Easter 2024 Stats Exposed: Insights Your Church Can’t Afford to Ignore

During this episode of the unSeminary, we dived into the Easter 2024 attendance figures, collating responses from a wide array of churches. The total combined attendance hit a staggering 249,377, revealing much about the state of church engagement during this important “Eventful Big Day.”

The Importance of Eventful Big Days

Easter can be an “Eventful Big Day” at your church. This is one of the “5 Gears of Invite Culture,” strategies that play a pivotal role in church growth. It’s not just about celebrating a religious holiday; it’s a critical component of the invite culture that churches need to foster year-round. The data suggests that prevailing churches leverage Easter as a prime opportunity to encourage attendance, foster community, and, most importantly, invite new guests be part of the good things happening at their churches!

Key Findings

  • Average Easter Attendance Bump: Churches should aim to double their regular attendance on Easter. This survey revealed an average increase of approximately 75.42%.
  • “New Here” Guests: An essential metric for church growth is the percentage of first-time visitors or “new here” guests. Surprisingly, 22.98% of churches failed to track this figure, missing a critical opportunity for growth. For those who did, the median percentage of new guests was 3.33%, surpassing the targeted 2% and highlighting Easter’s potential as an effective outreach tool.
  • Invite Strategies: The study showed a significant correlation between the variety of invite strategies employed and attendance increases. Churches using five or more methods saw an 85.68% bump, while those employing seven or more enjoyed a 114.53% increase. This suggests a clear path forward for churches looking to maximize their Eventful Big Day strategy.
  • Guest Follow-Up: Encouraging return attendance is as crucial as the initial invite. The survey highlighted various follow-up efforts, with 22.63% of churches engaging in direct follow-up contact. Notably, LCBC Church was cited for its innovative 16-week attendee onboarding process, setting a high standard for engaging new visitors in the church community. Also, we talked about Greg Curtis’s coaching offering called “Basecamp” which will help your church build a robost assimilation process to follow up with guests in the future.

Implications for Church Leaders

These insights underscore the need for churches to not only prepare for Easter as a significant event but to integrate it into a broader strategy of engagement and growth. The data points to the effectiveness of diverse invite strategies and the critical importance of follow-up in converting Easter attendees into regular churchgoers.

Easter 2024 has provided a wealth of data that, if properly analyzed and acted upon, could lead to significant growth opportunities for churches. By focusing on expanding invite strategies and enhancing follow-up processes, churches can work towards not just doubling their Easter attendance but fostering a vibrant, growing community year-round. This report serves as a call to action for church leaders to innovate, engage, and ultimately, expand their reach and impact.

For more insights and to join the conversation on church growth and invite culture, visit Together, we can unlock the potential of our churches and spread the transformative message of Easter far and wide.

Episode Transcript

Super excited for today’s special episode of the Unseminary Podcast. We are looking at a survey that we did this week where we asked a number of churches to give us some feedback around what actually happened so that we can gain insights for you. In fact, the combined attendance of the churches that we surveyed was 249,377.

This has been a fun survey to do. We have extracted a ton of insights for you. I’d love for you to buckle up and listen carefully, particularly because big days, eventful big days, these are a critical piece of your invite culture strategy.

In fact, it’s one of five core strategies. We call them the five gears of invite culture, and we talk about them extensively in my latest book, Unlocking Your Church’s Invite Culture. You can pick up a copy of that for your team at Listen, churches grow because they train, equip, and motivate their people to invite their friends.

And eventful big days are what we talk about in the book. And what we mean by that are big days that are eventful. They’re the kind of thing that your people want to talk about.

Listen, two things happen on big days. Your people are more likely to invite their friends, and their friends are more likely to attend. And so we want to make sure that we rally our resources on these days to train, equip, and motivate our people.

Well, today you’re going to gain insights into a number of things that happened at Easter this year. And my hope is that not only will you just kind of learn what happened, but ultimately you’ll be able to apply these lessons to your church as we look to next year and beyond. Today, you’re going to gain insight into what is the average Easter attendance bump at churches.

This really would be a target for you as you think about future big days. You’re also going to learn about how many New Year guests people are actually seeing on these days. You might be skeptical and thinking like, does this actually drive New Year attendance? Do we see New Year guests actually show up? We’re also going to discuss if there’s a correlation between the number of ways that churches use to encourage people to train, equip, and motivate their friends and the attendance ultimately that people see on a big day. And then finally, you’re going to gain some insights on getting guests to return. Ultimately, the reason why we do these big days is not because we’re trying to stretch our parking lots or figure out how many people we can pack into the room, but we’re ultimately trying to see our churches grow.

