Easter service overflow – it’s a great problem to have, but it is a problem. Many churches are experiencing a return of their congregations to live services, some to the point where overflow is a real possibility. Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation for your guests – they came hoping for a great church experience to be the cornerstone of their Easter, and didn’t make it in time to get seats. There are three key things that you can do to help them to walk away feeling like Easter at church was a win:
1. Be prepared;
2. Make it special;
3. Personalize it.
BE PREPARED: If there is even a slight chance that you will need overflow seating, have it set up and ready to roll. Use the best video feed option that you can for the space – a large screen is optimal, but at least good quality TVs. Make sure that the audio and video have been tested and are good to go. Prepare your guest services team members to give guidance and direction to the area, if needed.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: Ideally, you will have some sort of special gift or experience for those in an overflow situation – at least some sort of food. However, I would go above and beyond to give those in overflow something special that the people in the auditorium/sanctuary aren’t getting. Maybe it’s a t-shirt, or a mug, or some sort of other “swag.” It’s an expense, to be sure, but it’ll help those in overflow to not feel short-changed.
PERSONALIZE IT: The preaching pastor should give a special shoutout to those in overflow, perhaps even having everyone else cheer for them. Most of all, make sure that there are staff people there – ideally key staff people who would be recognized. I would put your very best, most personable guest hosts in the overflow areas, as well. Make sure that they are going overboard with extending the greetings of your church. If the preaching pastor is greeting people on their way out, that might be the place to be.
There are additional ways to make things special that you will figure out with a little time and effort – the advance planning will help your Easter services be special for everyone!