3 Dangers the Day After Easter

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!

27 thoughts on “3 Dangers the Day After Easter”

  1. I fell into #1 beginning with the 2nd service. Good to see you yesterday! Today it’s #2, and will wait and see about #3. 🙂

      1. Janene Marie Kraft

        My first Easter on the other side of salvation was surprisingly emotional. Every single time a client would come into my office, I would begin to cry. When it hits you what He did, when it really sinks in, there’s really know other response. I love the idea of “leadership” reflecting on their own story…only then is the emotion of it met. Thank you.

      2. 1 Greetings from Suva, Fiji. Thanks for your article on post Easter .
        Thoughts and feelings are very encouraged. Pray for my myself, family and my ministry amongst our Churhes of the Fiji Baptist Convention as Vice President and Director for Training.
        Your Brother in Christ,
        Rev. Apo Rageci. Suva, Fiji 🏝.

  2. Soooo helpful! Thanks, Dan. I remember when our church had a very successful and well attended event. I enthusiastically told one of our district leaders about it. His response: “And what was the purpose?” I was young…and hadn’t really given that any serious thought. Promise Keepers used to remind that it’s great to be able to create momentum…but sustaining it with a meaningful strategy is quite another thing. Your reminder about follow up is so critical.

    1. Janene Marie Kraft

      My first Easter on the other side of salvation was surprisingly emotional. Every single time a client would come into my office, I would begin to cry. When it hits you what He did, when it really sinks in, there’s really know other response. I love the idea of “leadership” reflecting on their own story…only then is the emotion of it met. Thank you.

  3. Great stuff Dan! Was just feeling winded yet excited about yesterday and then read this. Wow, love the timing!

  4. Tom Pendergrass

    Dan, great article. I was wondering what small group conferences/seminars you might recommend? Thanks for your friendship thru the years. your input in my life has been one of great encouragement and exhortation. Your on-site consulting with us way back in 1996 is one of the reasons why Urbancrest has been and continues to be blessed! Plus we both collect redneck jokes :).

    1. Hey Tom, good to hear from you! Wow… 1996, time flies! I’m not up on small group stuff, but if you email me at dan.reiland@12Stone.com, I’ll ask that team what they think. In general, I do recommend anything Leadership Network puts together. We participate in several of the offerings they provide. Blessings! PS… I’m seeing Jeff Foxworthy at a fundraising benefit this month… “You might be a … ” 🙂

  5. Great insight as always.

    In the comparison issue, i would also add comparing this Easter with the pre-covid Easters.

  6. Gary Robinson

    Great Stuff! Easy for me to evaluate what went well, what did not, but not do anything with the information until we pull it out again next Easter planning. Instead of how can we use this to help guests take the next step, help returning volunteers get back in rotation, refine our follow up process going forward, etc.

  7. Chris Reinhard

    This is so great. My team and I are going to spend some time in Celebration and Appreciation using the steps lined out in point 2. I am really loving these weekly encouragements and challenges. Thank You.

  8. Philip Whitehead

    Thanks for this article today. I used to get the “blues” after a big event like Easter. I think it was more of an adrenaline letdown. I have fallen into the trap so many times – missing the whole purpose for our celebration. Thank God after forty years of ministry, I try to enjoy all parts of the journey. Bullet point number three, thanking the many volunteers who served so well, is a great suggestion. I plan to follow through on that.

    1. Hey Philip,

      We all know what those “blues” can be like… Glad to hear that you are doing well and caring for your volunteers.


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