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Easter Marketing Guide for Churches

Easter Marketing Guide

Easter is a beautiful time of celebration. It's a day for us to take a moment and recognize the most important gift we've ever been given. A gift of redemption, a resurrection from death, the hope of a new future!

And as much as you hold fast to these truths, Easter can also be one of the most stressful times of the year for a church staff. Between anticipating extra guests, setting up for special events throughout the week and making sure all of your communications materials are set and ready to go, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared. 

This Easter Marketing Guide will help you stay organized and make a plan that's ministry-focused! 

The Easter Marketing Guide will help you: 

Ready? Let's go! 

Timeline for Easter Planning and Promotion

As a church communicator, you have a very important job in helping to plan, promote and execute for Easter each year. Without a game plan, Easter services and events could feel overwhelming. We want to help you feel good about where you’re headed so you can find renewed life in the remembrance of Christ’s resurrection this year. So, our Fishhook team has created an Easter communications checklist just for you! 

You can download the full checklist here, but here's a preview of the timeline:

  • 4-5 months prior to Easter: Solidify your mission and goals
  • 2-3 months prior to Easter: Focus on creative elements
  • 4-6 weeks prior to Easter: Plan your promotion
  • 1-2 weeks prior to Easter: Prepare for guests (in-person and online)
  • 1 week after Easter: Follow up and debrief
Get the full Timeline for Easter Planning and Promotion here!

Use Social Media as a Ministry Tool for Easter

Picture this. Easter is right around the corner. Your team is busy finalizing service times, preparing atrium decorations, tweaking the Easter landing page on your website and recruiting volunteers to welcome new and regular attendees galore. It’s crazy, it’s exciting, it’s what we live for in the Church world. Then you remember, what are we going to do with social media? If the rest of the church is preparing to usher in a momentous celebration, shouldn’t our social media reflect that as well? The short answer: yes. But how? 

Let’s start with the big picture. It’s important we remember our social media feed in the grand scheme of Easter because it’s not just a marketing tool, it’s a ministry tool. A tool that can not only help you invite people on Sunday but also serve as the starting point to a relationship with your church. 

This Easter, remember that you have three huge opportunities with your social media: 

  1. Opportunity to serve others
    Think of your social media as an online outreach tool. There’s a lot of negativity on social media, so give people something positive to engage with. Take the opportunity to give people a dose of hope and inspiration. 
  2. Opportunity to foster community
    Your church is more than just a weekend experience. Seize the opportunity to help your congregation create an organic community online throughout the week. 
  3. Opportunity to further your mission 
    The fact is there are thousands more people online than at your church. Social media can be a tool to help you reach new volumes of people with your unique mission. 

Before you post, use these three steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your social media: 

  1. Know your audience
    Try to answer some key questions about your audience before you create content to reach them. What challenges do they have? Where do they live? What excites and motivates them? What does your audience need from you? What can your church give them that they can’t find anywhere else?
  2. Set a goal 
    Create specific, numerical and measurable goals. Tie your goals to your mission. What does success look like? Are you hoping to get people in the doors? Or do you hope to inspire and encourage people?
  3. Start a content list 
    What types of posts will you make? What topics will you cover? How will you incorporate the content you already have (books, website, sermons, testimonials, etc.)? What new content do you need to create (invitational graphics, Facebook live videos, etc.)? 

To get you started, here is a list of content ideas/tips: 

  1. Incorporate your mission statement into your regular rhythm of posts. There is no better time to share with visitors and guests the heartbeat behind why your church exists! 
  2. Go behind the scenes and show your audience what it’s like to be there. Use photo or video content to make your audience feel like they are a part of the experience. 
  3. Take content from past Bible studies, devotions, sermons or classes and repurpose it into blog posts, live videos, produced videos, social media graphics, etc. that help people take a spiritual next step. 
  4. Shoulder tap individuals in your church (staff or congregation) to share short devotions in the week leading up to Easter. 
  5. Post a verse of the day that people can share.
  6. Tell stories of life-change.
  7. Use Instagram story features such as polls, questions and quizzes to increase engagement and excitement.
  8. Show appreciation for your volunteer teams to celebrate your congregation’s investment and create a healthy feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). 
  9. Host a social media giveaway and encourage your people to tag their friends in the comments to generate more traffic to your feed.
  10. Write a text message for your audience to use to invite their friends to your Sunday services. Give instructions for them to copy and paste for easy inviting!

Free resourceEaster Marketing Plan Worksheet

Maybe you've already made an Easter plan. Maybe you're thinking ... man, I should've made an Easter plan. Either way, this worksheet will help you document your strategy to keep your communication focused on the people you are trying to reach. 

Your Easter Marketing Plan should include: 

  • Target Audience(s)
  • Overall Focus/Theme for This Effort
  • Goals for the Easter Season (How will we know if we're successful?)
  • Key Messaging
  • Timeline and Tactics
  • Action steps 
  • Follow Up 

Download the free Easter Marketing Plan Worksheet and get space to add info for all the above sections as well as a place to jot down notes or other creative ideas!

How to Experience Easter as a Church Leader

Dear Dedicated Church and Ministry Leaders,

What is on your heart today? Do you even have time to assess how you are feeling, or how you are doing, in this busy season? Easter is less than six weeks away after all. Can you believe it?

Our lists are long as we feel called to lead, serve others and quite candidly - to get things done. We care so much. The need is great. And it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking it's dependent on us. God is depending on us. Others are depending on us. We're that important and central to it all. 

But we're not. Plain and simple. 

Yet in my humanness, I can get quite busy and occupied putting myself on the throne of my own life. (Anyone else?) My self-talk goes something like this: "You need to figure this out. Lead better. Do more. You can do this. Come on." 

