Making the most of your Easter opportunity

by Scott Ridout, Converge President
Easter 2016

"Anyone will come to church on Easter." That's a phrase our church leaders said over and over at our church. We said it because we evidenced it each Easter, year after year. We all know Easter is the greatest celebration of the year for Christians―a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, proving the validity of his claim to be God, Savior and Lord. It is a reminder that God loves us, death is not final, sin has a remedy and we have access to his power in our daily lives. Yet it also can be the starting point of faith for those outside the church.

On behalf of the staff of Converge, we want you to know we are praying for you this Easter. We pray that each one of us will take full advantage of the opportunity God has given to invite people to join us in the joy of knowing Jesus. With that in mind, I would like to share these thoughts, which we used at our church, to make the most of this God-given opportunity.

Before telling others about a relationship with Christ, take a personal inventory of your own heart, life and relationships. Take extended time in praise and thanks, confess your sin, intercede on behalf of those God has put in your life who might need to hear Jesus and ask God to fill you with the fullness of his Holy Spirit as you speak. If you do, you will have a great confidence when engaging with those around you. 

Everyone knows he or she should invite at Easter, yet most people do not invite anyone. Churches that take the extra steps to ask their people to invite, help them to identify who to invite and give them resources with which to invite (like invitations, texts and digital invites), will help increase the follow-through of their people. 

Though bounce houses, egg hunts, family photos and special guests may be helpful in attracting crowds, the most important facets of a Great Easter are inspiring worship and a clear, hopeful presentation of the gospel. Make sure not to compromise those elements. You may also consider taking offerings that help the community, the poor or the oppressed. This shows you are a church that cares about something more than itself. This kind of generosity silences those who are suspicious of our motives, and it rebrands the church in the eyes of the community and inspires those who already belong.

The most common reason people come back to church is a transforming experience with God. Beyond that, people come back for one of two reasons:

  1. They were asked to come back.
  2. They were given a compelling reason to come again. (Whether it was new friendship, the kids’ experience and new series or a special event, I have found that if they get to church two more times in the next four weeks, many will stay.)

People love to celebrate. Celebration means "We did something right" or "We are winning!" And remember, when you celebrate actions (prayer, inviting, serving, giving) and not just the result (attendance), you are giving your people clear instruction about what you expect in the future. What gets celebrated gets repeated.

Thank you again for the privilege of serving Christ with you. The staff of our national office and districts believe in you and look forward to hearing the stories of God's power. Be courageous, be clear and be Christ-honoring this Easter!

    Point - September 2018

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