Most of the world’s celebrated victories happened in one simple, yet brutal way – the winner was better at killing than the loser was. Death wins. As long as it’s your death, not mine. One of the many reasons I follow Jesus is that his victory on the cross was different from that. In fact …
Wouldn’t it be great if Easter wasn’t called Easter? If everyone knew it as Resurrection Sunday instead?
But they don’t.
Our church uses both terms. But Easter is our church’s go-to term, not Resurrection Sunday. Especially when we invite people to join us.
Some ministers believe it’s outright wrong, even unchristian, to use the word Easter at all. If your church doesn’t use the word Easter, I’m not arguing that you should.
But before you criticize us for it, I hope you’ll hear me out.
Here are five reasons we call it Easter:
Many churches have experienced great success and growth doing big ‘come and watch’ events.
Even if choir cantatas on Christmas and Easter have been replaced by a special illustrated message with stage design, lighting and video, the idea is the same – to draw people in so we can present the gospel to them.
The big ‘come and watch’ event may still work in some places, but many church leaders (like Carey Nieuwhof, in a recent helpful post) have found that they work less well than they used to – or we thought they did.
Several years ago, our church stopped doing ‘come and watch’ events on special Sundays, like Christmas and Easter. Then we stopped doing them altogether.
Easter is coming! All over the world, pastors are preparing to speak to what is usually the biggest church crowd of the year.
If you’re wondering how to make the wonderful, but familiar resurrection story feel fresh again, here’s an idea I’m working on.
(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.
There is nothing noble about suffering. Pain, sorrow, poverty, sickness, disease, violence and death have no redemptive value. They are not a part of God’s plan to save the world. They are what Jesus came to save us from.
We need to remember that this weekend.
I wish Easter wasn’t called Easter. It would be great if everyone knew it as Resurrection Sunday. But they don’t. So, while our church uses both terms, Easter is our go-to – especially when we invite people to join us.
If your church doesn’t use the word Easter, I’m not arguing that you should. But here are five reasons why we do.
Jesus never wrote a book or erected a building for his followers to rally around.
His trial was a farce, but his torture was real. At his death he hung naked, and bleeding. His flesh hanging in strips from his barely-recognizable body. As he died, he didn’t just feel forsaken by God, he actually was forsaken by God.
Jesus’ ministry was a failure.
For years, we used to spend a lot of time and money to create an Easter invitation flyer. Then we’d spend way too much money to print it and run it in a neighborhood magazine or newspaper. But we received very little benefit from all that work and expense.
With social media, we changed our tactics. We started creating our own flyers and making them available for church members to post on their social media pages. Not only was it free but, since people are always putting stuff like that on social media anyway, it felt less like advertising and more like chatting with friends.
This year, we’re taking it a step further. In addition to creating an Easter flyer for the church, we’re helping everyone at the church create their own personalized invitation. In today’s post, I’ll show you how we’re doing it.
The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in history. But Easter has an unseen downside for many Small Churches. Right now, all around the world, churches are excitedly preparing for Easter Sunday. Lilies are being arranged, choirs are rehearsing, Passion Plays are being staged, Easter eggs being stuffed and hidden, extra services are being …