For many churches, Easter is the highest attended service(s) of the year. Leading up that weekend church leaders log extra hours to plan Easter egg hunts, prepare for extra services, create invitation fliers, and spruce up the building. Yet, the inevitable happens, the post-easter lull. The following Sunday attendance and energy usually drops precipitously. At least that’s been my experience after 38 Easters as a pastor. So, what can we do? Here are three suggestions.
- 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 a giant 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 me.
- 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?