- Put your Holy Week and Easter schedule at your website and on your answering machine message now.
- Create business cards or flyers with the schedule and encourage the congregation to share them with friends, family and co-workers. This can also be a PDF file emailed to the congregation, which they can forward to others adding a personal note.
- Consider a joint ad in the local newspaper with other Episcopal Churches (if there are any in your area). Combined ads with several churches announcing their schedules together makes a powerful statement of unity which has the practical aspect of making a larger ad less expensive for each congregation.
- It’s not too late to order a custom banner giving worship times. This is a low cost way to attract the attention of those who drive by your church.
- Encourage the members of the church who are healthy and can easily walk to take the furthest possible spaces from the church on Easter to make room for newcomers. This should happen every week, but is especially important at Easter.
- Have the latest newsletter, a church brochure, or some other easy to take away item for newcomers on Easter. Get the ushers to place this in the hands of visitors so that they will know of upcoming opportunities for Christian Education as well as your regular service schedules.
- Plan now how you will follow up in the week after Easter with all persons newly signed in the visitor’s book with at least a letter. A quick visit from two members of the welcome committee offering a church mug, or fresh-baked bread is also offered by some of our congregations.
With Lent underway, now is the time to look ahead to Holy Week and Easter. As you know, Easter is the best time to invite newcomers to church as many spiritual seekers are most receptive to an invitation at this time of year. Many persons with a past connection to a liturgical church also are receptive to a Holy Week invitation to a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday liturgy.
Here are seven ways you can prepare to welcome more people this Easter and then to follow up with them after the Holy Day:
Looking for more ways to prepare for newcomers? Now is also a great time to work through the Welcome Checklist from Invite-Welcome-Connect.
The Rev. Canon Frank Logue, Canon to the Ordinary