Gaining Ground from your Easter Weekend
As a church leader, you may be feeling a sense of elation after experiencing an incredible Easter service. The energy in the room was palpable, and the joy of the occasion was infectious. You may be feeling like you’re on a spiritual high, basking in the afterglow of a record attendance and a message that resonated deeply with your congregation. For many the pandemic has been an ongoing challenge and Easter may have felt like another step away from that challenging time.
While it’s natural to feel this way, it’s also important to remember that this is just the beginning. There is still work to be done, and the impact of Easter Sunday should serve as a springboard for even greater things to come. In the midst of the “afterglow”, it’s important to collaboratively channel that energy and momentum with your team to take your churches impact and mission to the next level.”
Said another way, “What does it look like to work on Easter when Easter is behind you?” Our temptation may be to just analyze the good and the bad or to take a SWOT or Four Helpfuls approach. It may be simpler than that.
Here’s three key approaches to take with your team in the immediate aftermath to make sure you appropriately celebrate and debrief the experience.
What did God DO both through us … and despite us?
Make sure and begin with the wins. This is the time to tell stories, reflect on conversations and celebrate the moments of team alignment and collaboration. Plus make sure and capture the personal reflections of the individuals on your team. How did they pastor people, the crucial conversations they had, and the one-on-one impact they experienced.
I’ll give you one here… I’ve been spending some time partly on Twitter (yes, on twitter) and partly in person with one of the Golden Knights Analysts… he actually is known in Vegas as Ryan The Hockey Guy. He has been attending sporadically with his family and we’ve connected over his curiosity around faith. Great conversations. I’ve worked hard to leave room for him to just trust a christian and move toward seeking God. He’s been wrestling with that last “leap” over the line of faith and trusting God. He calls it that last 10% of faith. I got this text after our 2nd service on Sunday…
Which resulted in this…
You have these stories! Make you and take the time to celebrate not only the big “church” wins, but also personal stories from your time as they invest in others.
What intentional, unique aspect(s) of our Easter weekend experience should “stick”?
Reflect a bit on the efforts that went a bit over and above. Maybe your team gave a bit more of the last 10% to some intentional spaces, marketing, assimilation or programming. Before you just chalk it up to Easter, consider whether those things are sustainable and should be integrated into your regular weekend experiences. Warning: Have the conversation and be prepared to push a little. The effort for Easter may not be necessary each weekend if we can look at taking these “sticky” elements and create a consistent, sustainable model of it.
- You went over and above in your programming. You took more time to add an element or too that was thoughtful, relevant and in alignment with the rest of the service. Yes, that took some preemptive effort, but is it possible you discovered something that should be a regular part of your weekend experiences… some creativity that might open more people up to what God wants to do in them and maybe even create some FOMO that will drive Gathering Purposefully to the next level.
- Your team worked collaboratively to make the guest experience more compelling and you were more intentional with your language, communication, and next steps. You sent a text you don’t normally send, added a Data Add opportunity you don’t normally have (ie. Photo booth where your info was necessary to download a pic), or even just gave ownership to a person or team where it is normally vague. Lean into that. As we say, grab onto the ground gained!
As you dig deeper as a team from the “sticky” things, here’s some deeper PROMPTS you can use to capture thoughts and ideas while they are still fresh. Take the time to move through each one and make sure that all of the reflections are captured toward action both now and in the future (next Easter).
Here they are with some examples:
I’m GLAD we ________________________________
- Added more kids check in kiosks anticipating the increase in attendance
- Began pushing “invite” four weeks out instead of waiting until the last week
I WISH we had _______________________________
- Anticipating the parking situation and paid more attention to staffing the team in the lot
- Connected the theme of the message with the rest of the service musically and otherwise
I hope we ALWAYS ____________________________
- Are super intentional toward our first time guests and what they experience
- See Easter as an opportunity to connect the disconnected to serving opportunities with our teams
I insist we NEVER _____________________________
- Have Rooted continue to meet on Easter Sunday afternoon 🙂
- Under plan for the amount of families with kids that will show up for an Easter egg hunt event (This one hits too close to home personally)
Once you have spent the necessary time, be sure and brief back to reflect on any immediate action and what will be re-visited as we plan for Easter 2024.
Pro Tip #1: If you are gathering your team for an “official” debrief, give them a heads up prior with these prompts so they can come to that conversation / meeting more prepared.
Bonus Pro Tip #2: Guard against solving all the issues and working to in it as you debrief. Yes, there may be things that can immediately be dealt with or issues that are transcendent (big word warning) and need to be solved. Avoid as much as this as possible and potentially work towards solutions mostly by assigning owners to any action that emerges.
The time you spend to WORK ON IT now will be so helpful in increasing effectiveness moving forward because Easter is often a reminder of our ultimate WHY… captured simply in these 15 seconds…