Taken From the “Church Marketing Stinks” Blog: CLICK HERE
April 14, 2014 by Kevin D. Hendricks
Yesterday we remembered Christ’s triumphant march into Jerusalem with waving palm branches. And so begins the inevitable march to Easter, your last-minute, last-ditch effort to get everything done during Holy Week and before Easter Sunday. It can be a crazy week for church communicators, and honestly, it’s too late to launch anything new. So we’ve got three simple things to help you out this week: Prayer, Peace & Post Personally.
First and foremost, this is a good time to pray. One of the first things West Ridge Church communications director Phil Bowdle mentioned when talking about Easter during our debut sneak peek podcast was prayer:
“We’re focusing a lot on prayer. We often get so wrapped up in our own plans and ideas and here’s how we want it to go. But we know nothing of eternal significance happens apart from prayer. So for us, even as a team, we’re trying to focus on that side of it too, and pray that God will use Easter services here and all over in a big way.”
Spend this week praying that God would bring visitors to your Easter services. Pray for God to move and people to respond. Pray that lives would be changed by the greatest story ever told. This is why we do what we do.
If you work in the church, Easter can be crazy. There’s last minute promotion, big Sunday morning production and lots of pressure not to disappoint.
That’s all true, but take a breath. There’s a point where we just need to let it go. Easter shouldn’t be about pressure and stress. Take a page from Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who contends that “the God of Easter is a God with dirt under his nails”:
“For many churches Easter is basically another word for church showoff day—a time when we spiff up the building, pull out the lilies, hire a brass quintet, and put on fabulous hats and do whatever we have to do to impress visitors. To me, it had always felt kind of like the church’s version of putting out the guest towels, which makes no sense. Easter is not a story about new dresses and flowers and spiffiness. Really, it’s a story about flesh and dirt and bodies and confusion, and it’s about the way God never seems to adhere to our expectations of what a proper God would do (as in not get himself killed in a totally avoidable way).
“Jesus didn’t look very impressive at Easter, not in the churchy sense, and certainly not if Mary Magdalene mistook him for a gardener.
“… It happens to all of us. God simply keeps reaching down into the dirt of humanity and resurrecting us from the graves we dig for ourselves through our violence, our lies, our selfishness, our arrogance, and our addictions. And God keeps loving us back to life over and over.” (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
You may not completely buy in to Bolz-Weber’s anti-excellence perspective, but that’s OK. Let the pressure go this week and focus on how Easter is about God making all things new.
3. Post Personally
The simplest thing you can to share your church’s Easter experience with your wider community is to post personally. Take a picture, shoot a video, jot down a quote. Some of you will be doing that anyway in some official capacity as the official tweeter for your church. But do it for yourself. Do it personally, on your personal account. Share the stories that matter to you. Take a picture of your view. Share your Easter experience with people who aren’t sitting next to you in the pew.
Sometimes as communicators everything we do is professional promotion. That can get old. And we can start to forget why we’re there in the first place. But if we’re simply present and part of the experience, we can share it more naturally. We can rediscover authenticity.
Take a moment this Easter to step back from your official duties and post as yourself.
Here’s to a great Easter experience at your church. We pray people will respond to the gospel. We hope you will find peace in your preparation. And we look forward to seeing personal posts about your Easter.