Why Easter Attendance Matters

If there’s one thing we know about Easter, it’s that many senior pastors go to great lengths to mobilize their congregations to get new people to attend on this day.

Many think this is a wasted attempt to pander to “Chreasters.” I completely disagree.
Increasing your Easter attendance is important, but not for reasons commonly thought. Here are four reasons why doing everything you can to increase your Easter attendance matters to the mission of your church.

1. More Than Likely 25% of All Your Visitors This Year Will Come On Easter
At True North we know that roughly 50% of all newcomers will come at Easter and Christmas. The rest are evenly sprinkled throughout the year. That obviously means that 25% of all the visitors that come to your church this year will come Easter Sunday. Most outreach-focused churches have similar newcomer attendance and retention figures.

2. On the Average in the American Church, 10% Of Visitors Will Come Back
We also know that if 10 people visit our church on Easter, one of them will return and become a growing Christ Follower. Why is this important?

It’s important because if you are a church of, say, 150, that wants to break the 200 barrier and grow to 300, that means you will need to have how many people visit your church in order to retain an additional 150 people (growing from 150 to 300)? That’s 1,500 people. 10% of 1,500 first-time guests = 150 new attenders.

If you are a church of 600 that wants to grow to 1,000, you will need 4,000 people to come through your doors. We call this visitor traffic flow at True North.

Many pastors do not understand their need to increase their visitor traffic flow. Many pastors want their church to grow, however do not understand the mathematics of church growth. Visitor volume leads to church growth. More visitors with effective assimilation leads to church growth.

3. Smart Pastors Learn to Capitalize On Cultural Attendance Patterns
If John Wesley showed up at our churches today, how would he view the opportunity afforded your congregation by the cultural propensity towards visiting church on Easter and Christmas? You know the answer to that question.

Make culture work for your goals, not against them. Stop siding with the church growth naysayers who believe Sunday attendance doesn’t matter, and start taking advantage of the opportunity. Start leveraging the seasons of the year people are more apt to come to church. At True North we often talk about developing a Gospel Road System. What we mean by this is to understand when road construction season is. What is the best season to be building roads and bridges into our cultures and communities?

4. You Can’t Make Disciples Without New Attenders
I fully believe that growing your Easter attendance matters because without attending a church, people won’t start the process of becoming disciples.

I couldn’t care less about growing the attendance of your church for numbers' sake. I care about whether or not you’re making new disciples, and you can’t make new disciples until they start participating in your church. They can’t participate in your church unless they begin to come. It’s great to be a part of a growing church that reaches a lot of people, but that’s not the goal in and of itself. Sometimes growth and discipleship go hand in hand, sometimes not; if for no other reason than disciples have a tendency to obey Jesus and “go.”