Magnify the Drawing Power of Easter to Reach Souls


Use the Drawing Power of Easter for Your Church

Easter is not what it used to be.  What I mean is, that Easter is not the big attendance boost that it used to be in most churches.  In previous generations churches could count on an annual boost in attendance on Easter Sunday regardless of events or promotions.  This usually meant members, regular attenders, absentees, and even many first time guests would make the special effort to be at church for worship on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  It provided the pastor and the church with a great feeling of joy in seeing the sanctuary full, and spiritual blessing for the families who attended.  It also provided the Pastor with a wonderful opportunity to preach a gospel message surrounding the topic of Christ’s resurrection.

However, since our American culture has moved so far from its Christian roots, Easter has not provided the type of attendance boost that it once did.  In fact, there are many churches which do not see any difference at all, or if they do, it is only a few families who have been absent for some reason and feel the need to try to reconnect with the Lord and their church, even if only for one week.  I have personally witnessed this cultural shift as a Pastor and a church staff member over two and a half decades.  And I have lamented the change along with many other church leaders.  And I will always remember the first time I led our church to make an intentional effort to reach out to our community on Easter Sunday and experienced more than double our regular attendance, and I want others to experience that same victory.

I will always remember the first time I led our church to make an intentional effort to reach out to our community on Easter Sunday and experienced more than double our regular attendance, and I want others to experience that same victory.

The Culture Shift Makes Easter Less Popular in Regards to Church Attendance

Why has church attendance at Easter become less popular?  Religious affiliation in America is on the decline.  According to Pew Research, “By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population had grown to 22.8%, and the number of religious “nones” had ballooned to 55.8 million. And nearly two-thirds of the “nones” – 36.1 million adults – say religion is unimportant to them, an increase of roughly 15 million people in just seven years” (November 3, 2015).  The report goes on to say that the younger adults are more prone to consider themselves “religiously unaffiliated.”  And among those who claim to affiliate with Christianity, they tend to consider church attendance as less important than previous generations.

What can churches do to make Easter a blessing and a boost?

Easter has drawing power like no other day in the church calendar.  Easter means we serve a living Savior.  It is still the highest attended Sunday of the year and many churches still double their attendance or more and see many of their Easter guests keep attending.  It is still a very popular holiday, and if you doubt that then just take a trip to the nearest Walmart or department store or take a look at the catalogs you receive in the mail and you will see how much it is a part of our culture whether they know the meaning of it or not.  If a Pastor really wants to see a great Easter attendance and attract many new souls, it is possible.  Here are a few ways to make the most of Easter.

15 Ways to Magnify the Drawing Power of Easter

  1. Communicate the dream of sharing the life changing message of Easter with your community. Talk to your staff, your deacons, your committees, and your congregation.
  2. Ask your church to budget for an Easter outreach.
  3. Pray for God to direct you in your methods and to send souls.
  4. Ask yourself what you would need to do if your church doubled or tripled in attendance? What would you have to do to be prepared in terms of facilities, parking, staff, worship services (extra services), welcome centers, extra bulletins, greeters, nursery workers, ushers, preschool workers, children’s activities, etc.
  5. Choose a great Sermon Title for Easter Sunday and a Great Sermon Series to promote in your publicity. Choose a topic that will engage both Christians and the unchurched.  For ideas check out some great preaching sites like,, and others. Think of all the great themes that surround Easter such as new life, hope, joy, victory, Jesus, apologetics, forgiveness, the cross, power, love, the Holy Spirit, restoring relationships, and many more.
  6. Create a mailing list of all of your members, church visitors, absentees, VBS prospects, etc., and send them all an Easter Invite.
  7. Send a postcard to people in your community. Go to or or search somewhere else.  Be sure to include information like, map, address, website, facebook page, email, phone, worship times, Pastor’s name, attractive sermon series, children’s activities, communion, etc.
  8. Order extra postcards to give to your members to use as invite cards for their friends and family.  This takes some advance planning so you will have them several weeks in advance.
  9. Prepare your Welcome Center and Greeters. Have a gift for each visiting family to pick up at the Welcome Center whether it is as simple as a bag with goodies, a bookmark, or a small book about Easter.  Prepare a brochure of upcoming events for all ages between Easter and August as a bulletin insert. Make sure you are fully stocked with gospel tracts. Many people come to church hungry for spiritual information and they will browse your Information Center for free tracts and brochures about your church’s ministries.
  10. Advertise as much as possible. Use newspaper, radio, social media, Facebook ads, church newsletter, email newsletter, local cable channel, church website, etc.
  11. Prepare a wonderful and uplifting worship service.  Coordinate with the worship leader and staff well in advance.  Consider adding an extra worship service for Easter. Perhaps even during your Bible Study Hour. Keep Childrens classes during your worship times. I always liked to ask our folks to attend two services, and to “worship” in one and “work” in one.
  12. Collect information from all of your visitors. Perhaps it would be good to ask everyone to fill out an Easter Connection Card, members and guests alike. Follow up is an essential part of an effective Easter outreach strategy.
  13. Plan a Bridging Event for about a month after Easter. Plan a special class or a Pizza with the Pastor that gives you an opportunity to invite your guests back soon for a time to get acquainted.
  14. Plan a great evangelistic invitation. Spend time crafting a winsome invitation whether it is a “come forward” invitation or a “fill out this card” invitation, or “raise your hand and meet me after the service” invitation. Keep in mind that many people may not actually come forward on Easter Sunday, but the residual effects may be seen over the coming weeks or months.
  15. Come to church early on Easter Sunday with an attitude of expectation and joy. Be prepared to troubleshoot and pray.

There is plenty of room for creativity in inviting and attracting people to church on Easter.  Don’t be limited to this list of suggestions.  Churches that sit back and wait for a harvest may not experience one, but churches that plan and prepare will experience the joy of seeing lives changed.

Do NOT Surrender the Drawing Power of Easter!

Do not surrender the drawing power of Easter to the world of retail.  Fully engage the drawing power of our Savior’s victorious resurrection to win people to Jesus.  The churches that experience the harvest are the ones that plant the seeds.  Bring souls to your church and souls to Christ this Easter.  Trust God for a harvest and share your victories with others to inspire them, too.

Kelly Carr

Dr. Kelly Carr is the President of Higher Purpose Ministries and is a Strategic Church Growth Consultant.  He presents the Contemporary Greeting and Assimilation Training, The One Year Plan for Church Growth, and other training events for churches.  He is the author of Revelation:  Book of Mystery and Majesty, and is available for Bible Conferences on Revelation and Daniel.  Contact him to schedule a training or conference or even to use as a sounding board for your great idea.


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About the author

Pastor, Church Planter, Evangelist and Consultant in Chandler, Arizona. Licensed by Second Baptist Church in Lamesa, Texas. Ordained by Trinity Baptist Church in Irving, Texas. Youth Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Irving, Texas 1985-1987. Pastor at Dixon Baptist Church in Greenville, Texas 1987-1999. Pastor at Wellspring Church in Chandler, Arizona July 1999 - July 2009. Currently serving as Executive Pastor at Highland Terrace Baptist Church in Greenville, Texas. Available for Pulpit Supply, Interims, Evangelistic Crusades, Revivals, Bible Conferences, Seminars, Pastoral Consulting, Church Consulting, Capital Campaign Consulting, and Conversation over a Coke Zero.