Easter service is one of the biggest services of the year for churches; with special services all weekend long, including special events for children. We've gathered some great advice to remember when your services are in full swing.
Creating a Story
Dan Nygaard leads Hope Community, a missional church, in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Instead of preaching a sermon, make Easter Sunday a story. I’ve repeatedly done this and it has proved to be a very memorable message. Make the story live! Preaching too often tells people how they ought to think. Stories invite people to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions. Stories are far more effective than sermons in provoking change.
Enjoy Nature and Be Understanding of It
Rev. Derek R. Davenport is Director of Enrollment and Co-Director Of Miller SYI at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
The biggest threat for mishaps, in my mind, is the Sunrise Service. This service is often a sentimental favorite of the congregation. Whether it happens at an off-site location or in the courtyard of the Church, we often choose to hold these services outside. This is where the danger begins. Nature likes to give us surprises. I can recall one instance when a small, harmless snake decided to join in the festivities, leaving attendees with an eternal memory of a serpent in the garden. I also remember one parishioner telling me he had trouble focusing on a sunrise service because the hawk hunting and then eating breakfast behind the pastor was a bit distracting. Ironically, both of these stories happened not out in the countryside, but in an urban setting.
In another instance, I listened with horror as my sound system gave out. I was left unassisted to compete with the sounds of nature and the sounds of the city. As a young pastor, I did what anyone else would do. I raised my voice. On a normal Sunday this wouldn't be a problem, but being Easter Sunday, I left myself hoarse for the largest service of the year just one hour later.
The only tip for avoiding these issues is to realize that you can't actually avoid them. Whether it's a small service or a large one, the only option is to laugh at the strange mishaps and try not to strain your voice!
Communication is vital to the success of any programs or services, whether it be coordinating volunteers or sending invitations to the congregation and community. Ensure that your volunteers are reminded about meetings and last minute updates.
Also, with many churches offering several services on Easter Sunday, it is important to remind your congregation and those who occasionally attend, *wink* *wink*, about the new times and also offer suggestions for times which might have fewer attendees based on past years.
Please feel free to share your tips from past and present Easter services in the comments below.