Evangelization Making Church Matter

Easter Checklist

March 17, 2016

Next week begins Holy Week, the most sacred time of the year for the Church. It’s also the most hectic, if you work in a parish. Our first job is to make the worship experience worthy of the occasion. Anyone who has ever worked to pull off an Easter liturgy knows there are just too many little things, so I won’t go into that. What I’ve put together here is a checklist of things you might not have thought of that go a long way toward making your Easter church experience something above and beyond what your visitors are probably expecting.

Before Sunday

  • Your staff has met to discuss Easter Sunday details…details that are easily forgotten from year to year.
  • Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
  • Individual staff has met and discussed details with their volunteer team.
  • The website is updated (this is a big one) and important information is obviously available. Unchurched people won’t go hunting around your website looking for church times for very long.

The Parking Lot

  • Do you have parking ministers scheduled to smile, greet and keep some coherence in your lot? Are they identifiable (special vest, shirt, or traffic wand)
  • Do you have special services and spaces reserved for visitors with disabilities? Are they being helped inside if needed?

The Front Door

  • Is the entrance easily marked, and all doors open?
  • Is there a greeter assigned to each point of entry, and are they willing to smile. (By the way, the job of a greeter does not involve giving less-than-subtle hints of disapproval for those arriving late or leaving church early.)

The Narthex/Hallways

  • Are staff/volunteers present and easily identifiable? (coordinated shirts, nametags, lanyards, etc.)
  • Is there an information desk with someone who can answer questions about services and ministry at your church? People are more inclined to ask when there’s a designated easily identifiable person.
  • Is the restroom clean and well stocked before and during the church service?
  • Is everything clean and free of clutter?

In the Sanctuary

  • Ushers have been trained to maintain a balance between good order and friendly assistance. For instance, we don’t allow people to “save” seats in our sanctuary, but this is communicated in a completely friendly way.
  • Sound systems and levels have been checked and properly adjusted before Mass starts?
  • The Altar is decorated in a tasteful way….it is not over-decorated.

For Children

  • Some accommodation is being made for children, a nursery service, a cry area, a kid’s program. And, the space provided for these programs is
  • If children are asked to leave the sanctuary for a program, make sure there is a simple, intelligible system for getting them back to their parents safely and quickly. We use different hand stamps to designate each section of the church.
  • There is visible security and supervision around children’s programs. Identifiable shirts or name badges are important here so kids can identify authority figures.

 

Am I missing anything?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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