Don't Waste Your Easter Ham

Hey, church fam!

We are officially less than two weeks away from our biggest Sunday of the year! As you know, we don’t go out of our way to overhype our Sunday Gatherings. Our goal isn’t to blow your mind with dazzling lights, drop-the-mic sermons, or Hollywood-grade video production. Because as impressive as an event can be, our long-term goal is not to be entertained by a show, but to connect and become a certain kind of people. And so we think of our Sunday Gatherings as a well-balanced regular diet of gospel truth, community, and shaping. Many of our Sunday Gatherings are ordinary, but that doesn’t mean they’re insignificant. 

Why is Easter is such a big deal?

That being said, we really enjoy making a big deal out of Easter. If there’s one Sunday we want to draw attention to, it should be the one that commemorates Jesus triumphing over sin, death and the grave. 

On Easter, we sing loud.

We baptize people and we cheer loud.

We listen to people tell their stories of how Jesus has changed them and we rejoice loud.

And for all of these reasons, we often encourage you to invite people to the Easter Gathering who don’t normally come around church. Friends and family and neighbors and coworkers that you invite will hear the gospel proclaimed, one story after another, as people describe how Jesus saved them and why they’re getting baptized. 

And for this year, we thought why don’t we up the ante on inviting people in? Because as impressive as an event can be, our long-term goal is not to be entertained by a show, but to connect and become a certain kind of people. So what we’re doing is asking you to do is take your invitation up a level. 

Two easy steps to a successful Easter

Step 1: Pray about inviting anyone Jesus may want to come to the Easter Gathering

Take a few minutes right now to pray about who Jesus might want you to invite to the Easter Gathering. Personally, invite them. Pray for Jesus to use the Gathering to lead them towards Himself. And also, spread a broad net. Use word-of-mouth, the invites that we’ll have at our Gatherings this Sunday, share the link to our Easter page on Facebook–whatever it takes. But don’t just stop there:

Step 2: Host an Easter Meal with the express purpose of inviting in new friends to get to know you, your family, and your LifeGroup.

With Easter being what it is in our culture, countless people will show up to our Easter Gathering, and it’ll be one of if not the only time they attend a church service all year long. So let’s leverage the Easter Gathering as a bridge to help people relationally connect with our church family.

Our Easter Gatherings are conveniently placed right before meal times (10:00am & 5:00pm). And who doesn’t love a good Easter lunch or dinner? So don’t just invite your friends, neighbors, and co-workers to an Easter Gathering, invite them to an Easter Gathering, followed by an Easter meal! Get together with your LifeGroup and plan a feast at someone’s house or snag a reservation at a local restaurant. Use that time to treat that friend of yours to some free food. Ask them what they thought about the Gathering. “Did that stuff make sense?” “Did you relate to any of the stories on video?” “Did that raise any questions for you?” And listen well to their answers.

The best part is that as you eat together, your friends get a front-row seat to observe church family in the context of your LifeGroup. Which is exactly how Jesus said people would recognize us as His; based on how we love each other. So let your friends see how you and your LifeGroup relate to one another, how you speak to each other, how you serve and care for one another. Who knows–they might just ask questions about that later.

Make it count

So this Easter, if you can, don’t waste your Easter ham.

Leverage it for the gospel.

Leverage it as an open door for someone who needs Jesus and His family. 

Have a feast, a party, a blast with your closest friends and invite someone else in to be part of the merriment. 

Easter’s our biggest Sunday of the year. Let’s leverage it so that it could be a life-changing moment in some of our friend's, family member's, and coworkers live's. 

Why Brandon is Excited about Easter

During the next two weeks leading up to our Easter Gathering, our pastors will be posting why they are personally excited about Easter Gathering. For more information, head over to the Easter Gathering page.

In keeping with the great American tradition of taking meaningful holidays and turning them into commercialized landmarks or well meaning but less-than-intended niceties, many people (and even many Christians) are confused about Easter.

Eggs? Bunnies? Peeps? Chocolate figures?

One of the few times each year you drag yourself into a religious gathering or travel home to eat lunch with your family?

The weight of Easter is lost on so many of us just as it gets lost on me at times. Even in my role as a pastor I too often forget the earth-quaking implications that the resurrection of Jesus has on everyday life.

Though our church family strives to constantly center around the gospel of Jesus and by God's grace we speak this truth to each other and our city regularly, we can still grow numb to how good the news really is.

But Easter? Easter is the most clear reminder of the gospel we have each year.

We celebrate the (too good to be true but true) fact that the God-man Jesus straight up walked out of His grave where He buried our sin and our shame. He both took our punishment and provided our righteousness, then went on to defeat death and hell forever.

We were desperate and hopeless and separated from God by our rebellion and now because of Jesus we are none of those.

Easter is no trite holiday. It is the climax of the most epic story ever told--the fairy tale that is actually true.

We get to hear this over and over each Easter through the stories of those getting baptized. We get to hear about the lightning bolt of Jesus' good news that has wrecked individual lives in the best way imaginable.

"I was lost and now I am found."

"I was blind and now I see."

"I was an enemy and God has made me His friend!"

"I was a runaway orphan, but God adopted me into His forever family."

It is the gospel, over and over, spoken powerfully through the mouths of those rescued & redeemed by Jesus.

That is why we go nuts over Easter.

That is why I can't wait for it to get here.

That's why we clap and yell and scream until our voices crack.

Jesus is alive, and that changes everything.

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