A quick thought for pastors:
As you put the final touches on your Easter message please remember something incredibly important: You will probably have visitors this Sunday. And depending on how connected your church members are in your community, you will probably have some unchurched or dechurched visitors as well. Make sure you prepare your message with them in mind.
The Gospel spread rapidly in the first few centuries because the followers of Jesus were passionate about what they believed. They didn’t just share the Good News about a new life through Jesus Christ… they LIVED it! And they also made the message accessible to outsiders. What began as a Jewish “sect” became a movement because people like the Apostle Paul were able to think outside the insider box enough to contextualize the message to their hearers.
So as you finalize your message for this weekend, please keep in mind that outsiders don’t understand church terms or theology. Our traditions and customs (such as congregational singing or communion) don’t make sense to them. It takes a LOT more work to present our customs and the Gospel in a way that connects with outsiders. But isn’t that the point? Take some time to think through how your message will sound to people with little or no church background, or to those that are “done with church.” And think through what personal stories or objects you could use to illustrate your points.
At Easter the message of hope is centerstage. It is because of Easter that we get a chance at a new life. The resurrection has HUGE ramifications for unbelievers! It is our job to make sure we share the message in a way that reaches peoples’ hearts.
Easter is one of your best chances to connect with the people you’re prayed that God would send you. Be sure to make the most of this God-given opportunity!