downloads available, or promise a welcome kit in the mail. Most people prefer an immediate response, looking for something like a downloadable PDF of a devotional book or other easy-to-consume items.
Follow-up is essential.
Following up with your Easter visitors after leaving is just as important as welcoming them when entering your church. How do you follow up? After your Easter visitors leave, you need to take any information they have given you and put it in your church management system. After you house their information in one location, it is important to have a follow-up plan in place for later that week before the next Sunday arrives. The faster you can contact your visitors, the better because it allows your Easter visitors to remember their experience at your church and make plans to go back. Following up at the beginning of the week and the end of the week will help remind your Easter visitors you care about them and sincerely want to see them again.
Following up with your Easter visitors doesn’t have to be complicated! Having a sound church management system to house their information can simplify the process. Elexio has an excellent platform for you to follow up with your new Easter visitors, set reminders for each follow-up, and create tasks for others to reach out too. Elexio can even handle event “ticketing” for reserving seats and has attendance solutions for streaming attenders.
Get the free trial of Elexio to learn how this church management software can simplify your process and equip you to the best church you can be.