Easter is the Super Bowl for churches. Attendance peaks as family, friends and strangers from far in wide pack in to Easter services. Megachurches will take their Easter services to professional levels. Below is a list of 9 things to look for at church this Easter.
- Direct marketing and Billboards. Did you get a postcard in the mail? We did. An impersonal direct marketing piece making us aware of all 9 service times available on Easter Sunday. Additionally, amidst real estate signage and garage sale directionals you’ll find well branded Easter service marketing signs spread throughout every suburban neighborhood in your metro. You’ll see this in the weeks leading up to Easter and on your way out of your neighborhood this morning. The thing Jesus was really missing 2000 years ago was a good marketing campaign. Thanks to the modern wonders of FedEx Kinkos every church member can now literally be a billboard for Christ.
- Awkward Greetings. People randomly greeting each other with a handshake and exchanging “He is risen” and “He is risen, indeed”. This is actually a secret code used to establish who is in the club and who is not. If you didn’t know the correct response and kindly said, “thank you”, it’s not a big deal. It’s just the verbal equivalent of going in for a hand shake and getting fist bumped instead. The good news is that the greeter likely just said a quick prayer for you. At least now you know the greeting for next year. Don’t worry, the secret handshake comes later. Be warned, some churches may substitute a hug for the handshake. Research well before you attend a new service if you have issues with people invading your personal space.
- 6am Sunrise Services…because going to church at the crack of dawn is a badge of honor for the dedicated crowd and you beat everyone else to brunch. Let’s be honest, the latter is probably as much of a motivation. That bottomless stack of pancakes and orange juice just can’t wait.
- Middle Aged Worship Pastors. Fake tanned worship pastor wearing Britney Spears headset microphone and an untucked pastel button-down. There’s something about middle aged worship pastors that embrace a Florida teen idol vibe no matter where they live.
- Women in Giant Easter Hats. You’d think the Kentucky Derby had come to town as there will be several women who somehow find giant hats to wear this one Sunday a year. They’ll block the stage view for the four rows behind them, but other they’ll receive enough compliments on their 10 gallon hat to wear it again next year. I guess they’ll be stopping for mint juleps on their way home.
- Slow clapping to worship music from a decade ago. You’ll find it. That middle aged, fake tanned worship pastor will put together his best of the 90s worship mix and bust it out to a pastel light show and a slow clap. Don’t worry, his hands will never actually meet when he claps. It will be a half clap with the sole purpose of prompting you to do all the work of actual clapping.
- An Interpretive Dance. Watch out for this one. It can blindside you. You never know when it’s coming. But, Easter brings out a church’s creative team only matched by the efforts of a Christmas Eve service. Out of nowhere, 2, 3, 4 or even 6 women all clad in white flowing dresses will swoon about through dry ice fog and pastel lighting. I never know what these things are about, but Easter does have a way of churches giving their artistic constituents a nod.
- Being called “friends” by a pastor you’ve never met. At some point a pastor will take the stage and begin his triumphal sermon. Since a church needs to make everyone feel welcome, many pastors have adopted calling the audience “friends” to make a more familiarized setting. Guess what, no one calls a group of people “friends” in the real world. But you should try it sometime. Walk into a party and address the group as “friends”. “Hey, friends, you guys ready to head to the game?” Or try it one on one for more awkward effect. “Friend, it’s been a while since we played golf. What do you say, we head out for a quick 9 holes?”
- Backup Singers and a Massive Choir. Sometimes the tanned worship pastor needs some help. He’ll have recruited 5-7 back up singers using microphones with a bit lower volume than his own. They’ll be wearing strangely matching apparel and spread across the stage acting like they’re clapping, but never actually having their hands meet. Additionally, when the worship pastor + 7 backup singer doesn’t do the trick, they’ll go for mass impact by having recruited everyone in the church that can carry a tune and packing them into stadium risers on stage to make up a choir the size of a small town. Together, the worship pastor, 7 backup singers and 500 others will sway, half clap and melodically work their way through the best of the 90s playlist.
Happy Easter! Enjoy the day!