For those of us who lead local churches, Easter is our Super Bowl. More people attend. More people come to Christ. There’s excitement. There’s hope. And there’s a letdown. Because no matter how high your Easter attendance, the week after Easter will be one of your lowest attended Sundays of the year.
Why? Because everyone attends on Easter – All of your Chreasters, all your once-in-a-whilers, once-a-month-ers, and twice-a-month-ers. Having done their religious duty, they’re going to take the next week off.
What can you do about this?
1. Understand that this is the law of unintended consequences at work.
The consequence of getting everyone to church on the same weekend means that not everyone will show up the following weekend. Don’t fret. They haven’t left you. They’re just following their normal pattern.
2. Connect with newcomers.
Some of your Easter visitors will return – if you give them a reason to. Reason one would be that they develop a relationship with you or someone from your church.
For that to happen, you need to get their name and contact information. We ask everyone to sign a Connection Card, and we give them incentive by offering them a free gift. We say, “For those of you who are brand new with us, if you’ll take your Connection Card to our Information Counter, we have a free book there for you as our way of saying ‘Thank you for coming and welcome to our family.’”
I e-mail all first-time guests the next day, asking how I can pray for them. A volunteer calls to invite them to a free lunch with our staff the following Sunday. And I send a hand-written note telling them about next week’s sermon and why they’ll want to attend.