Easter Service Preparation: How To Prevent Last-Minute Emergencies

The 2 biggest times people are coming to your church are Christmas and Easter, which makes Easter service preparation one of the most important aspects of the beginning of your year.

Since you’ll be receiving many people that haven’t been to your church in months or a year, you need to put your best foot forward when it comes to your Easter service preparation.

Here are 21 ways you can get a head-start on Easter…

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The 21-Point Easter Service Preparation Checklist

Start Praying

    1. 10 weeks away – Any successful Easter service preparation needs to start here. Staff and leadership, bathe your Easter service in prayer. Start praying for new people that will come, for the people that only come on Easter, and for the families traveling.
    2. 4 weeks away – Call on the congregation to pray. Do this from the stage by the Pastor. Remind your church that 50% of the US will be in church on Easter Sunday.
    3. The week of – Keep praying. Remind the congregation to keep praying through your church email and bulletin. A great idea is to do a prayer-a-thon one day during the week and have 12-24 hours of concentrated prayer by your church members.

Lighting

    1. 10 weeks away – It’s time to audit your lighting in the sanctuary. Walk your sanctuary and take note of the lights that are out, the light bulbs that are the wrong colors, and the stage lights that need replacing. Consider if any lights need to be moved. Make plans to get the ladder to change the bulbs or rent the scissor lift. Make sure you include your worship leader in this part of your Easter service preparation.
    2. 4 weeks away – Start locking in the light scenes for your Easter presentation (by now you should know what the service will be). If you’re renting equipment for your Easter service, get with the company you’re renting from and try to set up a demo so you’re not doing last minute learning. Also, gather your lighting volunteer(s) and do a quick retraining to make sure they’re up to snuff and let them ask any questions they have.
    3. The week of – Test your lighting some more and do a few run-throughs.

Set Your Sermon Skin (What you’re preaching on)

    1. 10 weeks away – To preach Easter sermons that work, you need a sermon skin. What are you preaching on? What’s the main lesson? What is the look, feel, and brand of what the message is? This is the Super Bowl of Sundays for churches. Even if you’re a Pastor who doesn’t make sermon decisions until the week of, at least have an idea of what you’re going to preach on. Your team will thank you when they have weeks for their own Easter service preparation instead of days.
    2. 4 weeks away – Make the graphics and printables for the Easter sermon. These are the designs that go into promotional materials, website, Facebook, etc. Doing this now will give you more time to make changes, edits, and not rush through the creation process.
    3. The week of – Give one last push for the congregation to share what the message will be.

Streaming

    1. 10 weeks away – If you’re already live streaming, double-check and audit your equipment. Really lean on your volunteers for this, they’ll know what needs to be fixed and replaced. Take note of the little glitches and start fixing them. If you want to add live streaming to your ministry, this is the time. Check out our guide, Live Streaming For Churches The Easy Way to set up live streaming as part of your Easter service preparation.
    2. 4 weeks away – By now anything that needed fixing should be done. At this point, you should start setting your scenes. Get your camera(s) set, design your church’s lower-thirds, and know your streaming software backward and forwards. Also, take the time to meet with your volunteers and doing a quick re-training session to answer any remaining questions they have.  
    3. The week of – Test the stream and all the extra settings and effects one more time.

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Order of Service

    1. 10 weeks away – This really needs to be done for the other parts of this Easter service preparation checklist to function 100%. The leadership needs to decide on the order of service this week. Is there special music, kids song, drama, or communion? Having your order of service done now gives you a head start on planning everything else for your church without sweating.
    2. 4 weeks away – This is the deadline, everyone should know what’s happening by now. Nothing more gets added. Anything added after this point needs to be treated as a last-minute addition to the service.
    3. The week of – Everyone participating in service should have the order of service by Wednesday at the latest. Then on Sunday morning, they should be given a physical order of service so everyone is literally on the same page.

Projector & Computer Check

    1. 10 weeks away – As with the other tech equipment, audit your projector and make sure everything is in working order. If your projector bulb is getting high on it’s “hours operated,” go ahead and replace it. Also, order an extra bulb to have on hand for Easter morning.
    2. 4 weeks away – By now the service order should be set. Create your sermon slides, videos, sermon notes, and as a bonus, get a recording of the band/choir performing the service so you can have the volunteers practice their timing. At this stage of your Easter service preparation, make sure your media computer is up-to-date (and turn off auto-updates so it doesn’t update last minute and break something). Take this week to meet with your church media volunteers to do a quick re-training session and answer any questions they may have.
    3. The week of – Run through the service and all the media and make sure there is nothing missing. At this point, you should be triple-checking everything with the Worship Leader.

Easter Landing Page

    1. 10 weeks away – Create a dedicated webpage that’s all about Easter. Include when and where your service is, other events that day, a personal video invite from the pastor, directions/map, and include some FAQ’s like “where do I park” or “what is the music like?”
    2. 4 weeks away – The Easter landing page should be done and go live this week. Buy a unique domain like, “EasteratCHURCHNAME.com” and place it in all your promotional materials.
    3. The week of – This is what we call the “Easter Takeover.” The week of Easter, your church website should redirect to the Easter landing page. You can include a link to your main site, but when your traffic doubles this week, it’s because people are looking for your Easter information. Make it easy for them to find.

