Brace yourself for my Analysis of Easter 2018! Don’t worry I’m not evaluating anyone other than myself and the team effort at Greenwood this past easter. This will be a long and detailed post. So, if you aren’t up for that you can just skip down to the conclusion at the bottom.

Easter 2018 Worship

Analysis of Easter 2018 – What Changed

We changed the time of a Worship Service. Easter of 2017 at Greenwood consisted of 5 services (2 Saturday and 3 Sunday). That did not change in 2018. We did change the time of the second Saturday service so that it was closer to the first one, in 2017 we had too much time in between.

In 2018 we decided to use a ticketing system to attempt to even out the attendance at each worship service. Easter 2017 had less than 120 attend worship in the two Saturday services and then over capacity crowds on Sunday. In 2018 we sought to change that.

In 2018 we brought back 18×36 inch yard signs as a means of advertisement. We had done it before, but not in 2017.

In 2018 we implemented a post-Easter survey for feedback about the weekend. I was pretty nervous about this one because I included a spot for people to write in any feedback they wanted to give.

Analysis of Easter 2018 – New Time

The second Saturday Worship Service moved from 7pm to 6:30pm. This allowed us to ask less of our Saturday volunteers, and our staff. It did create the challenge of moving a crowd of people in and out of the building in 15 minutes. However, we do that every week between our services so we have systems in place to take care of this.

At Easter 2018 we had a good crowd/congregation in the 2nd service (193, or 65% of capacity). This was up nearly 100 people from the year before. Bundle that along with the fact that there weren’t any issues between services and I think the switch in time was a success!

We normally have donuts available for free (yep we’re nice like that) on Sundays. This year we chose to give away cookies along with coffee at the coffee bar to try and keep the experience feeling similar on Saturday. It certainly worked, but people didn’t eat the number of cookies we expected so we had some left over.

Analysis of Easter 2018 – Ticketing System

For this year we implemented free tickets using Eventbrite. We did not ask people to show a ticket to be admitted, and we made it clear that wasn’t our goal. The goal was to even out attendance across the 5 worship services.

Before Easter weekend I was hoping that enough people would use the ticketing system so that 600 tickets would be “sold” (remember they free). Realistically we had no idea how this would go since it was an entirely new way of doing things for us. I actually got the idea from Church of the Highlands at Christmas. I was in Birmingham and decided I’d like to check out one of their services for Christmas. However, I noticed that they were “sold out” at the location near where I was staying, and the only available tickets were when I was planning to go to another worship service with my parents. I was impressed with the way that the staff could know beforehand how many people would be attending. So, we talked about it at Greenwood and decided to try it this year to see if we could rely on this sort of system in the future.

The results were really great! We had over 900 tickets “sold”, when I was hoping for 600. Our team tried limiting our services to 250 tickets when capacity is 300. We did this because we expected some people to attend who did not pre-register for tickets. Our staff wanted to have room for them this year. The attendance at each of our services looked like this: 1st 231 or 77% capacity, 2nd 197 or 65% capacity, 3rd 334 or 111% capacity (brought in extra chairs and it was fine), 4th 214 or 71% capacity, and 5th 159 or 53% capacity. When children were added in this gave us a total of 1401 in weekend attendance! It was up about 10% over last year. Also, it was a little less than double our average weekend attendance for the Winter. Attendance numbers were good and we avoided being crazy crowded at any of the services.

Analysis of Easter 2018 – Advertising with Signs

We created a basic yard sign that our people could put out at their home or business. Lots of them did!! I ordered 300 signs, and about 200 were used. I overestimated how many signs we would use.

easter 2018 signs

We also used other methods of advertising. We had a video that we used in a paid ad on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Those are all proven methods of advertising that we have used before so they are not discussed in this post.

However, we kept from putting a date or year on the sign so that it could be used next year. So, I took the extra signs along with the ones that people have returned and put them in storage for next year. Hopefully this will allow us to still be able to use these next year. So, lesson learned here: don’t overestimate and try and make them re-usable.

Analysis of Easter 2018 – Post Easter Survey

The ticketing system worked by registering an email address. Eventbrite allows you to send ticket holders a survey using Survey Monkey (I’m planning a post on Survey Monkey later). I sent all who registered for tickets the same survey and received 84 completed surveys. Overall the feedback was extremely kind. In fact, I almost don’t believe the numbers.

Easter Feedback

So 90% said they were likely to recommend us to a friend or colleague! 84% indicated that worship was excellent! 82% indicated that the Parking Team was excellent! 67% said that registration for tickets was easy. Strangely, several people who registered for tickets indicated on the survey that they did not… 86% of respondents indicated that the Children’s Program was excellent!

There was also a question where people could leave any feedback that they wanted, whether positive or negative. If you’ve been in church a while you’ll understand that there were a few complaints. However, the results above indicate that those feelings were few and far between. We take those comments seriously and look for ways to improve for next year.

Easter Analysis 2018 – Conclusion

The most extraordinary thing to come out of Easter 2018 was that at least 34 people indicated that they made Jesus their Lord that day!

Another really great outcome was that our people responded to the call to serve or volunteer in some way. We were overflowing with volunteers during Easter Weekend, and I was able to get some of those people to commit to volunteering regularly because they saw how impactful their service was. I see this as a huge win because it furthers our goal of wanting people to be more committed to Jesus and the local church.

Now that you’ve seen the two most important points, we’ll move on. The change in Worship Service time along with the ticketing system really worked out well. We certainly put effort into advertising – both digitally and with signs. We even still use the tried and true method of encouraging people to invite others personally (it really works).

Taken altogether, Easter 2018 was a successful one. Total attendance was up to a new record for us on Easter Weekend of 1401! That is important to us because that means 1401 people heard the gospel presented on Easter 2018. At least 34 responded to that call. I also anticipate many more will respond to the message with a renewed focus on their walk with God.

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