But I can't ... and I'm not supposed to. God doesn't need me! He invites me into His purposes and works through me ... but he isn't dependent on me. And He's not dependent on you either.

Instead, as you know, it's the very opposite ... we need Him. Desperately. Everyday and in every way. I think this Lenten and Easter season can be a sacred time to surrender ourselves anew. 

To ask ourselves: What are we called to first? It's not our to-do lists, the validation of a busy schedule or our pride.

It's closeness with Christ. Everything else is second. Everything. (Even our incredible ministry work!)

So I have a challenge for the coming weeks, and I hope you’ll join me in this. Instead of over-working to get more things crossed off our lists ... I'm purposefully looking for ways to pray, worship and surrender more. 

I'm striving to give the first part of every day to God. Then, my prayer is that my other priorities and responsibilities each day will flow from that. And that Christ's purposes will be accomplished each day in my life - especially when, from a human perspective, I may have a little less time to give to my work. 

Will you join me?

How to Care for Your Team During Easter

Leading and caring for a team is a great privilege and it comes with significant responsibility. I think of this verse: "To whom much is given, much will be required." - Luke 12:48.

As we are in the Lenten/Easter season, caring for the individuals on our teams is significant because we want to help people grow closer to Christ in the midst of their work, ministry and lives (especially at this time of year).

Here are a few suggestions for leaders to help our teams grow closer to Christ this Easter.

  1. As leaders, we have to go there first!
    We strive to live out what we believe God wants for every person on our teams. (Not that any of us have this all figured out - but we're pursuing it.) 

    We spend time in prayer and God's Word each day - we're seeking God first. We lead our families. Work with purpose. Connect with and serve others. (No task to serve others is beneath anyone who is a leader.) We're regularly connecting in corporate worship. We build in margin with our schedules and we rest.

  2. We discern - what is God asking of us (individually and in our ministry/work) in this season? And we talk it up with our teams. We ask:
    What sacrifice are we meant to make during this season?

    How are we being asked to stretch and grow?

    How will we increase our generosity?

    Who can we encourage and share our faith with?

  3. We get practical with our team's schedules to help encourage the items mentioned above! 
    What is your team's workload in this season? If needed, brainstorm how to get more help, work more efficiently or simplify the list of responsibilities. There is always something we can lessen or change when the load or schedule is too full. And we as leaders have to initiate making a change!

In addition - I believe these questions are vital to ask and encourage:

  • How is each team member connecting with God personally each day?
  • How is each person worshiping corporately on a regular basis and leading up to Easter?
  • And how can each team member build in margin and rest?

As the leader, ask these or similar questions of your team, discuss the answers with them (one on one, over a favorite hot beverage is ideal!), and pray together for God's guidance throughout this Lenten and Easter season.

What Happens After Easter? 

So, now what?

You planned for and welcomed new guests at your church for Easter events and services. You have amazing stories to share and I’m sure a few things you can laugh at now that you’ve moved through it. 

But how are you planning to connect with your guests now that the calendar has moved past Easter? Because the goal shouldn’t just be to get newcomers to your church, but to engage with them so they continue growing closer to Christ. 

How are you planning on celebrating with your team and encouraging them with ministry stories?

Being intentional about this follow-up planning will set your team up for success.

Following Up with Your First-Time Guests

How we follow up with our guests is just as important as how we prepare for them. Creating intentional processes and plans beforehand helps us not drop this important ball. We want our guests to take a next step and we have to let them know how they can do that in very simple and inviting ways.

Here are a few practical next steps you can take when following up with your first-time guests:

  • With your leaders, outline what next steps you hope a first-time guest might take. Be practical on what you hope they do. Committing to a small group might be a big ask, but maybe you share resources they can read/watch, invite them to church the following week for your new sermon series kick-off or ask them to attend a “get to know you” event.
  • Follow up with your guests. This is an important step that shouldn’t be missed. Consider recruiting volunteers to help you handwrite notes thanking guests for joining you for an event or service. Make sure you give them one or two easy next steps.

Continue Sharing Meaningful Content After Easter

Just because Easter is over doesn’t mean you don’t have an important message to share. The church continues to and will always have the most important message that everyone needs to hear - the hope of Christ! So think about how you will continue to share meaningful content online and with your congregation. 

Here are a few suggestions that you could run with:

  • Share a recap video or photos from your Easter events and services at your church and on social media the following weekend. Help your congregation and people online share in the joy and hope that Easter brings to us all. Remind people that this lives on!
  • Ask your volunteers to share stories from serving during the Easter holiday. What did they notice and experience? Then encourage others to get involved. 
  • Share encouraging quotes or scripture with people online to help them stay engaged with God’s word.

Debriefing and Celebrating with Your Church Staff and Volunteers

It’s important to pause and reflect with your team after you’ve run hard! A church will cultivate what it celebrates. So celebrate the amazing ministry moments you experienced through the Lent and Easter season. 

  • Debrief with your team. What stories can you share? What worked and what didn’t? What would you like to do differently next year? Below is a worksheet you can use to guide you through questions to ask and ponder. 
  • Celebrate and Rest. You have worked hard! Celebrate wins from Easter with your team. And then take a moment to pause and give yourself a little space before heading into your next ministry initiative.

You can use these steps after any ministry initiative you walk through. Maybe a special sermon series, fall kick off, community events or the Christmas season. It’s always important to follow up and celebrate because ministry is hard, but so very worth it.

To help you pause and reflect, here's an Easter Retrospective Worksheet! 


Need help this Easter?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need more support this Easter, our Fishhook team would love to help! Fishhook can strategically plan and develop your Easter campaign, branding/visuals and related content needs for these important efforts. We want to help you take the pressure off. Contact us by March 25th to get help with your Easter campaign! 

Get Started!