Apr 20, 2014

Chreasters, in one graph

Pew Research Center:
More Americans search for 'church' around Easter than at any other time, with the Christmas season usually ranking second, according to Google Trends data between 2004 and 2013 . . . Easter is Christianity's oldest and most important holiday, during which Christians celebrate Jesus' Resurrection three days after he was crucified. In liturgical terms, Easter Sunday is a moveable feast. Its observance, which comes at the end of a 40-day period of penance, fasting and self-examination called Lent, changes within a range of time each spring.
Yvon Prehn, founder and director of Effective Church Communications, told The Christian Post last year that churches often don't see any growth after big Easter services, even when they put a lot of effort into outreach.

The specialness of the holiday service can actually work against visitors coming a second time. Prehn says:
Some churches have a petting zoo or they have pre-lattes or they have a brunch, they do all this special stuff. Well, they don't do that every week. People bring a lot of friends and kind of the unspoken assumption is that if they like the church and they think we're cool and we really impress them and they love the worship music, they'll just come back next week to Sunday school and bring their kids . . . I strongly recommend something that says 'Here's what we do when it isn't Easter. We've got this for your kids, we've got a single's ministry here, we've got this stuff for women and here's our regular celebration services.' You know, something just really simple and upbeat that says 'When it isn't Easter, this is what we're doing.'"