Circumvent Common Easter Sunday Disasters
Easter Sunday is one of the biggest weekends of the year for churches. While you’re putting finishing touches on your resurrection celebration, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate a plan for how to manage any potential fail points. Securing a few precautionary measures will help you feel confident to tackle any last minute issues or demands when Easter rolls around and elevate your peace of mind so you can focus on being present with your community.
Schedule a Few Extra Volunteers
You don’t want to get caught without enough volunteers on Easter. With more families than normal visiting, your children, youth, and main services will most likely be busier than on a typical weekend. Consider scheduling more people than you normally would for Easter weekend in case you get a few no-shows.
Think Ahead of Technical Difficulties
Your Easter services might feel a little more special than a typical weekend. Maybe you’re singing some extra songs, using new lighting cues, or have more people passing the mic than normal. Do your best to design your services to hold up even during technical difficulties. Do one or two technical run-throughs before the weekend-of to make sure everything is working as it should. Consider preparing back-up mics with fresh batteries and alternate lighting sources in case disaster strikes. While this is a good rule of thumb for every week of the year, with many moving parts on Easter, it’s best to have these failsafes ready so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.
Arrange a Backup Livestream.
The livestream has become a weekly staple for many churches. On Easter, you might have a few more people joining you online just like you will in person. Whether congregants are traveling but want to tune in from a distance or someone’s fallen sick, no matter why people can’t join in person, it’s important to have a dependable stream available for anyone who wants to join. Look into setting up a back-up live stream so you can feel confident in your broadcast despite any technical snafus.
Sidestep Common Easter Sunday Mistakes
Putting together special services takes a lot of time, care, and intention. Sometimes, little details can get lost in the big picture or, rather, the big picture can get lost in the securing of details. As you’re building out the final details for your service, spot check yourself against this checklist to make sure you’re keeping the main thing the main thing.
Avoid Being Passive Aggressive Towards Seasonal Attendees
Like Christmas, Easter is a time when many families in our communities come to church when they wouldn’t otherwise. You might even call them “cheasters” or “CEOs”— Christian and Easter Only Christians. I hope it’s not news that this kind of language isn’t helpful on or off the stage. Begrudging or even over-acknowledging the appearance of infrequent attendees will only make newcomers feel anxious and alienated. Not only will this hinder them from wanting to come back next week, but it’s hardly in alignment with the good news of the resurrection— good news that’s for everyone, regardless of their church attendance.
Keep Your Service Quality Authentic to Your Church
While Christmas and Easter often call for a little extra production value, it’s not always the best idea to over do. If you pump out an extraordinary service full of smoke and lights, with guest worship leaders and speakers, and production value that’s simply not sustainable for most weekends, visitors will expect more of the same next week. It’s better to attract people with Jesus and the good news than with music or hype or extravagant set dressing.
Ease into the Service With a Song Everyone Can Sing
While you might have something special planned for Easter worship, for your first song or two, choose something that most people in your congregation will know and can sing along to. While new visitors most likely won’t sing anyways, the more voices are singing, the more energy will build in your sanctuary, setting the rest of your service up for success.
Know Your Audience
Have we mentioned you’ll see quite a few new faces on Easter? It can be tempting to preach just to visitors and neglect your congregants or, on the other hand, overwhelm those unfamiliar with Christian culture with, say, weirdly esoteric songs and Christianese that could be alienating or even alarming without context (ehem, “we are washed by the blood of the lamb”). As you’re planning talking moments and transitions, make sure your hosts, worship leaders, greeters, and speakers are all cognizant of choosing language that can resonate with most people in attendance.
Thank you so much for the hard work you’re putting into making the celebration of Christ’s resurrection special and joyous for the people in your care. We’ll be praying that the good news falls on open hearts and that all the little details run smoothly. He is risen, indeed!
About the Author
Emma Tarp is a writer and worship leader based in Minneapolis, MN. On her best days, she's highlighter-deep in a good book or teaching herself to sew. On her other best days, she's helping passionate folks and inspired businesses put words to their work. Find out more at emmatarp.com.