2007-04-15

Does it work?

Something has been bothering me about Easter this year. I have difficult question to ask of other church leaders. Yea, I know, Easter is over - give it rest. This is the last post on Easter - I promise (well, until next year).

Many churches pull out ALL the stops for Easter. They do up it big. Video, drama, music, dance, etc. It's probably the most produced service of the year. Now there is no doubt that Easter is an important event for Christians to remember. But sometimes it seems like we go overboard on this event. It's crazy huge.

The reason I often hear given for such a big event is, "many people come this week and we have capture their attention so they will come back." Ok, I can go with that, but here is where the question comes....

Does it work? How many of these people who only come on Easter come back the following weeks? Really, I want to know.

Suppose someone wanders in to your church on Easter. The service is perfect in every way. They are really touched. They vow to come back next week and they do. What will they see and experience? I'm betting in most of our churches there would be a serious difference between Easter and the next week. Now there's nothing wrong with having a big day or celebration. Chances are the birthdays in our homes are different than the non-birthdays. That's cool. But does the big event work? Will the person feel cheated because the next week's service isn't the same huge event?

A very smart man (Albert Einstien) is quoted as saying "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Yet each Easter we just about kill ourselves, and the other volunteers and staff, to reach all these people who will pack out the church, but it must not work. Because the next week where are all the people? It just seems to me that we are doing something incorrectly here. Our method doesn't seem to be working... Is it working at your church?

Now, just for the record. Our church doesn't do the huge, huge Easter service. We try to have a nice service. Well done. A few extra features, but it's more inline with a 'regular' service - whatever that means. Is the big event working for you at your church? From my local friends at other churches, I'd say not. But I'd like to hear some other opinions. BTW, if it's working for you - then PRAISE GOD! Keep doing what you are doing!!!

1 comment:

Gene said...

Christmas and Easter are a big deal at our church, but that's because they're a big deal, period. I try to use each as an opportunity to raise the bar a little, so (in theory) the next week won't be a big drop off, but an increase over two weeks before.

Does the bigger effort work? I dunno, as we've been experiencing slow but steady growth in the contemporary service, and we had our usual share of visitors (family and friends of members in town), so it's hard to quantify how much might be attributable to it.

But the general idea of using it as an opportunity to raise the bar definitely works, it's just hard to keep up with once you've established a new level.