Every couple years or so, Easter comes so early that you barely have time to recover from the busyness of Christmas. And 2016 happens to be one of those years with Easter falling in March. So, how can you be preparing for Easter now? We’ve come up with three things you can do right now to make sure March 27th goes smoothly.

Organize All of Your Communications Materials.
Waiting until the last minute to do this will absolutely stress you and/or your team out. Don’t be that guy who hands your communications staff a last-minute project a few days before Easter. Get ALL of that handled now. Come up with a list of the pieces your team needs to complete, and set deadlines. Think through any mailers, door hangers, invite cards, posters, billboards, website graphics, bulletin graphics, and social media images. Remember that any rush job allows less time than you really need and has a larger margin of error.

Train Your Volunteers.
If you haven’t recruited extra hands for Easter Sunday (or any other events centered around Easter) you need to do that right about … now. Post sign-up sheets around the church and on your website. Get volunteers for parking, greeting, coffee/doughnut stations, and visitor follow-up. Once you’ve recruited, go ahead and schedule an evening to get everyone together for training. Equipping your volunteers is important! Don’t make them feel like they’re winging it on Easter Sunday.

Finish Your Sermon.
So, you may not need to do this RIGHT this minute, but don’t wait until March 26th to write your sermon. Start working on your outline, and get excited about it. As a pastor, this is your Super Bowl. I love what Mark Pierce wrote about Easter sermon prep last year: “Telling the good news story is why I became a pastor. As the old hymn sings, ‘I love to tell the story!’ Telling the good news story on THE Good News day is even better! It’s the biggest single day on the Christian calendar. People will come to church on Easter, even if they don’t come any other Sunday. We have the best news ever to share with them. This is BIG TIME! Even for the small church pastor.”

How does your church plan ahead for Easter? Tell us in the comments section.