It’s the day after Easter, did your services go like you hoped and prayed?

Were your prayerful expectations fulfilled?

Were there any surprises you didn’t anticipate?

What emotions are you feeling?

  • Encouraged?
  • Discouraged?
  • Alone?
  • Optimistic?
  • Puzzled?

The post-Easter emotions and general response of a church leader from arguably the most significant weekend in the Christian calendar will run a wide gamut today and for the next several days – maybe weeks.

Some leaders are encouraged to see people they haven’t seen in months. Others are frustrated that infrequent attenders showed up and may not be seen again until Christmas.

Here’s the bottom line.

As a leader, how you think and feel post-Easter matters; it shapes your leadership for the next several months.

Easter is a big weekend, but there are 51 other weeks in the year, loaded with hope and potential. Next Sunday is just as important when it comes to the potential for life change.

Your post-Easter leadership stamina and resilience are more important right now than you may know. The enemy would love for you to let up, lose your joy, or maybe even temporarily “give up.”

My prayer is that you are greatly encouraged and filled with hope for the weeks and months to come!

An encouraged hope-filled spirit is sustained in part by protecting yourself from unintentionally falling prey to common dangers right after Easter.

Guard yourself and your church against these three dangers:

1) Comparison and Disappointment

Comparing your church to others is natural but usually not helpful. When you focus on the attendance of other churches, two unhealthy outcomes are common.

First, feeling disappointed or discouraged because other churches had attendance much larger than yours. Second, feeling good that attendance was much larger than others. Both options are a waste of time and emotional energy.

The better choice is to thank God for His work in other churches and focus on gratitude for every good thing that happened on Easter at your church.

Regardless of the number of guests and converts, express gratitude to God for His presence and power.

If you find yourself temporarily stuck in disappointment, remember that God is still at work even in ways you may not see.

2) Business as Usual

The second common danger the day after Easter is that you go right back to business as usual.

It’s almost like Easter didn’t happen. It may have felt like a blur, and you’re probably a bit tired, but just go back to emails, solving problems and thinking about what’s next.

This one is my temptation. I’m on to the next thing before I’ve really fully experienced what just happened! It’s like Thanksgiving dinner. Three hours to prepare, then thirty minutes to eat, and that’s it! It’s over.

There are several possible reasons leaders go right back to business as usual. Which one may apply to you?

  1. You don’t take time to celebrate the good.
  2. You don’t want to face the reality of disappointment.
  3. You feel the pressure of so much to do.
  4. You sense momentum and don’t want to waste it.

#3 and #4 are hard to argue with, but here are a few better options. (Even just for a few minutes.)

  • Spend some time today reflecting on your own salvation story, and how your life has changed.
  • Find a quiet place to thank God for all He did this past weekend – for the things you could see, and the things you could not see. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
  • Pour a cup of coffee, and write several notes thanking your key leaders and volunteers for what they did to help advance the Kingdom over Easter.
  • Easter is about new life, it’s about ushering in what is new. What do you sense God wants to do new in you and your church?

Be careful not to miss the meaning and impact of the post-Easter season for you personally because you worked so hard to prepare your Easter services for others.

3) Celebration without action

The final danger in this list is celebrating Easter’s success but with essentially little or no follow-through.

If you experienced a large number of guests and salvations for your church, that is awesome!

Having a post-Easter “party” with a few key leaders is great. Maybe enjoy a fun lunch together and tell a few favorite stories from yesterday. Or take a day off to smell the roses and catch your breath!

You might be surprised, however, by how many churches have no real written plan for guest follow-up.

You may also be surprised by how many churches have no working plan for how they will follow up, connect with and train new Christians.

How about you? Are you ready?

What’s your plan? How will you follow up with all your Easter guests? What is your process of engagement?

What’s the next step you want people to take? Do they know?

Who will connect with and teach your new Christians the basics of their faith and Christianity? Are the leaders prepared?

If you are a solo pastor in a smaller church, ask 2-3 people to help you. I’ll bet they’ll say yes!

Don’t get overly focused on the number of guests you had; focus more on how you can help people take the next step toward Christ and invest your energy there.

I hope you are encouraged and inspired to keep digging in and never take your eyes off the mission.

If you are discouraged, please remember how much God loves you, that He is with you, and cherishes His Church!

What you are doing matters!