Promoting Easter: What Works?

Promoting Easter: What Works?

January 26, 2016 by

Need help promoting Easter? Check out our book Super Sunday: Planning Easter for Your ChurchEaster is big. Lots of people show up and churches rightly build on that momentum as they celebrate the resurrection. We’ve got lots of Easter ideas and resources, including the new book Super Sunday: Planning Easter for Your Church. But today we’re going to hear straight from church communicators about promoting Easter.

What do you think is the most effective way for churches to promote Easter?

We asked six church communicators about the most effective way of promoting Easter. Here’s what they said:

Our Easter strategy began the first Sunday in January.

Start Now

Clarence Stowers, senior pastor at Mars Hill Baptist Church in Chicago:

I believe one of the most effective ways is what we’re currently doing now in preparation for Easter 2016. I’m being strategic in my message series by helping the congregation see that the church doesn’t exist for their preferences (having an inward focus), but for those who are far from Christ.

Next, I’m following up with the Oikos Challenge series (becoming outwardly focused) by helping them discover who’s in their circle of influence (8-10 people) that has no relationship with Christ. We’ll give them cards/rubber band bracelets as reminders and challenge them to invest in building relationships within circles of influence and invite them to one of our Easter Services.

Our Easter strategy began the first Sunday in January.

Equip the Congregation

Crystal Kirkman, communications director at First Christian Church in Decatur, Ill.:

It’s all about grassroots efforts. Word of mouth. Personal invitations. Social media can be quite effective when asking your church members to ‘share’ with all their friends, thus reaching people you otherwise might not have reached. It’s easy, free promo. And if you want to boost your post, you can invest as little as $50 and reach thousands more in your community. Ads in print publications can be budget breakers costing at minimum several hundred for something no larger than a business card.

We also give people postcard-size invitations to make it easier for them to invite friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. This year, I’m considering making it a folded business card and tell people in the worship services to stick those in their purses and wallets so they have them on hand to invite even their favorite barista if they’d like.

Power to the Pews

Adam Legg, creative arts and communications pastor at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska:

I’m pretty convinced that the most effective marketing tool for your church are the people sitting in the pews every Sunday. These are people who already understand your mission, are invested in the cause, and desire to be involved. Providing your church family with resources to invite their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, is a great tool to help the people in your church be involved with spreading the greatest story of all time that we celebrate at Easter.

The most effective marketing tool for your church are the people sitting in the pews every Sunday.

Be the Place to Go

Andrew Hansen, communications director at Willamette Christian Church in West Linn., Ore:

People naturally look for a place to go to church on Easter, so make sure your front door is wide open. Post photos and videos in the weeks leading up to Easter of your normal Sunday experience, and give guests a chance to see what they can expect.

Make sure your website is also updated with service times and information so that people don’t become overwhelmed upon arrival.

Lastly, make sure your hospitality/guest services teams are on point that Sunday. Someone’s first experience with your church will influence how they talk about you afterward. Focus less on pushing your programming that Sunday and more on facilitating meaningful relationship-building among your guests. People want to feel known and will return to a place where that happens!

Word of Mouth

Angie Shoaf, communications strategist at Christ on Capitol Hill in St. Paul, Minn.:

Word of mouth (your congregation) is best of all and most productive.

For those who may only go to church for big events like Easter, taking part in the local newspaper’s ‘Where to go for Easter Services’ page is good, as well as boosting announcements on Facebook in the time leading up to Holy Week.

The Same as Every Week

Theresa Decker, communications director at Grace Fellowship Church in Johnson City, Tenn.:

It’s a little idealistic, but I believe we should approach Easter the same as we do other services, events and sermons. What I mean by that is that my top priorities as a communicator remain the same—to communicate clearly, with shameless and bold creativity, and in a joyfully Christ-centered manner. The idealistic part is my desire to honor God by approaching all of my work with the same unadulterated commitment and passion, no matter what time of year it is. Because let’s be real—if we pour all our resources into Christmas Eve, Easter and the summer block party but the rest of our church experiences are under-resourced (I’m talking time, money and energy), what message are we sending? How does this fulfill our role as image-bearers of a Creator God?

That being said, I heart Easter. I think the most effective way to promote Easter is with lots of bright color and jubilation. But maybe not pastels or glowing cave tombs.

Our goal: To communicate clearly, with shameless and bold creativity, and in a joyfully Christ-centered manner.

Promoting Easter With Your Congregation

Sensing a theme? Promoting Easter (or anything) is all about engaging your congregation, empowering them to do the work and equipping them with the right tools.

Super Sunday: Planning Easter for Your ChurchNeed More? 3 Easter Resources:

  1. Get more Easter ideas with our growing collection of articles, examples, and more.
  2. Check out our book, Super Sunday: Planning Easter for Your Church, for tips on how to plan, promote, and survive Easter.
  3. Go deeper for even more Easter resources and join our Courageous Storytellers Membership Site. You'll get access to downloadable resources including planners, guides, worksheets, graphics, and more.
"Our Easter strategy began the first week of January."

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Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn’t busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.

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