The Best Welcome for Easter Guests? Ask Them To Serve With You

welcome(If you’re a NewSmallChurch.com subscriber and the title of this post feels like deja vu, here’s why. The original version of this post disappeared. Woosh, into the emptiness of the internet, never to be retrieved. Thankfully, I always save a copy, so here it is again.)


In a few weeks, my church is doing our twice-yearly Share Day. (Click here for a video of how we do that.)

On that Sunday, we will gather for church in the morning, then divide into groups to go throughout our community helping people. This Spring, the events include repairing & beautifying two rescue homes for abused women and children, and ministering to residents at a home for the mentally disabled.

This week, on Easter Sunday, we’ll encourage people to sign up for these events, and/or sponsor them financially.

Yes, that’s right. We’re going to spend several precious minutes of prime Easter service time asking everyone, including all the Easter-only people, to step up and serve with us.

Yes, I know what some of you are thinking, because I’ve heard this from others. “How can you ask people who aren’t even Christians to work at the church?”

Simple. We’re asking them to serve others with us, not putting them in leadership.

When nonbelievers or nominal believers serve others alongside our church’s mature believers, amazing things happen. For our guests, our members and the people they’re serving. Including an open door to personal conversations about faith and salvation.

 

Putting First Things First

The church is about people worshiping Jesus and doing ministry, not paying a professional to do ministry for us. So our church puts that message front-and-center from the very start.

Church visitors need to see that going to church isn’t about them, and it’s not about us either. It’s about all of us worshiping Jesus and serving others.

Not to mention (here’s a fun little secret), our church gets more engagement and re-visits by showing people that we’re here to serve others than we do from putting on a second-rate musical event wearing fake beards and bedsheets. (Ours were always second-rate, anyways. If yours work, keep doing them.)

People want to go to and serve in a church that’s helping the community in practical ways.

Sure, I’m also starting a new sermon series, like I always do on Easter. But that doesn’t get nearly as many Easter visitors to come back as real-world compassion does. Want to take advantage of that Easter Sunday spike? Leading with compassion may do it.

So this year, we’re concentrating our Easter services on three things:

  1. A clear presentation of the Gospel with an opportunity to respond
  2. Our normal service order with our own ministry team
  3. An opportunity for everyone give generously to people outside our church walls

I know it’s too late for your church to implement this idea this year. So I encourage you to do what I did a couple Easters ago, when the idea occurred to me. Look ahead in your calendar and write a note to yourself. Then, when you start designing your church calendar for next Easter, make sure to plan a great community service event for 2-4 weeks following Easter.

Community service. It may be the church’s new front door.

 

So what do you think? Do you have an upcoming compassion event that you can make front-and-center on Easter Sunday?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
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(Welcome Sign photo from prayitno • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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