And so what are churches doing to see these guests return? Well, let’s dive in and talk a little bit about what is the average Easter attendance bump. You know, in our coaching, when I work with churches, or you’ll read about this in the book, in my coaching, I talk about the fact that we’re really, our goal for our clients and what we’re hoping to see for you at your church is that you double your average weekend attendance on a big day like Easter. Now, there’s also other big days, Mother’s Day in some churches is a big day, Christmas Eve.

Some people have a big day, you know, in the return to school time at the end of, you know, in the end of August or beginning of September. We talk about doubling, we’re seeing 100% growth on those, you know, those days. Now, this is an important number for you to think about, what are we actually trying to drive towards? Regardless of what happened at your church, knowing the bump between kind of what your normal attendance has been in 2024 and your Easter attendance is one way to measure the front door of your church.

And this is a, this is a kind of, can be a difficult thing for your church to measure because, you know, we’re really good at measuring the people that are in our groups or that attend, but it’s hard to measure what’s the kind of scale, the kind of growth potential, the reach potential of our church. And one of the ways to do that is to measure the Easter attendance bump. And the reason why that is, is because that tells you how many people are one relationship removed from your church.

Listen, these people came because your people invited them. That is what happened here. And so this is a good number to know.

It really represents, I like to think, as your next growth tier. If I was with your church today and I would be saying, hey, this is so fantastic. We had this many people attend on Sunday.

That’s really what we should be thinking. We should be asking the question, hey, what can we, what do we need to do to make it, to see, to create the space for our church to be that every single weekend? So again, the target that we put out there is that we’re hoping that they’re double or see a hundred percent growth. Well, in these, these churches that we surveyed again, overall attendance is about, was about 250,000.

The average growth rate between average attendance and, and, you know, for a regular Sunday here in 2024 and Easter was approximately 75.42%. So 75. So again, our goal is a hundred percent. So we’re seeing, you know, that the kind of average, what typically churches are seeing is 75.42. So, you know, and you’ll see, as we dive into the numbers more pointedly, as churches do more inviting, we’re seeing a higher number of attendance.

So this does validate our thinking, our coaching around the fact that we’re hoping for a hundred percent growth or doubling from your average attendance to weekend or to big weekend days, like our big days like this. Now there was a modest correlation between the size of the church and their Easter attendance. This was different than what I assumed.

My assumption had been that basically as the churches get larger, we see larger attendance or bigger bumps. So basically there’s an accelerant factor. The more people you have, the more people you see, you know, come and invite.

Well, actually it’s just a modest correlation. There is some correlation between that too, but it’s not statistically the correlation coefficient is 0.24. For those folks that remember back to algebra when you were in high school, that’s just a modest correlation. So not a huge correlation.

So did your church see 75.42 or greater? If you saw more than that, then you were better than the average here. Again, our target would be to see a hundred percent growth or doubling. Where did your church go? I’d love to hear, respond in the comments or reach out.

I’d love to hear where church, you know, where they actually look like now. Now this is not just about getting people to come. One of the things that we know that happens on these days is this is one way to kind of measure, hey, where are, what’s the kind of size of your community? And you know, do people, obviously if you attend on a regular base or if you don’t attend on a regular basis, but you do come sometimes you’re more likely to come on Easter.

But really we’re doing this because ultimately we’re trying to reach new people, new here people. And so we asked questions around, you know, how many new here guests do churches actually see? Our target for our coaching clients is to what we say is average documented new here guests should be 2% on an average weekend. So what does that mean is over a year that you will average the same number of guests over an entire year that your average weekend attendance is.

But we express that at what we say, the average documented new here guests on any given weekend is 2%. So if your church is a thousand people, that would mean on a typical weekend, you should see, you know, 20 guests to come to your, your church and you should, you should gain this. So first of all, first insight on this nearly 23% of the churches did not answer this question.

Friends, this is a missed opportunity. 23% of you didn’t have an answer. So my question for you is like, why are you doing Easter? We’re trying to do these kinds of weekends.

We’re trying to encourage people to come to be a part of our church because we’re ultimately trying to reach new people. This is a missed opportunity. Now the median percentage of new here guests in the study group that we saw for Easter 2024 was 3.33%, 33 and a third percent.

So this is a, this is incredible actually. So again, remember our target is 2%, but we saw that the median was 3.33%. This is incredible. You know, 1.3% higher than what we typically see.

This is great news. Now, some of this I think is because of the study group. If you’ve been hanging around on seminary for a while, we have been pushing you to think about this number.

We have been talking about this number. We’ve been focusing you on this number. We are trying to gather a group of churches who regularly are trying to get people to grow and to see their churches reach new people.

Now this also pushes against a little bit of the kind of common wisdom. Oftentimes we say that Christmas is about reaching new people. It’s about reaching people who maybe are, don’t normally attend church.

