Service Planning: Jesus Was Born to Die! April Fool!

Author’s Confession: This is a dangerous article. A weird, out-of-the-box piece that might have you ask, “What’s he on?”

Service Planning: Jesus Was Born to Die! April Fool!
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Service Planning: Jesus Was Born to Die! April Fool!

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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To begin, here’s the first two homework assignments, out of four - the second part will run next week:

• Go find those visitor cards you collected after the last big Christian holiday – that one in December.

We remember better when there’s an emotion tied to the content and unexpected payoff.

Make a spreadsheet of the guests who visited your church at that time. (You may count someone as a ‘guest’ those who are spouses of members who generally aren’t at your church from week to week.
• Now, dig out the visitor cards you collected going back to last Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, however you refer to it. Find those guests.
• Compare your lists and make a list of those who overlap, guests who attended both celebrations.

What do you deduce?

Right, you’ll likely see those faces again soon. The next Christian holiday.

This Easter Sunday.

In some circles, there’s a name for these types of church attendees: CEOs, or Christmas and Easter Onlys. Those are the individuals likely attending because of family obligation, tradition, or they see it as the right thing to do.

Pardon if this seems a bit cynical. It is not.

If we’re honest, we must recognize as church leaders, that we spend an inordinate amount of time creating special events, planning programs or perusing platforms such as this, in order to “catch the Christmas (or Easter) visitor?

For our witness to be effective, though, I believe there are many truths we must accept in order to overcome. Kind of like when the Scriptures say, “All have sinned.” 

Now, to test the theorem, let’s do one part of our assignment.
• Compile two attendance lists:
a. “Visitors Between Easter and Christmas Last Year”
b. “Visitors between Christmas and, say, last weekend. How many of the designated CEOs appear on either or both lists?

Comparative Gospeling

Now, let’s think about your members, or those not-yet-members who attend regularly or who have been coming back since the holidays.

All of them should be getting the full gospel treatment and growing in understanding the faith.

The CEOs, though, receive only part of Jesus’ story. They know He was born – they hear that every Christmas. They know He died – because everybody does. They may have heard he was resurrected – because they saw last year’s Easter pageant.

What’s missing, though, because they’re not there the other Sundays … is connecting the importance of the events.

It’s like repeatedly watching a couple of favorite reruns of a beloved TV show, versus binge-watching the whole series.


More About Michael Edgar Myers
Michael Edgar Myers has been serving in performance ministry for more than 25 years. He is the founding director of Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries which uses music, theater, and multi-media to inspire Christ-followers in their walk with Jesus Christ, and those who are curious about Christ to embrace a relationship with Him.
Get in Touch: mem@kit-ministries.com    More by Michael Edgar Myers

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · April Fools · Christmas · Church Leaders · Easter · Holidays · Planning · All Topics

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Comments

By Michael Edgar Myers on March 6, 2018

Dear Bill: Thanks for taking time to read and comment.  I appreciate your perspective, and pray that through this essay, and other focused outreaches by leaders of worship employing God’s creativity that the good news of the gospel will be clearly conveyed and life-changing during this season…and others.

By Bill Koonce on February 26, 2018

One struggle in my personal ministry has been dealing with the fact that few if any people whom I contact day-to-day have not heard the Good News. It’s not that they need to be told for the first time, rather that what they were told did not speak directly to them. Without proper explanation, the message that a person was “born to die” is an affront to our innate sense of self-preservation. In fact, many of those who will be at Easter services as “saved” Christians have notions that “a good guy with a gun” (or sword) could have changed the Easter story, as if that was a desirable outcome.  Perhaps we all need to review the Easter message.

For myself, the Good News is that God’s plan was for His son to die on that hill, and to go to hell, to save us all from the same fate. That is His greatest gift to us! A “happily ever after” that we all long for, but are not worthy of, even by doing “good things”. It’s a message worth getting right, no matter what the cost.

I agree that packaging the message in a way that surprises is a great way to recapture attention. Perhaps something even more disruptive should be done to make sure that the Good News is received as intended. Most worship services are set up as a mass communication platform: one-to-many, or few-to-many. What if on Easter Sunday, your regular congregation was there to minister to the CEOs one-on-one? Just a thought…


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