Start a New Sermon Series This Easter

By Rick Warren

SkyEaster is usually one of the best-attended Sundays of the year. Hopefully, many of your guests will be making significant spiritual decisions. Don’t waste what God’s going to do through your church. Start a new sermon series that will encourage your guests to come back to hear the rest of the series.

What do you preach on? That’s the wrong question. Instead, ask yourself who are you preaching to. What do the people who will sit in your church on Easter Sunday need to hear? How can you help them take their next spiritual step?

A few years back I started a series on Easter called “Running on Empty.” I’d just had a close encounter — “running on empty” – as I coasted down a hill and into a gas station.

But the people in Orange County were running on a different kind of empty. A few weeks earlier I had preached on dealing with secrets hurts and I had the congregation write down their “secret hurts” for only myself and two other pastors to read. The congregation was very honest and, overwhelmingly, people said their greatest hurt was feeling like they were out of gas and unable to do all that was on their plates.

If that was the hurt most people were carrying around, I wanted to preach a series on it. So on Easter I preached about how Jesus fills up our emptiness. But, over the next few weeks, I continued to preach on the different reasons people run on empty.

You’ll need to let the guests know what you’re doing – why it is important for them to come back and hear the rest of the series. Try to put something in their hands about the series when they leave your church. We always try to provide something for their hearts (the message and the music) and something for their hands (tangible take home material that will help them take the next step).

Your church will likely have its biggest visitor day of the year in the next few weeks. Don’t let it be a one-shot deal for the guests. Help people make their next spiritual steps by kicking off a strategic message series on Easter.

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.