I am writing this to pastors and church attendees. This Sunday, you have a prime opportunity. People who have a bad taste in their mouth for church may give you another chance to redeem yourself. I know the Pharisee in us wants to rise up and brag on how we are faithful throughout the year while these guests or rare attendees are not, but we are missing the point. They may not come to worship any other time, but they will for whatever reason (family, southern culture, etc.). Please don’t waste the moment!
I have heard many pastors criticize those who came for that one time by saying, “I’ll see you again at Christmas.” This kind of pompous, self-righteous sarcasm is why they don’t come back until Christmas (if they do then).
I want to make a few suggestions to pastors and churches if you are interested in your Easter visitors and sparce attendees coming back and not being bitter with the church and all the trappings that accompany it.
- Please don’t make sarcastic remarks like the one I used above. I think I said enough about that already.
- Those who haven’t been there in a while don’t need any looks or body language that says, “Nice of you to show up after a year!” Treat them like you want to be treated!
- It’s a little late to suggest this one, but stay away from creating a spectacle and focus more on praying that people have a real encounter with God. People don’t want fake, and they can see right through it.
- Please make sure your Easter service isn’t a repeat of last year and every year before that. Most people attend out of annual habit and know the songs they will hear and the basic idea of the sermon. I heard a statement that “predictability leads to low impact”. Be passionate and relevant. Shoot for the heart through your music and message.
This is your one shot, so be real! I can’t emphasize it enough. Your ultimate prayer should be that Jesus will be evident in everything from the time they drive onto the property until the time they leave. It’s all about Jesus anyway NOT having the biggest or most popular church.