I bet Easter is a great day for your church; it is for the church I serve at!
People who attend regularly, occasionally (or even annually) are present.
There’s bound to be lots of Easter guests and visitors.
There are exciting special elements in the services.
All of this conspires to create a more than the norm energy and excitement.
But then comes the week after Easter…which is almost universally a gargantuan letdown, especially compared to the week before.
The occasional and annual attendees are nowhere to be seen.
The Easter guests and visitors from the week before are glaringly absent.
What if it didn’t have to be that way?
Of course, some drop-off is inevitable, but a good portion of your guest and visitors from Easter returned.
What if it could be a less-than-Easter-but-definitely-bigger-than-normal day?
This year we have put two strategies in place to accomplish that goal and bring guests and visitors back.
We haven’t ignored Easter; we just haven’t put all our eggs in one basket so to speak (see what I did there).
Here are the two returning strategies for Easter guests:
Strategy #1 Have a big prize for the week after Easter (instead of not at all or the week of).
We do a big Easter egg parachute drop on Easter Sunday (you can read more about that in this post: Outreach Idea: Parachute Candy Drop) and send kids home with tons of candy.
That’s the Easter Sunday draw, throwing a cool door prize into the mix isn’t going to make much of a difference as far as Easter guests or kids bringing friends is concerned.
But if leveraged correctly, having one the next week will. (Just an FYI: For our prize, the most cost-effective vs universally appealing thing we could think of was an electric hoverboard at ~$100.)
Here’s how you can leverage it well.
At the end of your Easter service reveal the hoverboard (or whatever prize you’ve gotten) in dramatic fashion (like riding it onto the stage).
Then let kids know if they are visiting for the first time, they are entered into a drawing next week for the hoverboard (if the visitor was invited, whoever brought them is also entered); also let kids know that if they bring a friend next week them and their friend will be entered too.
Make sure they know that they have to be present next week to be able to win it.
This encourages kids who brought friends to bring them back and kids who didn’t bring friends to bring them next week (thereby creating two big back-to-back invite days).
As a final note, I want to be careful to say that we don’t look at this as a bribe; our perspective is that we teach and equip our kids to bring friends every single Sunday, and this is a just an opportunity to give our kids extra encouragement to invite and our kids’ friends extra encouragement to say yes to coming.
Now, onto the next strategy.
Strategy #2 Have a family fun day the week after Easter
This will obviously take more planning than Strategy #1, but the benefit is that it encourages whole families to come back rather than just the kids.
And even though it will take some extra planning, work and money, it doesn’t have to take a TON of extra planning, work or money.
For our family fun day the week after Easter, we’re having a picnic.
We’re having BBQ catered in from a local restaurant that everyone in our community loves and charging $10 for adults/$5 for kids.
We’re renting two bounce houses: one for preschool and one for elementary (these are totally optional of course, and you could save a few hundred dollars by not having them).
We’re also having lawn games available for everyone to enjoy.
Other than that, we simply need a small team to collect the money for BBQ meals and another small team to set up tables to eat on and put out the games.
This doesn’t require anywhere near the effort of something like an Easter Egg Hunt or a Fall Festival, but it’s still a huge draw.
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy good BBQ, hang out and play games?
Do you have any after Easter strategies to keep the momentum going and bring back Easter guests? I’d love to hear what you do!
This article originally appeared here.