Easter, otherwise known as the Superbowl of Church.
….and let me first say I’m sorry…
Easter is the holy grail of the Church. It’s all hands on deck. The red carpet is rolled out to make sure the Church puts it’s best foot forward. There’s a thousand blanks to fill in. Set list, opener script, video content, environments, communion supplies, how many programs to print, service programming, and the list goes on and on. On top of all the usual routine of the weekend, there’s usually 50 more services. That means more logistics and more volunteers to nail down. Like parking. Lord have mercy. Let’s all just breathe.
I’ve spent so many Easter weekends feeling so disconnected from Jesus. The Cross. The Resurrection. The hope that this all brings. There’s a very real tendency when you’re job is to prepare the table, to forget to sit down and eat for yourself. We get stuck in computer screens, production booths, or the endless meetings. Before we know it, Easter has passed and we’ve missed our opportunity to join the party. This Easter can be different.
So let me say, this isn’t an article about how to pull off better Easter experiences, but rather a guide to surviving Easter and still love Jesus and the Church. So…if you serve on a church staff or in a volunteer position, this one’s for you.
OWN YOUR EASTER
If you’re stuck in a production booth, on a stage, or behind the scenes somewhere, plan your own Easter celebration. This could be as simple as ordering food and putting it in a gathering space for all of those serving and create a relaxed and atmosphere where everyone can enjoy each other before or “between” services. Also, consider inviting friends over after services, getting the family together. Order some good food. Hang out together. Invite God into the middle of that gathering. Sing a few songs. Decorate. Open the scripture together. Pray for each other. Maybe your entire team/staff could do this together. If you’re a parent, create a moment with your kids that celebrates Jesus.
LEAN INTO THE UNCOMFORTABLE
What is it about Easter that you hate? For me, I want to barf when I think about adding extra services for people that come to a service twice a year. The truth is, those people are exactly who Easter is for. They have pain, job issues, failures, financial burdens. They may have not shown up the other 50 Sundays of the year, but they will on Easter. It’s our golden opportunity to lean in and love them where they are. You never know what fruit will come from Easter weekend. Maybe for you, you hate the pressure of Easter, or the extra creative elements, or the logistical challenges. Whatever it is, lean into it. Be curious about why it bothers you. Pray about it. Maybe God wants to flip the way we see Easter.
There’s such a temptation at Easter to be someone we’re not. One year our Easter service was themed “Happy.” We had a confetti cannon, a choir, and a 1,000 pinwheels that we stuck all over our campus. The next week, the pin wheels were gone, the choir was gone, and it was back to our regularly scheduled program. None of those things are bad. I think God is so proud the person who created a confetti cannon. If that’s your normal service environment…do more of that. If your place creates world class works of theater or incredible light shows, keep doing that. Do more of it. Be you. But don’t be somebody you’re not. The world is weary of the bait and switch. Those second time guests will have an easier time connecting, when they come back to a familiar place.
DON’T FORGET TO PREPARE YOUR HEART
I once heard it said “be careful that the work of God doesn’t destroy the work of God within You.” The enemies goal is to have you busy doing God’s work that you miss the work God wants to do in you. Save a seat for yourself at the table this Easter. Start an Easter Bible reading plan in the youversion app. Take a day off and get alone with your Creator. Don’t fall into the trap that Easter is up to you. Something could happen to you tomorrow, and I promise that Easter services will go on without you.
This Easter can be different. Maybe you hate Easter, maybe you don’t.
Don’t let this Easter pass without engaging your heart into the celebration.