5 Crucial Services of Every Church Year

Every year the church is given 52 Sundays, and each one is incredibly important. Because every Sunday is full of opportunity for God to dramatically change a life, we should never put our services on autopilot.


But there are five particular services that are especially critical and call for an extra measure of planning and emphasis. Your leadership team should anticipate these crucial services and build a strategy to capitalize on them—especially if you want your church to grow.

Crucial Service #1: Easter

Why it’s Important:

Most Protestant pastors list Easter as the service with the highest attendance. It pulls in a lot of people who struggle with regular attendance, as well as people who might never have visited any other service.


What makes it even more crucial is that this service spotlights the gospel. Most Easter messages are going to focus on Jesus’s death and resurrection—and the new life available to attendees. The fact that this is such a highly attended service with a laser-like gospel focus makes it worthy of special attention.

How to Prepare:

You have a real opportunity to reach unchurched people; so make sure you get the word out. Create invitations that church members can hand out to their family and friends, and invest in ads where people can see them at least a month in advance. This includes:

  • Facebook ads
  • Flyers in local public places
  • Church signage
  • Local radio


Go through and make sure all of your church signage is up to date. You want to ensure that you’re communicating clearly where people need to go next and what you expect from them. This means that there should be no ambiguity in the parking lot, annex, and children’s check-in areas. Everything should be communicated clearly and obviously.

Crucial Service #2: Mother’s Day

Why it’s Important:

When it comes to highly attended services, Mother’s Day is a major player. For many families, Mother’s Day is a long sequence of traditional family activities that they kick off with a church service. While this might not be a service one would associate with completely unchurched people, it’s an important service for reaching people with a church background but no regular church home.

How to Prepare:

You want to make sure that you’re gathering vital information so that you can contact people again. If you’re not using contact cards, consider it. Make it as easy as possible for people to give you their information. Remember, all you really need is to capture their name and an email address.

Crucial service #3: Christmas Eve

Why it’s Important:

Christmas is the cultural holiday for attending church. For many people, it doesn’t feel like Christmas if they don’t attend a Christmas Eve service. This is a service that visitors will attend even if they have zero connection to anyone at the church.

How to Prepare:

Make sure that you cater to the reason people are there. Don’t scrub your service of the traditional elements that make people feel like they’re at a Christmas service. If you can manage it, include carols and candlelight.


Without infringing on the “warm and fuzzies of the season, make sure you’re giving them a good reason to come back in January. Have a culturally relevant sermon series set up for the new year, and give a brief pitch for it—don’t forget to hand out invitations with the bulletin.

Crucial service(s) #4: Baptisms and Baby Dedications

Why it’s Important:

There are very few church celebrations more joyous than a new baptism or a baby dedication.

These public declarations of commitment to follow the Lord personally or raise children to honor Him represent the center of the church’s mission.

And they usually are well attended by supportive family members.

How to Prepare:

Because there’s such an obvious connection, make sure to use this opportunity to really share the gospel message of rebirth and reconciliation. It’s also an incredible opportunity to communicate the importance of a church family in the life of a Christian and how important it is to commit to a community of faith. Emphasize to visitors that they are welcome to come back next week, and make yourself available after the service to answer any questions that curious friends and family may have.

Crucial service #5: September Kick-Off

Why it’s Important:

Most churches struggle with the summer slump. Once kids get out of school for their summer break, vacation plans make families scarce on the weekends. Once September rolls around, it’s important to reset the vision and get everyone back on course with a big kick-off service.

How to Prepare:

Make sure that you and the leadership have identified goals for the coming year. This service should revolve around clearly communicating those goals and the plans in place to get there. If you need people to volunteer for programs and positions, this is the time to encourage people to get on board.

If you have new classes, small groups, or Bible studies starting up, ensure that everyone knows what they can expect from those offerings. You could have people do mini-announcements (or even video commercials!) for their classes or ministries during the service. And you should certainly include a write-up for each class in the bulletin or on the website.

Build God’s Church by Investing in Your Leadership

A good leadership team works together like the crew of a sailing vessel. They’re working in tandem to take advantage of a constantly changing environment and capitalizing on what they’ve learned together by experience. These five services are regular performers, but how you capitalize on the opportunities they offer is unique to you.

Work with your team to create a custom plan to make the most of these services, and think through other services that might also be important in the life of your church.

CDF Capital wants to help you create a strong crew, and we do that by providing Leadership Capital. Learn more about Leadership Capital now!


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