Here are a few things we do on Easter Sunday that undermines our effectiveness in reaching people.
1. Rebuke those who come. “Well, good morning! I haven’t seen you since Easter last year. Hope you had a good winter.”
2. Put on a “dog and pony” show instead of preaching the gospel. Never forget that whatever tactic we use to attract people will be required to keep them. So, if we put on a spectacular event to get people to attend on Easter but follow it up next Sunday with our normal meat-and-potatoes service, we are doing no one any good.
3. Cantatas. For reasons I have never understood, some churches will forego the usual service on Easter Sunday and give the choir the entire hour for their program. This is the day to open Scripture and read it (thoughtfully, reverently) and preach its message!
4. Bring in a guest speaker. Assuming your church will have visitors on Easter, they need to see the home team at work. That way, they will be able to decide if they want to return next Sunday.
5. Going ga-ga over women’s hats and children’s Easter outfits. Some pastors love to call attention to all the new clothes and outfits being worn. The point is not to overdo it. A pastor should never forget the poor in the congregation who would love to buy new clothes for this wonderful day, but are unable.
6. Welcome your guests to a poorly kept building or neglected campus. I am so proud of our volunteer teams who do maintenance, mow the grounds every Thursday, and clean the building every Friday (52 weeks per year). This Sunday hundreds of people will drive onto our campus grounds and will see a place that is maintained for God’s glory. First impressions are important.