Like many churches Easter Sunday is one of the highest attended Sunday services of the year for us. We can count on a lot of visitors as well as many of our “fringe” attenders who only show up once or twice a month. It’s a time of great celebration as we worship the risen Christ, but it’s also a time of great planning as we organize youth events, sunrise services, cantatas, etc. for the big day. But this year I also decided to do something different.
This year I’m treating Easter like New Year’s.
When a New Year rolls around we make commitments and try to start new habits. We resolve to better certain areas of our life. I can’t think of a better time to do this as a church, than Easter. So here are a few things that we’re doing starting this Sunday to improve ourselves.
Improving Our Visuals – I don’t care how good your slides, logos, etc. looked when you first made them, chances are, if they’ve been around for a few years, they need to be freshened up. This is not to stay “trendy” or be on the “cutting edge.” This is to better communicate to a culture that is identifies and learns more by visual stimulation than any other. Look at your graphics through the lens of one of your teens or twenty-somethings. You may even want to put one in charge of them (with supervision of course) to freshen up your image.
- Going Instagram – Ten years ago every church needed a web page to communicate to potential visitors. Three years ago that morphed into every church needed a Facebook page for potential visitors to check out (and that Facebook page needed a link to your website, so don’t get rid of that). Now, Facebook is great for the 30-40 year-old crowd, but the under 30 crowd is using Instagram more and Facebook less. Again, this has to do with a culture that communicates visually more than previous generations. We’re committed to reaching every generation and social media is a great tool to do so.
- Using More Video – Are you frustrated that more people don’t click on your sermon podcast? I get that way sometimes. Starting next week we are going to post a “Monday Minute” on our Facebook page that will feature the best minute (or two) of the previous sermon on video. YouTube and Vimeo has taught us that people love video clips, and the best minute just might persuade someone to listen to the whole sermon or, better yet, come and hear one live. We are also going to try to do more video “previews” and bumpers for sermon series that will air on our Facebook page. We may even start doing some video testimonials to show before sermons, baptisms, etc.
Now, why Easter? There’s a few reasons, Spring reminds us of new beginnings, a holiday is a good time to try something new, but the one big reason is accountability. Resolutions are best kept when there is a high level of accountability. If we launch these things this weekend (and yes, there’s been weeks of planning going into this) there’s a high number of people to hold us accountable. I’ve been to churches that pull out all the stops on Christmas or Easter and then returned the next week to wonder, “Is this the same church?” My hope is that we will get some second-time visitors and impress them even more with our love, with our cross-centered philosophy and with our commitment to communicating via every means available. It’s a new year and a new day serving the same great Jesus. Have a happy Resurrection weekend!