Believe it or not, Easter is just around the corner! Even in the midst of Covid, there is the possibility that the amount of people that come to the live services may be more than the services can hold [particularly if you keep to whatever social distancing guidelines that you have in place]. If that happens, you might have to deal with “overflow.” Overflow is a really tricky business, and it usually happens at the worst possible time – ie when people are really excited to take part in something, like Christmas and Easter servies.

Before I delivering my strongly-held opinions, let me say that I get it. I have worked in churches where overflow at special times of year was simply a reality. We were growing and had no foolproof way to know who would actually show up, so we did our best to choose the right number of services, etc… That being said, I think that churches in general do a lousy job with overflow. The guests arrive and are ushered to a room where hastily set up chars have been arranged in front of a TV. Let’s be honest – from the point of view of the attendee, seating someone in overflow is like inviting that person to prom, and then making them watch it through the window. They would have been better off watching from home…

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you know that overflow is a real possibility, go out of your way to make it an incredible experience. Treat it like a VIP experience. Put your best guest services people there. Have a gift that only people in overflow get. Make sure that the video and audio are the very best that they can be. Maybe have the preaching pastor pop in during worship or immediately after, if there’s a closing song. Do something to make it memorable in a positive way, and overflow can end up being a win [instead of merely a punt].

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