For pastors, Easter is comparable to the championship game of the season. There will be more people in church around the country on Easter Sunday than any other Sunday of the year. Intentional efforts to invite guests to Easter services will be done. A clear presentation of the gospel will be delivered. An invitation to follow Christ must be extended. Follow up with all guests will be engaged in. Easter Services can become a big deal. There are though a couple of things though after years of Easter services that I will not be repeating this year.
I refuse to stress out this Easter.
I have a friend, also a pastor, who once confessed, “There are two Sundays every year that I hate: Easter and Mother’s Day.” Now, before opinions are formed that he is an awful pastor and should be disqualified from ministry, what he was trying to share needs to be heard. What he was sharing was that the stress created by those two Sundays ruins the joy that those days, Easter in particular, should bring.
Negative stress not only raises blood pressure and elevates stomach ailments, it inhibits our ability to not only experience joy but to deliver and execute. Sports psychologists and coaches teach their athletes how to eliminate the consequences of negative stress not so they will have carefree lives, but so that they can perform at optimum levels. When pastors are stressed out because of Easter, or any other issue in their lives, it inhibits their ability to effectively deliver the message and, most importantly, to exude the fruits of the Spirit.
This year, I’ve decided not to stress out about Easter. I am going to enjoy every moment.
I refuse to make the service bigger than usual.
The temptation for every Easter Service in every town and church is to make the service bigger than usual. With all the additional people coming, we really have to grab their attention, right? Maybe not.
The Bible clearly teaches that we must embrace and exude the value of excellence. Everything must be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). That does not mean over the top once a year. Every week—in every worship—the aim should be to present the best we have and the best we are able to provide. Our aim is not to impress others but to clearly and with excellence present the gospel.
Keep in mind that a bigger-than-usual service does not mean that the Holy Spirit has an easier job. It just means that there is more to do. Paul prayed for an open door, not a light show (Col. 4:3). This year, I’ve decided to keep things simple and not make the service bigger than usual.
These are the two things that I am quitting for Easter this year. My approach for Easter this year may completely fail. If it does, and the Lord wills, there will be next year.