Easter weekend is one of the biggest weekends for worship leaders across the globe. As exciting as it can be to lead Easter services, it can also come with added pressures. Here are 3 essential reminders that I use when planning Easter worship services that have allowed me to serve my church faithfully and manage the anxieties that can come with holiday weekend services.
1) Remember, the story of Jesus is enough.
When planning for Easter weekend it can be easy to feel the pressure to plan a set list and a service that is “over the top''. Or in many churches, there is an unspoken expectation that Easter services always need to be the biggest and the best they’ve ever been. So, when you’re feeling that kind of pressure, it can be really helpful to remember the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is enough! Instead of focusing on how to create a dynamic presentation, consider how to tell the story of the resurrection with precision and clarity. A simple, yet, well told story is more powerful than a complex production any day.
2) Remember, sing songs that your church already knows.
One mistake that I see worship leaders make at Easter every year is introducing too many new songs just for Easter. There’s not much that will dampen the celebration of the day more than people not knowing the songs. My suggestion would be to sing mostly songs that your church already knows by heart and maybe choose 1 new song that will give the day a fresh feel. Singing too many songs on Easter Sunday would be the equivalent of a football team introducing a new playbook on Super Bowl Sunday! Not good. Instead, sing songs that your church already loves, and if you want to introduce a new song for the day, consider leading it 2 or 3 times prior to Easter Sunday so that your church has a chance to get to know it before the big day.
3) Remember, play songs with different dynamics.
Another easy mistake to make on Easter Sunday is to play only the biggest, most celebratory resurrection songs that we know. If we’re not careful, dynamically speaking, the entire service will be one big worship ballad after another! As much as I love a good worship ballad, in most cases our congregations will appreciate and benefit from some dynamic differences in your song choices. So, instead of loading the set list with the latest and greatest ballads, consider adding a familiar hymn led by mostly piano and vocals in between two larger songs, or maybe tag another familiar chorus onto the end of a dynamically large song before you launch into the next song. These simple dynamic changes will not only allow your congregation to hear one another sing in the quieter moments, but they’ll also give your people more capacity to really engage in the bigger moments of your service.