Over the past several weeks, much has been said about Easter preparation. Hopefully by now you have worked diligently to ensure that your church is ready to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and welcome those who will join with you. You have surely spruced up your facilities, prepared guest packets, and worked to polish your sermon and the service. In the end, however, there are three things that are essential this Easter Sunday when your pews and chairs will be filled with so many unchurched visitors.
- Present the gospel. Present it clearly and concisely and do it well. Ultimately, everything on Easter Sunday should lead to the point in your service where the gospel will be presented. Plan to share the gospel and plan to do it well. Will you use any resources? Are there tracts that go along with your presentation? Whatever you need for your presentation, get it all ready and practice your presentation. Remember, many of the people in your church this Sunday do not hear the gospel very often, present it well and pray for God’s Holy Spirit to open blind eyes that they may see.
- Call for a response. Maybe yours isn’t the kind of church that gives a traditional invitation. Maybe you always open the altar at the conclusion of your sermons. Regardless of how you do it, call for a response. Once you have presented the gospel clearly, give people an opportunity to respond to that gospel call. Perhaps they will be invited to the front of the sanctuary to pray with a pastor. Maybe in your service the invitation will be to receive Christ in their seat and to go to a counseling room after the service. Maybe you use commitment cards people can turn in indicating any decision they might make. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to save sinners. This Easter, give people the opportunity to experience the resurrection of Christ in their own lives by accepting him as their savior.
- Follow up. Follow up with your guests. Work to get their information and make sure that someone contacts them next Monday or Tuesday to thank them for visiting and to answer any of their questions. Follow up with those who make decisions on Easter Sunday. Those who give their lives to Christ in your services this week are your responsibility for discipleship. Accept your responsibility and pursue them so that you can see the process of salvation progress in their life. Salvation is more than justification; come along side new believers and see them persevere through the process of sanctification and give them a church home where they can belong.
You may have the most amazing service this Sunday, but if you neglect to do these three things, you will have failed. May God bless you as you worship this Easter and as you work to see those far from Christ be brought near the cross through the resurrection of Jesus.