And Easter is about kind of getting our people to attend. That’s getting people to, getting our people to come back. But actually what this statistics tells us, the fact that we were 33%, when it was 3.33% higher than our typical new documented first time guest number.

What this tells me is that this is not necessarily true. That actually lots of churches are seeing people who are new to their church, who have not normally attended, come on these days. This is not just about getting our people to return.

Massive opportunity, big days are a big deal. Now we looked at the statistical significance between large churches and smaller churches around, do large churches see more new here guests? And there was basically no statistical difference between that. In fact, there was a slight, a super slight, razor thin negative correlation of 0.042 between that.

So what that tells us is there really is no difference. Whether you’re a church of 200, 2000, 20,000, we’re seeing that this is a day for you to see new here guests. Okay, so let’s talk about how churches invite their people to invite or encourage their people, train, equip and motivate their people.

Listen, friends, this is the core, this is core idea to what we talk about here. We talk about growing your church here at Unseminary. One of the things that we come back to time and again, in fact, I’ve even said it in today’s podcast already is the difference between stuck and stagnant churches and growing churches is growing churches, train, equip and motivate their people to invite their friends.

This is a value we need to raise. It’s a culture thing. That’s why, you know, the title of my book is Unlocking Your Church’s Invite Culture.

This is like discipleship. We’ve got to move people towards that. Training, equipping, motivate, those are specific words.

Training is like the head part of it. We’ve got to, you know, give them the scriptural backing. We’ve got to, you know, give them the big ideas around why this is important.

Equip, we’ve got to give them tools. We’ve got to hand them things, literally stuff for their hands. And then motivate, that’s about their heart.

We’ve got to move them to want to do this. And so we looked at this question and we asked them, okay, so we listed a whole bunch of different ways that they could train, equip and motivate. And we asked them, which of these did you do? And so I’m just going to rattle off the top ones.

So social media, invite cards, text messages and email marketing. Those were the top at, so social media was 25.28%. Invite cards was 19.52%. Text messages was 12.08%. Email marketing is 11.52%. Those were the top reasons that people use. Now we gave a bunch of different ones, including a message on inviting people the weekend before.

So the weekend before the church actually rolls. In fact, actually, if you’re looking for an example of this, and we found that only 11.52% of people actually did this or churches did this. If you’re looking for an amazing example of this, actually go check out and look at their message the weekend before Easter.

And you’ll see an example of this, only 11% of churches that did this. Hint friends, we got training coming up next year. I’m going to try to push you to do this.

I think this is a high leverage opportunity. Community events or outreach, 7.62%. Mailers, 5%. Press releases, only 3%.

Blog posts, 2%. Phone blitz, 1%. Now we did ask the kind of other question, give us a sense of the other things people did.

People did backyard Easter parties, Facebook ads or Google or Facebook ads. We’ll put that in the list next year as an example of how people could do this. Rented local signs, yard signs, community egg hunts the week before, just stuff built into kids programming, student gathering.

There were a couple other things. These are the kinds of other things they said. Now most people use most churches.

So key insight coming up here, friends. Most churches used two to three strategies. Approximately only 25.93% of churches that we surveyed used five or more strategies to encourage their people to invite their friends or family to Easter.

Now here is a key insight for you, friends. For churches that used five or more strategies to encourage their people to invite their friends, train, equip and motivate. They saw the average bump between their normal attendance and Easter attendance was 85.68%. Referring back to where we went, that’s a 13% over the average of what we saw across the board.

So what is this saying? If you do more than five things to encourage your people, if you surround them with messages before big days, you’re going to get an even better result. Now we looked at the group that did seven or more strategies. So these are the real outliners.

We listed only 10 strategies. These people saw the bump between normal attendance and Easter was 114.53%. That is a 51% increase over the average. Friends, what does this say? Friends, friends, friends.

When we train, equip and motivate, when we surround people, when we disciple them, when we build the culture, when we remind them, when we puncture through and get their attention and say, friends, invite your friends. We see that. That translates into actual results.

More people attend on these big days. Now, the churches, we also looked at people that didn’t indicate anything and those churches saw a 58% increase. So what this would indicate, what I think this indicates is if you do nothing, you don’t try to promote these days, you should see a 58% increase in attendance at least.

Now, if you did not see a 58% increase in attendance and you were inviting people, I would say you are in need of an invite culture overhaul at your church. I would strongly encourage you to pick up copies of Unlocking Your Church’s Invite Culture. You can do that at Pick up copies of that because what you’ve got to do is move beyond thinking this as just a big day.

There’s actually five different strategies we talk about. We dive deep into them. We give you all kinds of examples.

