Easter Sunday and the Sunday before Christmas are the two “biggest” days on the church calendar in terms of attendance at evangelical churches, nationwide. The attitudes Pastors take toward this coming Sunday will often be an outward display of either a winning, influential attitude, or a negative, belligerent one.
Most Pastors will say one of two things to their crowds this week. Those who will make the most difference in terms of influence with a lost world will say
“Welcome friends and special guests. If this is your first time here, or if you’re an occasional visitor, we’re SO GLAD you’re here!”
And the Pastors who will fail to influence the lost masses will proclaim something like
“Some of you only come on this Sunday, and it’s time to repent of that and get in church all the time.”
Both presentations can bring people back, but the latter will most likely be unsuccessful at drawing a significant number of people into a genuine commitment. Why? Because guilt is a terrible motivator. Yes, conviction over sin drives us to the cross, but that’s an entirely different matter than using guilt to shame people into attending church services.
The positive presentation, on the other hand, sees Easter Sunday and other big days as opportunities to have an audience with a segment of people that normally aren’t present.
Jesus often spoke to large crowds of people and seemed to tailor his message to the crowd, understanding that He would most likely not see some of them back again. His words of tough commitment were reserved for the inner circle of disciples. In other words, He seized opportunities to be wise toward seekers and offer them something that enticed them to come back and see more. With those who were submitting to Him as disciples, His message wasn’t “come and see,” as much as it was “come and die.”
This coming week, Pastors, you’ll have an opportunity to speak to a crowd you don’t normally have access to. You can preach to your flock fifty other Sundays per year, but as you craft this message, consider those on the fringes whom you haven’t seen in about six months. What can you say to them that might convince them this place really is worthy of my weekend time.
And if you’re still looking for message ideas, powerpoints, audio sermons, etc. for Easter, check out the Easter Messages page at SaddlebackResources.com.