It’s the day after Easter, did your services go like you hoped and prayed?
It’s a strange season. So many leaders said they didn’t know what to expect. Now you know. Were your prayerful expectations close?
What emotions are you feeling?
The post-Easter emotions and general response of a church leader from arguably the most significant weekend in the Christian calendar will run a wide gamut today and for the next several days – maybe weeks.
Some leaders are encouraged to see people they haven’t seen in months. Others are frustrated that infrequent attenders showed up
Then again, COVID really changed the picture, it’s possible that more than half of your congregation hadn’t returned prior to Easter, but this may have been their time to come back.
Here’s the bottom line.
As a leader, how you think and feel post-Easter matters; it shapes your leadership for the next several months.
Easter is a big weekend, but there are 51 other weeks in the year, loaded with hope and potential. Next Sunday is just as important when it comes to the potential for life change.
Your post-Easter leadership stamina and resilience are more important right now than you may know. The enemy would love for you to let up, lose your joy, or maybe even temporarily “give up.”
Your leadership stamina and resilience are more important right now than you may know. The enemy would love for you to let up, lose your joy, or maybe even temporarily “give up.”
Guard yourself and your church against these three dangers:
1) Comparison and Disappointment
Comparing your church to others is natural but usually not helpful. When you focus on the attendance of other churches, two unhealthy outcomes are common.
First, feeling disappointed or discouraged because other churches had attendance much larger than yours. Second, feeling good that attendance was much larger than others. Both options are a waste of time and emotional energy.
The better choice is to thank God for His work in other churches and focus on gratitude for every good thing that happened on Easter at your church.
2) Business as Usual
The second common danger the day after Easter is that you go right back to business as usual.
It’s almost like Easter didn’t happen. It may have felt like a blur, and perhaps you leave for vacation or just go back to emails, solving problems and thinking about what’s next.
This one is my temptation. I’m on to the next thing before I’ve really fully experienced what just happened! It’s like Thanksgiving dinner. Three hours to prepare, then thirty minutes to eat, and that’s it! It’s over.
There are several possible reasons leaders go right back to business as usual. Which one may apply to you?
- They don’t take time to celebrate the good.
- They don’t want to face the reality of disappointment.
- There is just so much to do.
- Momentum is not something to waste.
#3 and #4 are hard to argue with, but here are a few better options. (Even just for a few minutes.)
- Spend some time today reflecting on your own salvation story, and how your life has changed.
- Find a quiet place to thank God for all He did this past weekend – for the things you could see, and the things you could not see. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
- Pour a cup of coffee, and write several notes thanking your key leaders and volunteers for what they did to help advance the Kingdom over Easter.
3) Celebration without action
The final danger in this list is celebrating Easter’s success but with essentially little or no follow-through.
If you experienced a large number of guests and salvations for your church, that is awesome!
Having a post-Easter “party” with a few key leaders is great. Maybe enjoy a fun lunch together and tell a few favorite stories from yesterday. Or take a day off to smell the roses and catch your breath!
You might be surprised, however, by how many churches have no real written plan for guest follow-up. You may also be surprised by how many of those churches have no working plan for how they will follow up, connect with and train new Christians.
How about you? Are you ready?
What’s your plan? How will you follow up with all your Easter guests?
Who will connect with and teach your new Christians the basics of their faith and Christianity?
If you are a solo pastor in a small church, ask 2-3 people to help you. I’ll bet they’ll say yes!
Don’t get overly focused on the number of guests you had; focus more on how you can help people take the next step toward Christ and invest your energy there.
I hope you are encouraged and inspired to keep digging in and never take your eyes off the mission.
If you are discouraged, please remember how much God loves you, that He is with you, and cherishes His Church!
What you are doing matters!