With some pre-planning, you can improve your odds of getting back the people who otherwise you might not see again for another year.
Churches shared out-of-the-box thinking for communicating the transformational message of the cross. Here are their ideas:
PRE-EASTER: INVITING YOUR COMMUNITY
1. Easter kindness. Easter is often more inwardly focused than Christmas and Thanksgiving. This year, mark Easter weekend with a significant act of service to your community (restore hiking trails, host a dinner for the homeless and underprivileged, hold a blood drive, run a 10K for a local women’s shelter, etc.) and invite your community to join with your church.
2. Easter signs. In cities where increasing restrictions are affecting public signage, creative churches are using silk-screened, corrugated plastic yard signs. Planted on church members’ front lawns, the signs invite neighbors to Easter services and outreach events.
3. One card. One guest. Hand out printed invitations to Easter worship services to all of your regular attendees. Ask them to pray for one person God is leading them to invite. Members either mail or hand-deliver the invitations to those people they’ve been praying for.
4. Palm Sunday reflection. The Sunday before Easter, invite your community to join you for a meaningful time of spiritual reflection. Consider creating sacred spaces that guide people through the events leading up to the cross. It helps prepare people mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the Holy Week. You may want to borrow from the liturgy of other churches to help create the sacred environment.
5. Email invitations. In addition to direct mail, signage, fliers and other materials, promote your Easter service with an e-card that can easily be forwarded along with a personal note from your members.
6. Spring cleanup. The week before Easter, host a huge, communitywide garage sale to benefit a local charity or cause. Offer a tax receipt to any donors and even offer to pick up larger items. Make it a fun community event by providing food, music and fliers promoting your church’s Easter week activities.
7. Egg-vitations. The Sunday before Easter, give children 10 plastic eggs with candy and an invitation for their friends and families to attend the Easter service. It is great to see children involved as inviters.
8. Last Supper re-enactment. Attract art appreciators to a Maundy Thursday drama of the scene, using Scripture as a script and DaVinci’s painting for costume and backdrop inspiration.
9. Artists at the Foot of the Cross gallery. Turn a multipurpose room into a gallery of crucifixion art, poetry and music created by people of all ages. Invite the community to participate.
10. Easter Parade to go. Contact a local senior center or assisted living community and asked if your church may bring residents a nostalgic evening of the Irving Berlin classic film, popcorn and lemonade.
11. Messiah Live! Host an evening of live orchestra presenting Handel’s oratorio. Engage your city’s orchestra.
12. Free car wash. Organize a car wash free of charge with no strings attached. Just leave a small Easter card with your church’s Easter worship activities in each vehicle.