Audio Board

    1. 10 weeks away – Get with your audio engineer(s) and audit your sound equipment. Identify hums, feedback, mic quality, fresh/newer batteries, and cabling. Place your orders for replacements. Don’t forget translation or accessibility equipment.
    2. 4 weeks away – Make sure everything has been fixed and replaced properly. Meet with your church volunteers AND your worship team at the same time so they can prepare for Easter together. Make sure everyone knows how to run the audio tech, especially if it’s new. Use this time to answer any other questions volunteers have.
    3. The week of – Run a full sound check and dress rehearsal during the week. Make sure you have plenty of time the morning of Easter to rehearse and destroy any other glitches.

Church Website

    1. 10 weeks away – Audit your website for outdated items, ministries that don’t exist, old Christmas photos, all the buttons and forms work, etc. If you’re not sure where to start preparing your website for Easter, check out our guide 7 Church Website Essentials to learn what your church website needs to attract more visitors.
    2. 4 weeks away – Put Easter info up front and center on the homepage with obvious calls to action to visit the Easter landing page.
    3. The week of – Easter Takeover! Redirect your main church website to the Easter landing page.

Testimony Videos

    1. 10 weeks away – If you don’t have church testimony videos on hand, now is the time to start filming. Find a diverse range of people in your church and begin interviewing them (preferably 4 testimonies or more).
    2. 4 weeks away – Start releasing your videos. Put them on your website, social media, email, YouTube, etc.
    3. The week of – Evaluate all your videos shared while you were preparing for Easter and share your best testimonial on Easter morning. Show the people who aren’t in church for the rest of the year what life-change looks like when you have a long-lasting relationship with Christ.

Social Media

    1. 10 weeks away – Start planning your Easter posts and campaigns on social media. What types of posts will you make, what’s your budget, what’s your target audience, how many ads will you make, what’s the call to action, etc.
    2. 4 weeks away – Start your Easter FB advertising and Facebook page/group discussions. From the stage, announce to the congregation to start sharing posts. Many introverts may not pass out invite cards, but they’ll click that share button.
    3. The week of – Sunday prior, remind congregation to keep sharing your Facebook posts. By now you should have analytics for your Easter ads, find the best performing ads and double down on those ad sets.

Staining and Smells

    1. 10 weeks away – Walk your entire church building and find what’s wrong with your building. Check for broken utilities, water leaks, weird smells, carpet bubbles, stains, burnt out bulbs, etc.
    2. 4 weeks away – Easter service preparation doesn’t only lean on your shoulders. Bring in friends and family twho don’t normally go to your church and have them be church secret shoppers for the week. (treat them to lunch as a bonus). Take note of what they say and continue improving.
    3. The week of – Do one final walk-through for the little bits and pieces that may have popped up during the week. Dust everything and do one final walk-through.

Email Marketing

    1. 10 weeks away – If your Pastor is not emailing your congregation once a week, now Is the time to start. The emails don’t have to be preachy or all church announcements. Just start writing stories, musings, or what’s on their mind.
    2. 4 weeks away – Start planning your email follow up series for your Easter visitors. If you need ideas, we have a free resource called 5 Emails Your Visitors Will Love. Use our done-for-you email templates to nurture your Easter visitors to make another visit before next year.
    3. The week of – Start emailing your Easter visitors. Ask for their feedback, share testimonies, and survey what ministries they’re interested in. And don’t let up on the weekly emails from the Pastor. When you stay in their inbox, you stay on their minds.

Signage (indoors and outdoors)

    1. 10 weeks away – Check your signage outside for burnt out bulbs and wash them. Inside, check your signage that all rooms are correct, the signs are clear, and they look alike. Now is the time to order new church signage if needed.
    2. 4 weeks away – While your friends are walking the building for the stain/smell checklist, ask what they think about the signage. Is it easy to get where they need to go easily?
    3. The week of – Clean and straighten your signs and make sure everything is in place.

Guest Network

    1. 10 weeks away – Audit your guest network and make sure there are no dead spots and that you’re getting the speeds you’re paying for. Guest Wifi is very important to families and the younger generations. It is a turn-off for them when you password-protect your WiFi. If that’s you, spend some of your Easter service preparation on opening a Church Guest WiFi and what that entails.
    2. 4 weeks away – All your network equipment should be fixed or replaced. Do a final walkthrough of the building for dead spots.
    3. The week of – Before Easter weekend, preserve your bandwidth by shutting down any unused computers and devices that are connected to the internet.

Children’s Security Audit

    1. 10 weeks away – Children’s ministry will make or break your church, so this step needs to be apart of every church’s Easter service preparation. Audit the check-in process. Check your stickers, computers, parent verification, sign up, and double-check that all your background checks are up-to-date.
    2. 4 weeks away – Meet with your volunteers and do a re-training session and Q&A just like the tech folks. Also if you use a kids check-in kiosk, turn off automatic updates so nothing breaks between now and Easter. Do one final check of your supplies so you know you have enough for the influx of kids on Easter morning.
    3. The week of – Make sure your check-in station or kiosk is good to go, all supplies are ready, toys sanitized, and volunteers are still available and good to go.

We could only hit 16 out of the 21 items on the live show. But if you want to get the last 5 AND have all of the above in a printable checklist to hand out to your leaders and volunteers, get the full resource for free down below:

 

Conclusion

Easter is the biggest Sunday of the year, but it doesn’t have to be the biggest headache.

Even if you don’t have the manpower or the ministries for all of these 21 points, just starting out with a focus on 5 will do wonders for your Easter service preparation.

What will you start planning this week to make your Easter more successful and smooth? Leave a comment down below!

download your free 21 point easter service preparation checklist

 

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