The real meaning of Easter

by Richard on April 1, 2010

As a marketing opportunity of course. So says Rick Warren : Use Easter to Break a Growth Barrier

Leverage the day. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward that weekend. Promote Easter as much as possible and then make sure you’re ready for the people when they come.

Also, give people something for their heart, for their head, and for their hand. Give them inspiring music for their heart. Give them a practical message for their head. And you put something in their hand they can take home.

Finally, start a series at Easter. This will encourage your Easter guests to come back the next week because they want to hear what’s next in the series. Pick something that connects with your community. You know what they’re dealing with. Tell them what the Bible says about it and provide practical help.

This Easter can be huge for your church. It can be just what you need to take your church to the next level.

I found this via Chaplain Mike, who comments

The greatest day in the Christian year, the greatest event in history has become an opportunity for a “practical message” that will pack ‘em in and keep ‘em coming back and help you overcome a dreaded “attendance barrier.”

Words fail me.

Me too.

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And behind pulpit number 1 … a new car! « John Meunier's Blog
08.11.10 at 3:51 am

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Ian McKenzie 04.01.10 at 1:49 am

You need to check out this approach to getting bodies to the Easter Service ->http://bilcornelius.com/blog/someone-getting-bmw-m3
and
the response to the critics: ->http://bilcornelius.com/blog/responding-criticism

2

Richard 04.01.10 at 7:36 am

“Free gifts draw people to malls and stores, so why not God’s House? In fact, the Ultimate Free Gift is what Easter is all about!”

Now words really do fail me.

3

Kim 04.01.10 at 9:44 am

A purpose-driven Easter. As Alasdair MacIntyre might ask, “Whose Purpose? Driven Where?”

4

Earl 04.01.10 at 4:28 pm

Cool. Read the article. It’s a good idea.

As far as giving away what amounts to “door prizes” to get “bodies” into Church, that’s not a new idea. I saw the exact same thing being done in the inner-city of New Orleans in 1980 where bicycles were given to children who brought friends with them to Sunday School. If memory serves me, bicycles were given to those children who brought 50 friends with them to Sunday School in the course of a year. As was the case in New Orleans, there is nothing here to indicate that doctrinal integrity is being violated. Jesus himself observed that some followed him for what they could get out of him. With apologies to the Apostle Paul perhaps we might all to well to, “Become all things to all men that you might save some.”

5

Richard 04.01.10 at 5:15 pm

I’m sure you’re right. Giving stuff away is not a new thing. There’s a long tradition of encouraging Sunday School attendance by the award of prizes, for example. But does that necessarily make it commendable? Of course, people have as many reasons for church attendance as they’ve always had for following Jesus. I’d never discourage anyone from coming, whatever their motives. But does that mean we should encourage any kind of motive?

As a ferinstance: Imagine someone who starts going to church because he fancies a girl who goes there. In time, his reasons for attending might change and he might become a disciple himself. Splendid! But I think you’d frown if the pastor was encouraging girls in the congregation to use their ‘womanly wiles’ to entice young men to attend. No? Similarly, we might look sideways if a church began the practice of having semi-naked nubile ushers. But I’ve no doubt it would increase the congregation — the male congregation, at least! But you couldn’t do it because there’d be a basic contradiction between a church proclaiming human dignity and the ideal of chastity whilst using lust to gather a crowd. And that’s what giving a car away amounts to, except the sin that’s being encouraged is not lust but covetousness.

6

tortoise 04.01.10 at 5:18 pm

Earl - whilst I will at this stage refrain from commenting on the appropriateness or otherwise of this kind of strategy, might I point out that the New Orleans example you cite is by no means “the exact same thing”. The present scenario is the awarding of prizes at random among any of those who come to church, as an incentive to attend. According to your description, the bicycles were awarded to those already in the fellowship who then attained a particular target, as an incentive to bring.

7

Earl 04.01.10 at 8:14 pm

I do not think it is a matter of right and wrong but a matter of what is, i.e., we no longer live according to the folk song rhythm of the village but the hip hop pace of the city. If we would see all men come to Christ, we must lift Him up where He can be seen and His message heard above the babel of voices that seek attention.

As concerns motive for coming to Church, I’m not must given to any strong opinion. Even those who followed Jesus for less than ultimate reasons followed Jesus. And I’d rather that people follow Jesus, even if I am not wild about their motive than to see anyone left behind. I’d rather someone follow Jesus even if imperfectly even for less than ultimate reasons than to see them never begin.

Now as regards the equivalent of the Rockettes as ushers, I agree with you. It would hardly be acceptable. One would have to widen the aisles, do something about the robes, etc. No it simply wouldn’t be practical. And there would be liability concerns, i.e., what if someone leaned over into the aisle at the wrong time. No it wouldn’t work. Now the car thing… I’m still thinking about that one!

8

Richard 04.01.10 at 10:15 pm

>>“As concerns motive for coming to Church, I’m not must given to any strong opinion.”

Me neither. That’s what I said. People come for all sorts of reasons and in 95% of cases I don’t care what they are. But I do care about the motives that the church actively encourages.

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