Preparing for Easter Services as a Worship Pastor
Easter is a great day for celebration in the church! It’s also a great day for a gallon of coffee, nerves, anxiety, and stress… If you’re a worship pastor of course.
We kid, but if you are a worship pastor, you can probably relate on some level. The only reason those of us in the church get stressed about Easter is because we recognize how important of a holiday it is. There’s going to be people in the seats/pews that don’t normally attend church, and this is there chance to hear the Good News – perhaps for the first time!
That’s exciting, but it’s a big responsibility to bear. You probably have a lot on your plate, and it can be difficult to figure out what the most important tasks are to get done first. So if that’s where you’re at right now, here are ways that you can adequately prepare for Easter church services as a worship pastor!
Be on Top of the Schedule
You need to figure out scheduling details far in advance to Easter services. While it may be easy to find band members last minute for regular Sundays, people take time off for spring break and go out of town. If you aren’t on top of the schedule for Easter weekend, you’re going to be in a last-second pinch trying to find musicians.
Also, while you’re not “technically” supposed to have favorites, you know which of your team members are most talented and come most prepared to rehearsals. Try to touch base with all volunteers that you most want to be a part of Easter service far in advance to lock them in for the weekend! Easter is an important weekend for everyone – including the band – to put their best foot forward in providing an incredible worship experience for the congregation.
Get Creative with the Music
Easter is a great Sunday to not follow your typical: “2-songs, worship words, offering song” pattern. Not only are you trying to make the service unique and engaging for new attenders – you’re also trying to tell a story. That alone sets up a great canvas for creativity in your worship songs.
Before searching for songs, talk with your pastor to figure out what you want the overarching “vibe” and atmosphere to be on Easter. Are you going to go with a stripped acoustic folk type of setting, or an upbeat “Hillsong Young & Free” type of vibe?
Also, get really creative with transitions. Easter is not the time for awkward dead silence and capo changes between songs. If you’re using tracks, trying setting them up to seamlessly run into each other. If not, plan for the band to carry those transitions with swells between songs to make everything seamless.
Find Engaging Visual Media
Easter is a time to have fun with your church’s visual media – whether that’s mini-movies or motion backgrounds for lyric screens. Just have fun with it! Find stuff that compliments your stage design and lighting choices for each song. Look for vibrant backgrounds and try to choose media that accompanies the mood of each song.
Rest and Prepare Your Heart
None of this matters if you show up on Easter Sunday exhausted, groggy, and frustrated. And trust us – if you don’t get the rest you need and prepare your heart in advance, you absolutely will. You want to be excited and present on Sunday morning. Your worship team feeds off of it. Your staff feeds off of it. The congregation notices and responds to it.
Do what you need to be at your best on Easter Sunday, because your mood contributes so much to the atmosphere and emotions of everyone else there. Get a full 8-hours of sleep that week. Spend time in prayer and in Scripture, reflecting on the importance of this season and reminding yourself of why this day is so important and exciting to be a part of. Recognize the blessing you have to be a part of it and show up on Sunday ready to focus all your attention on making the experience incredible for everyone there!
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.