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He is Risen. Indeed - Now What?

Faith, Communication, Seasons

The cross is empty, the tomb is empty and - on Easter - churches are full. Alleluia!

Looking back over the past few weeks - I've been reflecting on the Easter Sunday experience. Did your church do anything different? Special music or more musicians? More flowers and other decor? Did the people sitting around you differ from your Sunday regulars? Ladies and girls in Easter dresses; men and boys in Easter suits - or at least a little dressier than usual?

Now - what about the week after Easter? Did that Easter experience, either during the worship service or during their visit to your website, bring them back the next week?

1 year search traffic for church, easter, jesus

If you were to plot the weekly attendance for your church over the course of a year, you probably wouldn't learn anything you didn't already know - there is a spike in attendance on Easter and Christmas, and maybe, a bit of a bump on Mother's Day and Father's Day. Then, attendance drops off during the summer.

Visits to church websites follow the same pattern - they peak at Easter and Christmas. Internet searches for 'church' and 'jesus' also peak during Easter and Christmas. So do searches for 'ham' and 'eggs' - but of all those, 'church' has the highest search volume over the entire year, worldwide.

Why do you think that is? How does that impact your communication strategy for the rest of the year?

Did the additional visits to your website bring more people into your church on Easter Sunday? Reviewing the visitor statistics for one church website, the majority of visitors to the site was first time visitors, not regulars. Was it the people who knew of your church, but didn't attend often enough to know when your services were or if there was a change because of the holiday? Or, was it people who didn't know anything about your church, other than it was close by and they were looking for a service to attend on Easter? Unless you asked them, it's hard to say.

I'm pretty confident if someone is searching for a church to attend on Easter or Christmas they will find one. Will they experience something that will bring them back to church the following week or in the middle of July? Make a note to ask yourselves these questions throughout the year along with one other question - is it your mission to bring more people to church, or to bring the church to more people?

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