How to MAXIMIZE Easter
By Junius B. Dotson
Practical ideas for church leaders to maximize intentional discipleship at Easter from Rev. Junius B. Dotson.
How to Maximize Easter
More unchurched people attend worship on Easter than on any other Sunday, which is good news because it demonstrates that the resurrection event still holds power and relevance, even in this increasingly secular world.
I want to provide some fresh, practical ideas to maximize this very important opportunity for discipleship as we consider what might be possible in your ministry context.
While it is often difficult to get a congregation to move in the same direction, and even harder to get everyone on the same ministry page, Easter is different. Easter is one of those few Sundays when everybody gets excited and is usually interested and enthused about how they can serve.
This is one of the times of the year when people will actually come up to you and say, "Pastor, tell me how can I serve." Or say to another church leader, "Do you need me somewhere in your ministry area?"
I believe it is because Easter reminds us of our “why.” Easter is an instant reminder of the power of the Gospel to reach people in order to change and transform lives. Nothing excites me more than being in a small group with someone who says, "My journey began because somebody invited me to church on Easter."
Create a Vision for Your Easter Worship Experience
Let’s look at some practical ideas to maximize Easter’s opportunities, beginning with the question, “What is your vision for Easter?” I want to invite you to do something different this year. Dream big. Do everything you can to harness the power of Easter Sunday to reach new people and make disciples.
A clear and compelling vision for worship will help rally people and resources to effectively reach new people. This vision should be shared between now and Easter in as many settings as possible. You have to build momentum and create a sense of expectation as we make our way through this Lenten season.
Here are a couple of examples. One church said they wanted to create a dynamic, unique and vibrant worship experience that would feature a mass choir, a special drama presentation and a children's dance ministry interpretation of the resurrection. They would be intentional about creating a welcoming atmosphere, where possibilities will be realized and transformation would take place. People would be invited to take next steps.
Another church simply said they wanted to maximize their collective effort. They planned to have a combined worship experience at a neutral place in the community on Easter that would allow them to reach new people and to remind their church about the significance of their mission.
If you have a compelling vision for worship and share it over and over again in as many settings as possible, you are going to get people excited about Easter and rally the entire congregation to participate.
Remind People Why They Are Worshiping
You need to bring more specificity to the “why” of Easter by reminding people why we are worshiping. Here are a few reasons to have an all-out effort around Easter:
- Beliefs – We believe people matter to God, and that our core values as a church should lead us to take risks and to seek innovation in ministry.
- Connecting – We believe in the significance of our mission. People are attracted to crowds.
- Impact – We believe that capturing the attention of the community will help point people toward God and help us advance the mission of a local congregation. What better opportunity to have impact and to demonstrate your impact than on Easter Sunday?
Get the Word Out
You could have the greatest worship experience ever, but if no one knows about it, you have wasted effort. So you have to let people know about it. Easter is the time of year where you want to intensify your efforts at getting the word out.
People are intensely looking for a place to worship on Easter, and they are more likely to attend your church for the first time. This is a unique time to maximize intentional marketing efforts, whether it is simple word of mouth, your website, in-house bulletins, community neighborhood association newsletters, social media or any number of other avenues.
Mobilize and Equip the Teams
The greatest benefit in an all-out effort to maximize Easter is mobilizing and equipping teams.
This short-term effort gives a church an opportunity to innovate how they approach ministry. Don’t think ministry positions here. Think about the essential teams needed for effective ministry on Easter, like a Worship Team (sound/media, ushers, greeters, children, liturgists and music) and Community Engagement Team of people focused on getting the word out.
You have to decide what your essential needs are for your ministry context, but here is the point: Mobilizing and equipping these teams is really not about one day, but rather about an opportunity to challenge them toward spiritual formation.
It is about helping them to make the shift from castle-tending to kingdom-building. It is helping them to see the people they are preparing to welcome into a loving relationship with Jesus.
Trust me, the investment in this effort will outlast what happens on Easter Sunday.