We just wrapped up the first virtual Easter. Let that sink in for a moment. Your team spent hundreds of hours planning, preparing, and setting up services in a way you never thought you’d need to just a few short weeks ago.

So, first off — excellent work! The willingness to pivot and the ingenuity of church teams has been incredible to behold. That’s something to celebrate. As your team recovers from a whirlwind of activity, here are a few actions to take in the coming days.

No. 1: Rest

Jesus’ work on the cross is finished. He did the hard part (to put it mildly). Your job is to plant seeds and water them. Trust God to give the increase.

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” — 1 Corinthians 3:5-6

I’m not trying to downplay your efforts or the amount of work you put into Easter services — especially considering the obstacles to overcome this year. However, I encourage you to rest in the fact that this isn’t all on you. Remember that even God rested on the seventh day.

Take a day (or two) off, relax, get some sleep, and recharge. The battle against COVID-19 isn’t over, so church will still be different for a bit longer. You’ll need your energy and creativity for that, so rest up now.

No. 2: Celebrate

Share stories amongst your staff of how many people attended online services, rejoice that people indicated they wanted to turn their lives over to Jesus, and more.

Take a few moments to celebrate what God has done in and through your team this Easter.

No. 3: Follow Up

Hopefully, you were able to collect contact information via digital connect cards from online guests. If so, here are a few ways to follow up with them:

·Send a mass email to all Easter guests inviting them to attend a virtual service next Sunday. This is also a good opportunity to highlight other online programming your church is offering or how they can get into an online discipleship program.

·Send a mass text message inviting them to attend an online service next Sunday for a new series entitled, “<insert title here>.”

·Consider following up with a phone call. Start by asking if they need anything, then find out if they have any questions about faith or the church. Provide information about upcoming online services and share how excited you are to meet them in-person once that’s a possibility again. Ask if they have any prayer requests and offer to pray with them over the phone.

No. 4: Pray for Your Guests

People are scared amid this pandemic. They’re afraid of getting the virus, many have lost their jobs or businesses (or know that’s a real possibility), and they’re wondering when life will get back to normal.

Pray that they would feel God’s presence and peace. Pray that they would have a desire to watch next week’s services. Pray that you’ll have the opportunity to water the seeds planted on Easter Sunday.

No. 5: Learn

Get together as a team (virtually, of course) and discuss how Easter weekend went this year. Were there any hiccups or issues that came up? If so, is there anything you can do to prevent those next week?

Document these lessons learned and use the information for future online services and even for next Easter. We certainly expect to meet in-person next Easter, but there are still lessons you can apply from this year should you choose to broadcast services online once social distancing is a thing of the past.

Appreciate and celebrate that your team hosted an online Easter during a pandemic. That’s one for the history books. Hopefully, we’ll be back to meeting in-person very soon, but there’s much we can glean from our experiences this Easter as we move forward.