At this point, you are probably pushing into your second meeting on how your church will be running this Easter. As a youth worker, you might have a bigger stake in the Sunday service and many churches I know treat that Sunday as a family or big church service. Let’s be honest, this might be your only shot for the next six months at several families that only come on Easter and Christmas. We want to have great services, sermons, and worship experiences for that one hour that we have a captive audience.
You are giving so much time to that one Sunday, but what are you doing after Easter?
- How are you following up with teenagers and their families after Easter?
- Do you have a communication strategy to invite them to your youth group that they did not get to see that Sunday?
- Are you planning any events for a week or two after to continue the dialogue with them about Jesus and develop strong relationships?
- Where are your volunteers in this strategy approach?
One hour this Easter is not enough time to develop a relationship with them.
In my experience of hearing youth pastors talk about Easter, it is all about the day of and not about the weeks, months, and years after that. Honestly, one hour is not enough time to develop a relationship with them. You are squished in between a more enhanced-than-normal worship experience, more than typical number of announcements, communion, and any other out-of-the-ordinary activities this Sunday. How do we fully communicate to a teenager that we love them, that they have sinned and need the grace of Jesus, they matter, they should trust us, we are hear to listen to them, and that this church is a community of believers here to serve each other and worship God?
If you have not thought about how you are going to do relational ministry with your new visitors this Easter, we have some ideas for you:
Use Social Media To Connect
Have your volunteers and student leaders retweet, reshare, and like your Instagram pictures of photos you took on Sunday with new people. Offer daily content that is profound, callbacks to the sermon, or call-to-actions that will encourage engagement. Respond to ALL of the comments. Then ask for people to come back next week.
Have An Activity Announcement On Easter
We want teens and families to come back, not to come once and bounce until next Easter. Plan an activity that is free or discounted to new visitors and social. This does not have to be complicated, coffee, ice cream, and gummy worms. Challenge volunteers to ask new visitors after church to come to the event. Then on the day of the event, share with the parents what your ministry is about, give some examples of the fun that you will have (Remember the gummy worms? Your welcome.), and offer a quick devotional of what Christianity has done since the death, resurrection, and ascension.
Don’t Stop Inviting After Two Weeks
I see youth groups giving up too quickly to the Easter-only teenagers after by May, it is a focus on seniors, camp, and summer schedule. No! Keep going after those teens that already bought in a little because they came on Easter. Push in to them with love and presence. Make sure to have your whole youth ministry team to continue to invite them!