Ryan Wakefield is the founder of Church Marketing University (CMU), where he and his team provide marketing and communications resources and coaching to churches across the globe. Ryan has many years of experience leading in the local church. Prior to starting CMU, he served as a pastor and creative director at James River Church. In 2013, he and his family moved to Kansas City, Mo., to be a part of the team planting Summit Park Church. Along with many other roles, Ryan has served as the marketing director for Summit Park Church, where he has seen the church grow to around 1,500 people while making a positive kingdom impact in the community. Ryan is married to Amy and they have a daughter, Katelyn.
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Key Questions for Ryan Wakefield:
-When do the most effective church leaders begin preparing for Easter?
-How are the pastors you’re working with preparing for Easter Sunday when they don’t know what it will look like?
-Does it matter whether churches treat Easter as a special day of the year, or does having a huge event always distract from long-term discipleship?
-How much time, energy, and money would you recommend church leaders invest in preparing for Easter Sunday versus following up with people afterward?
Key Quotes from Ryan Wakefield:
“[Pre-COVID data showed] churches that plan three months out or more are much more likely to be growing.”
“When there’s so much uncertainty, go back to the things we can be certain about. We can be certain about the kingdom of God and the local church and the good news, and we can be certain that that type of ministry flows out of relationships.”
“Don’t let the uncertainty paralyze you. Do what you can to prepare, go back to what we are certain about, then get some resources around you that have taken care of a lot of the heavy lifting of going into something like Easter, and it’s going to free you up to lead your people to keep the main things the main things.”
“There is a shift in our mindset of looking at Easter as a one-off big event to an opportunity to have a long-term impact and discipleship opportunity.”
“You get what you plan for. And unfortunately in the church world, oftentimes we get a big event because that’s what we are planning for.”