It’s easy to miss the heart of Easter personally because we’re so busy getting ready to tell everyone else about it.
Don’t let your professionalism crowd out the personal from your Easter experience this year.
Too familiar are the stories of exhausted evangelists and pastors who worked so hard and taught like their preaching and personality carried the full weight of Easter.
It’s great to carry a heartfelt responsibility for those you lead, but it’s also important to know where your influence stops and the power of the Holy Spirit takes over.
The power of Easter has always been the resurrection, not the church service.
It’s good to plan well and work hard to create a wonderful worship experience for those who will visit your church. However, don’t underestimate the importance of hospitality and kindness on Easter.
Loving people is at the core of the gospel. It’s the epicenter of what God did for us through his Son Jesus.
Don’t over complicate Easter. Tell the story, love the people, and create an experience of hospitality that inspires your guests to return.
Celebrating Easter is appropriate.
Worshipping the person of Jesus is better.
Focusing on those who are lost is probably what Jesus would do.
The good news is we can do all three! I know you care about those who will attend on Easter and you are already praying for them. My encouragement is to do all you can to emphasize that care and extend hospitality to the greatest extent possible.
A great way to prepare your heart includes the following three personal expressions:
- Gratitude – for the truth that God loves you deeply and has chosen you to lead.
- Humility – that you get to be part of such a grand story of eternity.
- Compassion – for those that have not experienced the grace that you know so well.
Easter is powerful because it’s personal.
One of the best ways to make Easter come alive for your guests is to make sure it’s real and personal for you first.
As a leader, you set the pace. Keeping the message of Easter alive in your heart and soul will transfer to those you serve on Easter.
5 Ways to Keep Easter Personal:
1) Remember the gift Jesus gave you.
I don’t deserve God’s unconditional love, yet He freely gives it to me. I can’t earn it, but I can live my life in a way that honors that gift.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:8-9
There are no strings attached to God’s love. There are hopes, even expectations because He wants “life to the full” for you and me. But nothing can separate us from the love of God. It’s truly a free gift.
2) Reflect on the price Jesus paid for you.
Sometimes I think the gifts Patti and I purchase for our family are expensive. We talk about it and always realize that what motivates us is our love for them. Since they were little kids, we’ve loved their joy and grateful smiles at birthdays and other special celebrations.
When I reflect on the “expense” or cost that Jesus paid for me, it’s overwhelming. My joy is deep. I feel like a kid who has received the most incredible gift of a lifetime. How about you? When you think about the price Jesus paid, how would you describe your thoughts and emotions?
No sacrifice compares to the price Jesus paid for your salvation. His gift to you and I is invaluable. There is no price tag. No one else could give the gift Jesus gave.
3) Express gratitude that Jesus has changed your life.
I’ve already mentioned gratitude, but let me add to that thought. It’s one thing to receive a gift of significant cost or value, and it’s another thing to realize that gift has changed your life forever. You are actually a new person.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!.2 Corinthians 5:17
This was the first scripture the Holy Spirit seared on my heart as a new Christian a long time ago. The power of this truth has never left me, and I am so grateful that I’m not the same person.
Your life has been changed.
Take time to express your gratitude to God. Not like a thing on your to-do list, but a moment that takes the bigger story all in. It can be overwhelming, in a good way, but gratitude is a very personal way to make the gospel real.
4) Practice the truth that Jesus helps you see others differently.
You can see how this progression builds. It starts with recognition and remembrance of the gift you received and acknowledgment of the immeasurable cost. And gratitude is the appropriate heart response for a changed life.
Part of the change that takes place in us is that we see others differently. We begin to see others as Jesus does. The impact of the gospel causes us to love more, care deeper, and respond with generosity rather than selfishness. This makes Easter personal, and of course, this is not contained to the Easter season.
Practicing the power that the resurrection unleashes in our lives enables us to put others first, be more patient, seek understanding, and love authentically.
5) Maximize the opportunity Jesus gives you within your calling.
When the story of the gospel has been deeply internalized and is first personal, it then gives you more freedom to focus on the opportunity that comes with your calling as a leader in the church.
This coming weekend and the weeks following Easter represent an amazing opportunity to reach people for Christ and see your church take new territory for God’s Kingdom. We all get excited about that!
I pray that you sense God’s closeness and the favor of His power and that you experience your calling as an incredible privilege and blessing.
God is with you!