As Easter weekend approaches, your church is getting ready to make a great first impression on guests who may never have stepped foot on your property. In addition to praying for your church members to invite others and having well prepared music and a powerful message to deliver, there are some other things make sure you do to get ready for this weekend. Here is a 10-step check-list for getting ready for Easter.
1. Greet in the parking lot. As people pull into the parking lot, they should see friendly people smiling and waving. Equip your staff and volunteers to point people in the right direction to the worship center, children’s area, and coffee bar. Depending on how large your parking facility is, it may be helpful to have a golf cart available for the elderly, disabled, and families with young children. Check the forecast. Is it going to be raining? Consider providing umbrellas.
2. Have greeters at every door. Meet with your volunteers before Sunday to talk about the importance of representing your church well with an inviting presence. Equip them with information and encourage them to smile and shake hands so they can greet all arrivals well.
3. Have an information area where people can ask questions. Set up a central location where visitors can learn more about your church, ask where the restrooms are located, or talk with someone about their faith. Every volunteer or staff member working the information area should be well equipped to answer frequently asked questions.
4. Have ushers guide visitors into the worship area. At your Worship Center doors position smiling ushers to hand out brochures and walk the aisles assisting visitors in finding a seat. Encourage people to move to the front and fill the space from the front to the back. This is especially important on a high attendance weekend like Easter. Have extra chairs ready to go if the room reaches capacity. Ask people to move to the middle of the row to make sure empty seats are along the aisle. (We used to call that the “Doing the Celebration Shuffle”)
5. Make volunteers and staff easily identifiable. All volunteers and staff should have a name tag, lanyard or matching shirt, which easily identifies them as a part of your hospitality team. This makes them approachable to new visitors who may have questions or need help.
6. Clean and stock the restrooms before the service and refresh them between services. Clean restrooms send a message to visitors that your church pays attention to detail and that you care about their visit.
7. Pick up all litter in and out. Prepare your entire staff and volunteers to be on the lookout for litter and pick it up. Be sure to have wastebaskets strategically placed in the gathering areas of the church.
8. Encourage your staff and regulars to engage with visitors. Ask all staff and members to be available to greet and welcome guests. Ask them to forgo visiting with their friends in order to engage with someone they don’t know yet.
9. Have visible security in the children’s area. Parents want to make sure their children are going to be in a safe and clean environment. You will most likely need extra volunteers in the children’s area. It may be helpful to have the Children’s Director meet with the children’s volunteers before Sunday to ensure everyone is equipped to serve well.
10. Have volunteers at the doors as your guests leave. Thank your visitors for coming. Hand them information about next week’s message or an upcoming event.
I’ll be praying for all of you as you prepare your hearts, your volunteers and your building for the day you celebrate the resurrection with your community this weekend.