How to increase engagement this Lent

February 5, 2021

With the new year already in full swing and Easter just around the corner, we know your team is hard at work to prepare powerful content that proclaims the gospel and brings your community together. The season of Lent is an important time of year to remember and honor Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in preparation for the celebration of Easter.

WHEN IS LENT 2022?

Lent takes place between Ash Wednesday and Holy Week. As the lead-up to Easter, it acts as an acknowledgment of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry. Lent is a season marked by repentance, reflection, growth, and spiritual preparation for Easter.

Since it’s based on the Christian liturgical calendar, rather than a fixed date, Lent takes place between March 2 and April 14 this year.

       

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ENGAGING CHURCH ACTIVITIES FOR LENT

Whether your church is new to observing Lent or it’s deeply ingrained in your traditions as a community, there are ample opportunities you can offer to participate in the season.

Here are some examples of engaging church activities to try this Lent:

Daily prayer prompts offer your community specific and actionable ways to engage every day throughout Lent. Consider offering daily prayer prompts in a variety of places in order to reach your community wherever they’re at—your church website and custom mobile app, through push notifications, and on social media. 

Bible reading plans, similar to prayer prompts, are an easy way to invite your community to engage during this season of Lent. Whether daily or weekly, meditating and reflecting on scripture is a crucial part of the discipleship journey. The Village Church’s "Lent Guide" and A.W. Tozer’s “From the Grave” devotional are great resources to draw inspiration from when creating your church’s Bible reading plan or to suggest to your community this Lent.

Fasting is one of the most common Lent practices. It’s a powerful way to reflect on your habits and return your focus to God. Here are some examples of things your community can choose to fast from:

  • Food—Whether cutting out caffeine, doing a Daniel Fast, or fully fasting from dawn until dusk, a food fast can be a powerful spiritual discipline. Make sure to emphasize how a food fast might look different for different members of your community—there’s no one perfect template.
  • Social media—Empower your community to disengage from social media and re-engage with their faith. Temporarily deleting social media apps and logging out of social media websites are great first steps to recenter this Lent season.
  • Sleep—Losing any amount of sleep might initially seem daunting to some, but “giving up” an hour of sleep a day by waking up early or going to bed late is an easy way to create space for self-reflection and time with the Lord.

A Lent sermon series is the perfect way to prepare your community for Easter and encourage them to grow spiritually. Most Lent sermon series are six or seven weeks long, depending on if you include Ash Wednesday and other special services into your series.

Generosity challenges inspire your community to reflect and recenter on God’s generosity in sending Jesus. Here are some examples of ways to encourage generosity in your community this Lent:

  • Fast offerings—Did someone in your church community give up caffeine for Lent? Challenge them to donate the money they would’ve spent on coffee to your church giving or another worthy cause or charitable organization. Even $10 worth of coffee a week, multiplied throughout your community, can have an extraordinary impact!
  • Fundraising campaigns—Whether your church is raising money for an upcoming construction project or for a local food bank, fundraisers are great ways to reach your goals and get your community on board! (Check out our blog for online fundraising ideas for churches).
  • Acts of service—Generosity does not need to always be related to money; being generous with your time and skills is another impactful way to serve. Challenge your community to volunteer at church or an organization close to their heart.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY THIS LENT

As you prepare for Lent, consider if you currently have the right tools and practices in place to most effectively engage and inspire your community during this special season.

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Update your app and website

Make it easy for your community and first-time visitors to learn about all the exciting opportunities taking place this Lent. Updating your church calendar and creating dedicated sections about Lent (and Easter) in your app and on your website are great ways to maximize engagement and make sure nothing gets missed.

Make sure to also encourage your community to play their part in getting the word out. Any events your church creates on the Subsplash Dashboard—such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday services, Lenten soup suppers, or volunteer events—can easily be shared from your website to social media or via text message.

Utilize push notifications for updates and reminders

Push notifications are another effective way to reach and inform your audience. Plus, they’re efficient and super accessible because they reach your community right on their mobile devices.

Here are some examples of how to use push notifications to engage your community this Lent. Feel free to use or customize these messages to set up your own push notifications in the Subsplash Dashboard:

  • “Day 9: Pray for peace. Visit the Lent tab in our app for past prayer prompts.”
  • “We’re collecting shoes for our Lenten Shoe Drive! Learn more and donate here.”
  • “Happy Holy Week! Hope to see you tonight at our Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m.”

Already a Subsplash client? Log in and start scheduling push notifications today!

       

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Create a Lent sermon library

Once your Lent sermon series gets rolling, it’s time to make sure your church media content is uploaded and easily accessible to your community to revisit or discover for the first time. 

The Subsplash Dashboard streamlines and simplifies this process. With one-click publishing, your Lent sermons and other media items are automatically published to your mobile app, TV app, and website! Plus you can broadcast your Lent services and events in real time with Subsplash Live! After the stream ends, all of your live content will be automatically archived for easy on-demand viewing.

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Encourage generosity through online giving

Your ministry relies on the generosity of your community—and they’re eager to participate in this act of worship! That’s why having an online giving solution is crucial for reaching your financial goals throughout busy holiday seasons and the rest of the year. 

If your church has special fundraising campaigns during Lent, consider setting up funds and sub-funds in Subsplash Giving. This allows donors to specify where they would like a donation to go. For example, your church might have a general “Lent” fund and several specified sub-funds for church campaigns or local causes. Plus, this is a great opportunity to encourage your community to participate in a “generosity challenge” by giving back to your church!

Already a Subsplash client? Log in to set up funds and sub-funds today!

Lent is a profound time of year to spiritually prepare for Easter, honor the resurrection of Christ, and spread the good news of the gospel. We’re honored to partner with you during this season and beyond to increase engagement, expand your reach, and make more disciples!

Already using the Subsplash Platform? Log in to your Subsplash Dashboard today to learn more or schedule a call with your Client Success Manager!

If you’re not already leveraging The Ultimate Engagement Platform™, let’s chat!

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