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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

An After-Easter Action Plan for Pastors

Updated: Jan 9

The songs have been sung, the message has been preached, the celebration is over… and the pastor is tired.  I know.  You definitely need to take some time off this week.  But here’s a short list of actions you should take to make sure that your efforts leading up to Easter Sunday don’t go to waste.

1. Follow up on spiritual decisions.

If someone came to know Jesus, that’s of paramount importance.  Check in with them, confirm their decision, share your joy, communicate your availability, answer questions.

You're going to need a clear pathway forward for how you're going to disciple new Christians!

2. Take care of the administrative details.

This is the “unsexy” part of your week, I know.

  1. Entering guest cards into the database…

  2. writing follow-up letters…

  3. communicating “thanks” to your team…

Those kinds of things may not feel like exciting things to do on an emotionally exhausted “morning after Easter,” but paying attention to these kinds of details is exactly what will put you in a good place for the future.  If you have recruited administrative help, this is a good time to make a list of tasks they need to take on.

What if someone could take care of some of the details of planning your discipleship system for you? I could do that, if it would help. :) Reach out and let me know if that sounds good, or just check out

3. Keep the conversation going with guests.

Use information you’ve captured with your guest card to communicate a couple times with guests from Sunday.

  1. Send them a personal thank you note (we do ours hand-written, with a little gift card to a local restaurant inside).

  2. If someone asked for info on a particular next step on your guest card, then that could be a next step they’re motivated to take.  Follow up on that.

  3. Find a way to “wow” guests with your love.  After all, “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:35

Incidentally, how long would someone have to attend your church before they knew that discipleship was a major focus of your church?

How long would they have to attend before they knew exactly how they could enter a clear discipleship pathway at your church?

4. Clearly communicate a general next step.

In today’s world, it’s doubtful that people are suddenly 100% committed to coming every Sunday from “now ‘til Jesus comes.”

Lifetime commitment to your church is probably a tough sell after one Sunday.  It’s like a store owner asking you to only shop at that store after your first visit.  Probably not gonna happen.  It’s better to communicate a specific next step people can take if they were attracted by what you offered on Easter.

It’s probably best not to have 6 next steps.  Simplicity and clarity mean you need to decide about 1 next step you want new guests to take.  Is it:

  1. Come to a membership class?

  2. Show up at a relationship-building event?

  3. Come to your church dinner next week?

  4. Do a follow-up Bible study on how to obey Jesus' commands?

  5. Attend the start of your new discipleship sermon series next Sunday?

5. Do a review with your team.

I wrote about this in my post “The Easiest Way to Continually Improve Your Outreach.” Check that post out.  The best way to make sure all the lessons of this Easter get learned and captured is a quick review of:

  1. What went right

  2. What went wrong

  3. What we can improve next time

  4. Who’s responsible for it

6. Thank God & your team.

You didn’t do this Easter alone.  Even if it was a bit less than you hoped for, people labored to make it happen, and it wasn’t a waste in the eyes of Heaven.  So spend some time thanking God in faith for what he’s doing, and how he’s going to continue that work.

Then make a few phone calls or write a few thank you notes to people who made the weekend happen.

Here’s to small church pastors, who labor faithfully… thanks for what you do for God’s Kingdom!

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