We’ve done a lot of listening and learning the week after Easter. We at Church Answers are grateful for consulting and coaching clients and for the large community at Church Answers Central.
Though our information is more anecdotal rather than data-based, it is nevertheless insightful. Here are seven key takeaways we gleaned from church leaders about the recent Easter weekend:
1. A surprising number of unchurched persons attended Good Friday services. More churches are offering Good Friday services than in the past. For the first time, we heard that unchurched persons attended these services in surprisingly greater numbers. In fact, some church leaders indicated that they had more unchurched in Good Friday services than Easter services.
2. There seems to be a greater spiritual hunger in the communities the churches serve. Obviously, there is a relationship between the first two points. And while it’s difficult to measure spiritual hunger, church leaders heard enough comments and had sufficient people respond to them the week after Easter to make this observation confidently.
3. Simplicity was effective and appropriate. Fewer church leaders reported that they had major Easter productions or pageants. Their services were simple yet profound. For many churches today, Easter is more of a time of reflection and quiet celebration than a major production.
4. Evangelism was more intentional. The trend about increasing evangelistic intentionality preceded the most recent Easter weekend. But this intentionality continued through Easter. Many church leaders reported more people choosing to follow Christ than they can recall for an Easter weekend.
5. Most churches did not have record attendance. In fact, among our small sample, fewer than one of ten churches reported that this Easter was a day of highest attendance. And seven in ten reported that their attendance was slightly lower than the previous year’s Easter attendance.
6. Easter Sunday attendees were primarily church members. Once again, Easter Sunday seems to be the unofficial reunion day when most of the members show up on the same day. As noted in number one, more churches reported unchurched persons on Good Friday than Easter Sunday.
7. Digital streaming services attendance continues to decline in most churches. This trend continued on Easter Sunday.
Keep in mind that our observations are anecdotal. I do appreciate those who spoke to us, wrote to us, or contributed to the community at Church Answers Central. We would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
What was your Easter weekend like at your church?
P. S. Consider joining our community at Church Answers. Nearly 2,000 church leaders are with us every day: https://churchanswers.com/join/
Posted on April 17, 2023
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
More from Thom