You want your Easter services to be the best experience possible for your entire church community—your regular attendees, families who make a special effort to attend Easter services, guests who are visiting your church for the first time, and your ministry staff, front-office team, and loyal volunteers. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? But with a thoughtful approach rooted in faith-driven technology, you can make Easter Sunday 2022 one of the most powerful and inspiring Easter services your church has ever offered—and you can set a standard for spreading the gospel every single Sunday and in all your daily ministries. Based on over 45 years of experience innovating for churches, Shelby Systems can share four important questions you should be thinking about now as you prepare to spread the Easter message this year: 1. Have you thought through the flow and rhythm of your Easter services? The more you plan ahead for your Easter Sunday worship, the more you can keep your services focused where they should be—on rejoicing in Christ’s love and spreading the Easter message. That’s the thinking behind our WorshipPlanning software, which can help your church organize, plan, and update your worship flows all in one place. The Right Software = Planning made perfect. You can create a flow that works for your service, with specific details like song selections and pre-service elements. You can manage permissions and select who can see your worship plans, edit flows, and access files. You can schedule volunteers for a single event or multiple Easter services, and your volunteers can choose to “accept” or “decline” an invitation to serve. Or they can sign themselves up, based on the schedule openings you’ve set. You can organize your musical selections for Easter Sunday, and include information like key, tempo, capo, and lyrics for each song. You can import songs from your CCLI SongSelect™ account or via a CSV file, and transpose keys for MP3 and text chord charts. Once you’ve planned out and finalized your service flow, it’s time to think about the day of your service. 2. Are you ready to truly connect with your Easter Sunday worshipers? Your church team will be greeting and speaking with countless people before, during, and after your Easter Sunday services. You’ll be catching up with regular attendees, reconnecting with families who haven’t attended in person for some time and meeting first-time guests. Don’t let this special day of worship become a blur of smiles, faces, and handshakes! A good church management solution will help you make these encounters true connections for you, your ministry teams, and your church families. Build Relationships for Better Engagement You’ll have the flexibility to stay up to date with your congregation by easily capturing and maintaining your members’ data, even right on your phone while conversations are still fresh in your mind. You can monitor where they’re at in their involvement—whether they are a visitor, member, volunteer, or staff member—and make notes of any questions they have, prayer requests they shared, or unique circumstances they are facing. With these connections, you can be even more engaged with your congregation after Easter services are finished. You can communicate with church families through mass text and email messaging. You can send immediate updates (if inclement weather affects church operations, for example) or schedule a mailing in advance. And to target your messages, you can segment members into specific groups built around their interests, backgrounds, or participation. You’ll be more connected than ever to your congregation throughout the year – and many will want to give of themselves to sustain your ministries, which leads us to the next question. 3. Are you prepared to accept the Easter generosity expressed by your congregation? Easter services help your attendees remember the power of Christ’s sacrifice and redemptive love, and many will be inspired to give to help spread the Easter message and sustain the ministries that reflect His love and grace. Will your current giving system allow your worshipers to quickly act on their generosity and give freely? They’ll be looking for two things: Giving options – You need to be sure that your giving system meets church families where they are. Whether they’re more comfortable with standard card readers and online giving pages, or if they’ve adapted to giving via mobile apps or texting, the more giving options you provide, the better equipped you’ll be to make sure everyone has the opportunity to give. Giving simplicity – Donors react quickly when the donation tools are difficult to use. If a giving option seems too complex, or if the platform doesn’t appear to be secure, you’ll miss out on your congregation’s generosity. A great system will provide a well-crafted donor experience that is simple, familiar, and fast for your users. Remember Recurring Giving! Those who give on Easter Sunday may be open to establishing a recurring gift so that their generosity can make a difference throughout the year. Give folks that option and make it prominent, and many will respond with a monthly commitment. This will help your church smooth out seasonal giving slumps, improve cash flow, and allow you to forecast and budget more accurately for your Christ-centered ministries. Want to make it easy to inspire generosity this Easter? Shelby has a free Easter Giving Toolkit to encourage giving during Easter and beyond. Receive resources to help engage visitors, increase recurring giving, implement best practices, and more! These considerations all apply to your in-person Easter service attendees, but there’s another large audience you need to think about. With so many people tuning in virtually during the Easter weekend, you’ll want to provide them with a good experience. 4. Are you certain that you will be offering your congregation the best possible live stream experience this Easter? People join your services virtually for any number of reasons—local families may be traveling but still want to experience your Easter worship; you may have members who are away from home due to school or military service; for many, it’s a way to “meet” your church and see what your services and ministries are all about; and of course, as the pandemic continues there are many vulnerable groups who still must steer clear of crowds and public spaces. Make sure you’re there for your entire congregation with a robust livestreaming experience! Shelby partners with ChurchStreaming.tv for the best live streaming solutions that include options for online check-in, visitor information forms for first-time guests seeking a church home, prayer request capabilities for those in need, and giving options for anyone who is inspired to support your ministries. Similar to giving, your virtual attendees will react quickly if the live stream experience is too cumbersome or “glitchy.” Offering the best experience possible for those outside your church walls will keep your online visitors engaged, amplify your Easter Sunday message, and build lasting connections with those who join you virtually. Shelby Systems is the most trusted provider of premium software solutions to churches and faith-based nonprofits, with over 45 years of experience in helping churches like yours increase their impact on the world. With all that experience, we know what works. Reach out to learn more about how Shelby Systems helps over 3,000 churches in the United States, and how we can help your church for your Easter services and beyond!