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5 Simple Ways to Get Your Church Ready for Easter Blog Feature
Craig Dobyns

By: Craig Dobyns on March 01, 2021

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5 Simple Ways to Get Your Church Ready for Easter

church facilities | Easter | Relaunch Church

A year ago, churches were struggling to process the reality that their building would be closed for Easter. This year, while we’re still pondering COVID-related questions, we see more churches shifting into phases of reopening.

Will your church reopen in a more significant way this Easter season, or are you anticipating a larger crowd than you’re currently hosting for services? Either way, if your building is open, you’ll likely have people who are new to your church and some who have decided to return in-person during Easter.

Now is an excellent time to assess your facility and consider how to create an environment that is safe, welcoming and puts guests at ease so they can focus on connecting with God and others.


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Here are five ways you can prepare your building for Easter, along with tips for hosting well in the months ahead.

5 Simple Solutions You Can Do Now

From the ceiling to the floor, here are simple, cost-effective updates your church can make to create a more welcoming space for guests:

1. Change lightbulbs

It may sound simple, but one quick, inexpensive way to freshen up your building is to change your light bulbs. Make sure all your light bulbs are the same color. A warm color might be the best option. Or, if you have a lot of natural light in your space, you might want to go with a brighter bulb.

2. Freshen paint

It’s true in our homes, and it’s true in our church facilities—updating the paint can make such a positive impact on gathering areas. If your building is a little older, new paint can also help freshen the smell within a space.

3. Clear clutter

This is such a practical but often overlooked solution. With a fresh set of eyes, take a look around and clean up items that have been gathering for years. We often work with churches that have beautiful spaces, but they are covered up with things they don’t want to throw out or don’t know where to store. Take time to remove items that don’t need to be in the space.

4. Consider furniture

How is your furniture supporting and adding value to your environments? We believe furnishings can help create a space and really add to it. Take the opportunity to consider your lobbies, welcome areas, worship and kids’ space. Do you have dingy or worn furniture that needs to be removed? Or is the furniture adding to the environment but would benefit from new placement to create areas for smaller conversations or to help guide traffic flow?

5. Inspect flooring

What is underfoot doesn’t go unnoticed. If your church needs to replace flooring in an area, that can be a more significant project, but sometimes churches can freshen up a room by deep cleaning or even replacing flooring squares that have been designed to be easy to remove and swap out.

Tips for Creating a Safe, Welcoming Environment for All

As you look to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who enters your building, from newcomers to longtimers, here are additional tips on your space and patterns of usage:

 

Manage Expectations

As we move toward transitioning out of COVID, it’s important to reflect on expectations and reset them where appropriate. Adaptations in your facility are not going to be a “one and done” situation.

As we consider the church’s physical environment, people will have questions: What happens when I come to church? What am I supposed to do? What am I not supposed to do?

It’s essential to communicate with new guests, including those who may have been joining you online but have never experienced your church in person. It’s also crucial to think about longtime members who are used to doing things a certain way and will need to learn new patterns.

One practical solution is to use your online presence to share photos or walk-thru videos of the new in-person experience. In recent months, we have talked a lot about a phygital church, blending the physical and the digital spaces. This is a good time to take steps in that direction.

Whether people are in-person or attending church virtually, our goal is to create space that connects people to God and others. We’re continuing to learn so much! It’s an exciting time as churches are focused on phygital church and reaching all generations for Christ.

 

Put Guests at Ease

In this season of relaunching church, what will in-person guests need to know about the experience, and how can you share that clearly?

Signage: Signage has always been vital as we strive to help everyone navigate our church buildings easily, and it’s especially true now. Even if you need to come up with temporary signage solutions, assess your signage verbiage and placement. Is it clear? Is it communicating properly?

Do you have signage to communicate your church’s COVID guidelines or policies? Beyond COVID, it’s still important to help guests find those key areas: children’s area, restrooms, worship space, etc.  

Traffic flow: The topic of traffic flow within the building is especially important right now. You may have seen adaptations to traffic flow in stores or restaurants. Or, in places with smaller lobbies, you’ve likely been encouraged to move through as opposed to congregating.

Address these new patterns in your facility with prominent signage to guide guests. Some churches have adjusted service times to let people get in and out a little bit easier, or they've increased the number of services to reduce each crowd's size.

Transparency: This is a valuable principle to help guests know what they are about to experience as they enter a space. Imagine walking up to a closed church door without glass in it. You aren’t sure what to expect when you walk through the doors because you can’t see inside. Then, it opens, and someone is suddenly taking your temperature. It is a simple safety procedure but can be a little startling at first, especially to a newcomer.

You may have a church where you don't want to change the doors, or it could be an expense you can’t prioritize immediately. Depending on your region, you could potentially leave the main doors open on a nice day and make sure everyone is greeted. Or leave the doors open for a short period as you’re getting everyone into the building to increase transparency so newcomers especially will feel at ease.

 

Reimagine Your Space

As you think about the space within your church building, don’t focus on what it was initially created to do or how you’ve used it in the past. Look at all the ministry space available and ask, what are some ways we can reimagine how to use this space? What ministry could your space support in the weeks and months ahead?

Outdoor spaces: If your indoor spaces feel cramped or people struggle to feel they can gather safely, it’s time to think outside the box! You could move a portion of your lobby outside and add tables if the weather is nice. Or perhaps incorporate a tent that would help you bridge the seasonal gap in some regions. We’ve seen churches utilize sidewalks, courtyards, or even a few parking spaces to help serve as creative, outdoor welcome and engagement areas.

Even before COVID, we started thinking about maximizing outdoor space for churches because it's such a great way to interact with the community. We also looked at how to do worship outside. Churches could have an amphitheater venue or seek to partner with other churches, or even the community itself, to create one.

Some churches maximize outdoor spaces with patio seating, including fire pits or other elements to help make the space more inviting. This is also a great way to reach an intergenerational audience and help them connect with one another for ministry impact. 

Worship spaces: At the beginning of COVID, we started looking at how we could help churches gather safely, and it sparked some interesting ideas. We had this realization that we were no longer trying to max out capacity but instead to maximize comfort—to make sure everybody felt comfortable attending in-person.

This led to some new types of mixed seating arrangements: one person may feel comfortable sitting in a chair next to another while another person may opt to sit at a table off to the side. We looked at providing furniture groupings of various sizes and even the relocation of what is usually fixed, like the speaker or technical equipment, to help create a worship environment that feels more intimate.

Reimagine Your Church Facility with Fresh Eyes 

Some projects can be accomplished quickly, while others may have to be done in stages, as time and resources allow. Now is the time to reimagine your ministry space with fresh eyes.

At Aspen, we have been working alongside churches that are excited about creative new possibilities to foster ministry opportunities. As you think about your congregation and community needs, what key area of your building would you prioritize first?

 

About Craig Dobyns

Craig Dobyns, AIA, serves as a Project Architect in Aspen's Florida studio. Craig brings a wide range of experience designing different types of buildings, but he was especially drawn to Aspen’s unique focus on ministry space. Craig loves using his strengths and talents to help churches and schools maximize their facilities for ministry impact.