It’s Easter time, or as many now say, Resurrection week! Church leaders, pastors, elders, deacons, and church members involved in welcoming newcomers to the area, or those looking to reconnect to their faith, have been very busy planning. Easter Sunday is, afterall, the busiest Sunday all year for churches.
By now, churches all over the country have already planned, thought out, and promoted (on social and through sermons and online) their upcoming event plans to celebrate Passover, Good Friday, and/or Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday. It’s too late to come up with a new plan or alter your plan much but it’s not too late to update your digital follow up plan. We’ve put together some tips on how churches can respond digitally to new members on Easter:
- Capture a telephone number to be able to send a personalized text message the Wednesday after Easter service recognizing newcomers and thanking them. Provide a follow up action like an invitation to get together for coffee or lunch or to attend another event.
This can be done through the following methods:
- Children check-in systems
- A QR code handout in the itinerary (perhaps a slide added to the sermon)
- Free and easy QR code set up https://www.qr-code-generator.com/
- Free and easy QR code set up https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/
- Tried and true contact cards can still work sometimes but going digital like offering an app (see #6 below)
- Create a short welcome video to share in the service slides before or after the sermon. This can be a short video that introduces the church, its leaders, and the community. It can be a great way to welcome new members. This can also be posted on the church’s website and all the church’s social media channels.
- Invite new attendees to meet the pastor in the back before they exit. Pastors or staff can stand at the exit, ready and willing to shake hands and chat with newcomers before they leave.
- Online resource follow ups: Provide follow-up through online resources such as the beginning or end of podcasts episodes where the call to action is to meet the pastor and direct newcomers on how to do that with a link or an email address, provide a table of free devotional materials, and online Bible studies. This can help new members deepen their faith and connect with the church community and get in touch easily.
- Social Media Advantages: Make note of names of newcomers or have members reach out to friends and family members who attended with them to invite them on social media to upcoming events. Newcomers are more likely to attend again if someone sends them a calendar invite, this can be done for example through the church setting up a post-Easter event on facebook and having those who know the newcomers personally send them those event links to add to their calendars.
- Another way is to post photos of the Sunday Easter activities and let newcomers know how to find you on social media and to look out for posts to get the photos. This is especially helpful if you plan to host an easter event where you’ll take photos and can encourage families to connect by getting the photos you’ve taken of the kids having fun.
- If you use a mobile app already, why not add a page for Easter newcomers, and create a pop up on your website and app to direct new visitors to an event just for them, a contact form, or collect cookies (this is a tactic through development of your site or social media to collect information on users with their permission typically), through those paths. This can help new attendees stay connected with the church community.
Finally, creativity and this short list of tips is just a start, there are many ways churches can respond digitally to new members on Easter. By using technology to welcome and engage new members, churches can create a strong online presence that helps them grow and thrive in today’s digital age. Helping newcomers connect quickly and feel welcome and valued in the church community can make a difference to them and the church as it grows.