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Episode 12 of Kindavangelical just released! The Art and Joy of Civil Conversation

Pastors…Preparation for Easter Sunday
APRIL 14 2022
  1. The last time I preached on Easter; I didn’t know it was the last time I would preach on Easter. Looking back, I spent too many years stressed out, focused on my performance, worrying about guests (both those who came and those who wouldn’t), feeling the need to hit a “home run” and trying too hard to be creative. I missed the joy of it all. I encourage you to have fun this weekend, enjoy the joy.
  1. Research shows that the number of first-time visitors on Easter is smaller than we once thought. Yes, your attendance will swell but that is because all the folks who consider your church to be ‘home’ are all showing up on the same day. It is as much a ‘family gathering’ as it is an outreach day.
  1. While preparing your message, remember that less is more. I encourage you to shorten your preaching time (I used to shoot for 25 minutes on Easter whereas I usually preached for 40). I encourage you to avoid doing an extended exposition of a long pericope and instead focus on one profound truth and allow your people to soak in it.
  1. Story, story, story! Craft your message around a story. Story bypasses the resistance the brain employs and allows truth to settle into one’s heart. The story is also more enjoyable to listen to than a didactic explanation for people who are less used to attending church.
  1. See Easter Sunday as an opportunity to remind folks why attending your church is a good thing. Leave them wanting more.
  1. Grab a little personal time on Saturday. The temptation is to work all the way through the weekend but creating some white space before the Easter services is crucial. Get outside, move around, breathe slowly, sit and feel the breeze on your face, listen to the sounds around you, and, again, breathe slowly.
  1. Recognize the reality that your sermon will not be perfect (they never are). Be compassionate with yourself and give yourself space to be human.
  1. Remember that your staff and volunteers are putting in a really long weekend too. Go out of your way to thank them and let them know how crucial they are to make the whole thing work.
  1. I bet your staff would love to get Monday off… just saying.
  1. Remember that this day is not about you, at all. It is all about this guy who loved to distraction, served with grace, and sacrificed everything. It is about the fact that he lives and loves even today. Knowing this day is not about you takes the pressure off, you can show up and rest, love, serve and smile.

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