And what that would indicate to me, if you had less than 60% bump in Easter attendance this year, that man, you’ve got to figure out what you can do to increase your invite culture all year long because we’ve got to move towards a bigger increase next year. All right. So then we also asked around returning.

We asked churches, okay, what are you doing to get people to return? Now, we open this, we ask this as an open forum kind of question as, you know, just like an open text question. Now, next year, we’re going to do this as, I was trying to gather what people actually do on this front. We’ll ask this as a radio box or not radio box, as a checkbox next year.

So then we can drive towards a bit more statistical. But interesting thing here. So first of all, the thing that, you know, I found surprising was there was a number of churches who indicated nothing.

In fact, half of the churches indicated that they did nothing, which was surprising to me. Why are you doing this if you’re not trying to get people to return? But let’s talk about what people did. So there’s a giant contact of the people who said they were going to do percentage of responses.

22.63% did some sort of follow-up contact. So this is the church taking action. So this is a phone call. This is personalized phone calls, emails, text messages, actually sending something in the post. Some churches did home visits where they’re actually getting out and visiting their people. So a quarter, almost a quarter of churches indicated that they were doing some sort of personalized follow-up. Another thing we saw was 13.14% said they were doing a sermon series. They talked about the sermon series on the weekend. That’s a best practice. They were launching a new series to talk about that. 11.68% had some sort of special event coming up. 6.57% had some sort of gift that they gave their people saying, hey, come back and you’ll get a gift next weekend. And then it really started to drop off significantly from there. Communities events, children’s programming, that sort of thing. Now, friends, I wanted our friends over at LCBC. This is a fantastic church, Life’s Changed by Christ. If you do not know this church, you should just search it online. LCBC, my friend Sonia Waltman, literally this morning, as I’m working on this, she reaches out and we were talking about their statistics and their report on what they did. And she talked about the fact that they have a 16-week follow-up process that literally encourages people, engages with them to help move their people into connections.

So it talks about how they are going to try to move people to their second, third attendance. And so what we’ve done is we have linked in the show notes links to this. I put this here because what I want to tell you, friends, is you need to have some sort of follow-up process. We get these guests to come, but what we don’t want to do, there’s literally thousands of them. Based on just this study group alone, there are thousands of guests who arrived last weekend. We’ve got to arrest, we’ve got to take action to try to get those people to connect. I would encourage you to reach out to my friend, Greg Curtis. He runs a ministry called Climbing the Asimileas. It’s all about being an assimilation Sherpa, getting people to connect at your church. He’s been on past podcasts. You can see his search here at Unseminary. Or you can even hire him for a training weekend. He calls them a base camp, which will help you build your own process for really following up with people. If you do not have a clearly documented follow-up process that you’re trying to move people to second time, third time, fourth time returning, and if it’s not immediately implemented, if you don’t have something now in your process that’s doing this, you’re missing out on opportunity, friends. And so I would say that’s a strong call to action for you to think about next steps. So you can check out what LCBC’s done at high level to get a sense of what they’ve done.

But more specifically, my follow-up to you would be to check out Greg Curtis’s work, Climbing the Assimilayas. He could help you from there. Well, friends, what do you think? I would love to hear. Reach out, email me, comment on social, you know, on our various social channels. Thank you so much for the churches that participated in this study. It was exciting to see the 249,377 people that attended your church last weekend.

I would love for you to drop by, pick up copies of my latest book to really help unlock how your church could reach more people, how you could train, equip, and motivate, really disciple your people towards that. And a little hint here for you, a little hint for you here at the end. We have common priced the book. This is a hard sell, I know. We have common priced the book, whether you wanna buy the hard cover or the soft cover, it’s exactly the same price. And for my Canadian friends, it’s exactly the same price in Canadian or American. So we’ve tried to make this as affordable as we possibly can. So if you’re in Canada, go to Amazon in Canada. If you’re in the States, go to Amazon in the States, and you’ll see it’s exactly the same price in Canadian or American. Because why? We do not want there to be anything get in the way, any barriers in the way of your team going through this book.

So drop by or drop by on Amazon to pick up copies of that. Thanks so much, friends. Hope you have a great week. Let me know if there’s anything else we can do to help you. Take care, friends


  1. Is there an easy way to get people to leave their contact info? With everyone arriving just minutes before church starts and new folks often rush out … any tips? Maybe it is in your book … I’m only on chapter 2! My apologies if you reference this… just steer me to the chapter. Our little church has a long way to go but we’re trying

    1. Wendy … thanks so much for reading the book.

      Chapter 7: Appealing Volunteer Experience … we talk about it in there. Specifically under the section talking about “The ‘New Here to New Volunteer’ Pathway”.

      Check it out … let me know …

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.