When it comes to the second Easter of the Pandemic, there really is no ‘new normal’ – every situation is a little different. So much depends on your community, your facility and your climate. The one guarantee is that we can’t pretend it’s 2019 – we have to adapt. Here are 8 tools your church might not have needed 2 years ago – but you need them now for Easter 2021:
“Phygital” and Online Churches
Honestly, in 2021, this should cover EVERY church. After a year of zoom meetings, online movies, home schooling etc… your church should be having online services, online events, online evangelism, all of it!
Here are the latest tools you need to increase online engagement, reach out to your community and connect with online visitors:
1) 75 FREE Easter Graphics
Posting every day to social media pages is one of the best ways to increase your reach and impact more people with your Facebook page. Facebook sees when people interact with your content and then ‘rewards’ future posts – as they assume it is valuable information that the Facebook Community (in general) likes to see. Regular content gives more opportunity for people to interact and more opportunity for engagement to increase. Win win!
But maintaining a daily post routine can be a lot of work – and that’s where Outreach Social can really help you. This subscription service provides you with tons of ministry-minded social graphics PLUS an auto post scheduler that you can set up once and your Facebook page will automatically get updated every day!
2) Invitations to Church
The Great Commission doesn’t stop just because of quarantines and lock downs! We have a calling to reach out to the lost and introduce them to Jesus. And while the world has gone digital everything, there is mounting evidence that some good old fashioned printed things are gaining impact.
One such item is a physical mailed invitation! Direct mail is on the rise – and it’s an excellent way to reach your community with an invitation to church this Easter.
First, everyone receives mail – including those who don’t use computers and smartphones so it’s a great tool to reach all age groups.
Second, studies show that people keep their mail up to 17 days to review and 73% of people prefer to be contacted by mail and 90% of direct mail gets opened! So it’s more attention grabbing than the 20,000 emails sitting in someone’s inbox.
3) An Updated Website
First — if you do not have a website at all or if your site was built before 2015 then you REALLY need an update.
Even if your site is newer, there are still things you probably need to do to make it more effective at connecting with visitors. Many church sites are built for current attenders and NOT as the front door of your digital church. Here are a few things to take a look at:
- Your homepage needs to make it easy for visitors to see your physical location and service times both for in-person and online.
- Make sure it’s easy to find the page where your live stream/online service can be watched. Are there links to your online giving, message notes and prayer resources? We recommend FreeChurchOnline.com as a great, free option for hosting online services on your website. This service takes your Facebook or YouTube live feed and moves it onto your website – providing distraction-free watching (no ads or distracting FB noise) along with easy to use Bible links.
- Have a special page for your Easter services that is easy to find from your homepage. This Easter page should provide information about your events, information about your safety measures and details about what to expect both in person and online.
Churches Meeting In Person:
Yes. It’s frustrating that the Pandemic has lasted so long. And if you live in an area where you can host in person services indoors, outdoors or both, then your church is going to want to maintain safety standards and best practices so you can alleviate fears and see more people in your building. That is where these practical tools can come in handy:
4) Direction Signs & Safety Signage
Direction and welcome signs are important for any event where you will have visitors who are not familiar with your church facility. But it’s even more important this year. Not only do you want to welcome visitors but you also want to encourage safe practices, direct traffic flow and clearly communicate your safety standards.
Luckily indoor and outdoor banners and signs are an inexpensive investment that make all of this easy! Here is a brief rundown of the products that should be most helpful this year – all of these products can be customized online quickly without any graphic artist needed!
- Custom outdoor banners that share your service information – like website address, in person service times and info on how you are meeting on Easter.
- Sidewalk Signs work both indoors and outdoors to direct traffic in your parking lot or to direct people to classrooms or your worship center. The can also be used to remind people about your mask or sanitizer policies. And best of all the signs are easy to change or move around – so they work for portable churches too!
- Hand Held Greeting signs – a safe and fun way to welcome visitors without shaking hands! Choose from a huge selection of messages and get teens and kids involved in greeting too.
- Floor Stickers are small adhesive signs you can use to share messages like Welcome, create a “selfie” spot for social media, or to direct visitors to adhere to social distancing standards.
- Indoor Banners come in a variety of sizes and messages – they are a great way to instantly update your building!
5) Purerox Disinfectant
Children’s ministry, live worship, a coffee bar…all of these things are much more difficult to offer during the pandemic and still keep people safe. And it’s almost impossible on Easter Sunday to wide down every top and surface between services with just a spray bottle and cloth, which is why this resource may be the most important this year.
Hypochlorous acid is the same thing that the body naturally produces to kill viruses. But traditionally products that offer Hypochlorous acid will lose their effectiveness in just days, but PUREROX™ has found a proprietary way to maintain the effectiveness for up to a year and it’s now bottled and distributed as an EPA-approved way to safety disinfect and kill viruses in just 60 seconds! It’s easy to use and with an electric sprayer you can cover an entire room in just minutes.
Learn more about the science – click here.
6) Safety Supplies
It’s still a priority after almost a year! To make sure your church does not become a COVID-19 hot spot, you do need to offer everyone who enters your doors basic safety items like sanitizer and face masks. Make sure you have enough of both – and touchless dispensers in key areas – so that visitors can easily find them and visibly see that you are taking safety seriously.
For Every Church
7) A Follow-Up Series
This tip is actually pretty universal no matter what year it is, but with decreased attendance and less engagement, offering a compelling Easter followup series to keep visitors interested and attending is even more important than ever before.
This year you have a few options and a new resource that can make planning faster and easier. First, what if your Easter Sunday sermon was the launch of a series? Your visitors would get a taste of the topic and be naturally encouraged and drawn to keep coming back till the end. The new Love Reigns 4-week Easter series does just that and the topics are super relevant to our times – check it out here.
Another option is to plan a new series launch the Sunday after Easter which is made much easier if you have access to the Outreach Church Kit and Video subscription service. This annual subscription gives you instant access to 18+ sermon series kits – with more being added regularly – you’re sure to find a topic and all the resources you need to execute a new series that keeps visitors engaged.
8) Communion Cups
Offering the Lord’s supper is an important part of our faith and depending on your traditions, COVID-19 may have made it almost impossible to do in a safe way. The best and most affordable option is to offer all-in-one prepackaged communion cups with wafers. The cups are designed to fit in the traditional trays but because they are sealed, you can also just set them on a table, or put them in a basket for in person services.
Or if you are offering some sort of Easter bag or box for home use, they are a convenient way to let online church members also participate from their living rooms.
BONUS TIP – Make New Friends!
Moving to a new home is hard – but can you imagine how much harder it is when you also can’t get out and meet new people because of COVID? That’s why it’s even more important now to reach out and connect with New Movers in your community. The Outreach New Mover Program provides an automatic way for your church to invite new families to connect with your church through a monthly postcard invitation. You set it up once and each month new families get an invitation and you get a report showing who your new neighbors are so you can follow up with them. Learn more today.