Every year, Easter and Christmas services are among the most attended worship services for churches across the United States.
Our goal with such a production is always to display excellence, as we bring glory to God in a distraction-free environment.
That being said, the level of prayer, preparation, and expectancy should be also heightened for these special services. Unfortunately, though, many churches miss an incredible opportunity to reach unsaved souls with the gospel message, simply because of this lack of knowledge.
Depending on your church style and demographic, you may place emphasis on different things during an Easter weekend.
A common trend for most modern services, though, is to create a memorable experience for attendees during a Christmas and Easter service, to help create a desire in each individual to come back to church for a “normal” service.
Our church tends to plan these special services months in advance.
Tracking of our church attendance throughout the year at Central Church in Augusta, Maine, we notice typically large spikes during both these dates (as well as Mother’s Day), resulting in an increase of attendance of around 250 percent.
Understand that numbers are not everything when talking about the health of a church, but we would miss incredible gospel opportunities in reaching unsaved people, if we didn’t take these services seriously.
Months before our Easter production takes place, we begin the planning process with a leadership planning meeting. We gather together the top-level leaders of each ministry, each of which is required to create a successful experience. In that meeting, we discuss the ideas and plans that we have been gathering and preparing over the course of the past year.
Generally, we will have a base structure to our Easter production at that point, when we finish the meeting. Our lead pastor will usually have a direction for the sermon or sermon series prepared beforehand, and we spend time fitting each ministry into the overall vision of the experience.
Following that initial meeting, we have multiple followup meetings, until the arrival of the experience, to ensure that we stay on the same page, as the details relating to that service fall into place.
Concerning the actual “production” of the experience, the creative team members get together following that initial meeting, to begin making the devised vision come to life.
This is where things get fun!
While each church has a different goal regarding their level of production, that might mean incorporating elements ranging anything from singing a simple set of hymns, to having professional dancers, a choir and orchestra, and even featuring a full-scale Broadway play.
At Central Church, it falls somewhere in the middle. We have a goal to make each year’s experience bigger and better than the last.
Rather than include theatrical, or spectator elements throughout the entirety of the worship service, at Central, we typically choose to make our intro and outro moments more elaborate and produced, leaving space for a “normal weekend service” in between. By that I mean that we start our services with a theatrical element and expect the congregation to simply watch and take it all in.
From there, we welcome everyone and invite them to stand as we sing a set of gospel-themed worship songs that have been popular in our church over the past year.
We typically try to incorporate a hymn or similar well-known song to the broader mix of individuals who are present in the experience.
Even though the worship set is more “normal” than the theatrical elements of the experience, we still run things louder and brighter than usual. Our worship band tends to add more instruments to the platform for these services, and we purchase or rent more lighting and video elements as well to implement into the service.
Our goal with such a production is always to display excellence, as we bring glory to God in a distraction-free environment. In addition, we try to go above and beyond for these special productions to do so. We strive to do everything we can to allow every person in attendance to encounter Jesus in a new way.
Wherever you find yourself on the scale of church production, keep this one thing in mind: Your goal is Jesus. He died and rose so that every person could inherit eternal life.
If that’s the only thing people take away from your service, you have succeeded, regardless of the level of production that is involved.
To Him be the glory!