For over 25 years I’ve preached our church’s Easter sermon, usually in multiple services. This year I have the privilege of just attending Easter services as I’m now working as a church consultant in myministry and completing a second book I’ve written in the past 12 months.
I remember the excitement that always led up to Easter. The month prior our staff would often log extra hours to plan Easter egg hunts, prepare for extra services, create invitation fliers, and spruce up the building.
Yet, I also recall the post-Easter lull, both in attendance and in my emotions. Easter usually produced the highest attendance for the year. Although we’d always plan a cool follow-up sermon series hoping that visitors would return, most didn’t. The attendance the week following was about average, or even lower if that Sunday fell during spring break week.
Not only did attendance lag, but my emotions did as well. The high attendance would always rev up my adrenalin, but what comes up must come down. After the high wore off, I’d sometimes be in a funk for a few days. If you experience the post-Easter lull, consider some of these suggestions that might help you weather it better.
- Normalize: Expect that you will probably feel somewhat down for a few days. It’s normal after an emotional high. By bringing your expectations more in line with what you experience, you avoid dumping another emotional weight on top (the one that says you should not be feeling down).
- Expectations: Set staff and leadership expectations for the week that follows. Remind them to prepare for a potential downer. Although I’ve heard miracle stories about churches that had humongous attendance the Sunday after Easter, I wonder if many of those stories have become simple folklore. If you’ve discovered the secret of how to motivate the once-a-year-attender to disrupt his Sunday routine two weeks in a row to come back to your church, please share your secret with us.
- Soul and Body Care: Take an extra day off and do something totally refreshing and fun. Get more sleep. Take a nap each day. Eat right and exercise more.
- Faith: Trust God that He will do His work if you do yours. Diligently prepare for Easter, pray for God to work, and pray for those who attend. Then leave the results to Him. He will bring back those who should return and He will help you emotionally recover. Remember, although the world remembers Jesus’ resurrection once a year, our churches should celebrate his resurrection each week and we should celebrate it each moment.
If you’ve experienced the post-Easter lull, what has helped you through it?