What are your expectations for Easter at your church? Especially for those that are visiting for the first time and who may be totally unfamiliar with the Christian faith?
In answer to that question, I'd like to propose that you Make it OK for visitors to reject Jesus at your Easter Service and in our podcast today I'll tell you why.
Before you consign this podcast and the blog that goes with it to me being a total heretic who thinks "everybody gets saved in the end, no matter who or what they believe in" —be assured nothing could be further from my intention. I take very seriously the truth that if people do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (and only Jesus Christ, no other savior) they will spend eternity in endless suffering separated from God. That's why I want to share 5 reasons why you need to make it OK for visitors to reject Jesus at Easter.
Be assured, we won't stop at their rejection, but I'll give you suggestions on how to move that rejection into exploration and ultimately acceptance. While you are planning ways to invite people and your PR for Easter, keep these ideas in mind and realize that Easter is just the start of a relationship with unchurched people.
As you begin, you probably need to lower your expectations on getting a significant spiritual response from guests at Easter. Yes, you plan and work to perhaps get a great response in numbers, but in our post-Christian world today, it takes time to make a spiritual impact.
Don't be surprised, shocked, or upset if visitors don't immediately respond to the gospel message you present at Easter and remind yourself and your congregation that this is a natural rejection to any new and challenging thought. Following are some observations and suggestions that will help you respond positively that will ultimately help people accept Jesus as Savior. [Read more...]