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Did you try Easter Service? Try Again.

April 5, 2013

Easter brings a large number of visitors to churches all around the world. Many of these visitors will not return to church. Maybe it is confusion, distaste for the church they visited, or they are still not sure about Jesus. This month, Anafalz will be dedicating Friday’s to those who went to church on Easter Sunday but are still searching. If you are that person, I look forward to sharing with you. If you know someone like that, please pass these blogs on to them.

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Easter Sunday church services, what to say? For some people who are not regular church attenders they may seem over the top. Many times the churches are too full on Easter Sunday leaving people sitting in extra chairs in the foyer, or left standing in the aisles. Others will feel the church is too impersonal because they were not able to meet the pastor or it was too personal because everyone wanted to meet them. Here are some realities about Easter Sunday services.

Why does the Easter service seem over the top? The answer can be quite simple. Easter Sunday is the pinnacle of the year for Christians. It is the day Christians remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. To relate this to sports fans: Easter Sunday to Christians is like the Super Bowl to an NFL fan or the Daytona 500 to a NASCAR fan. Most churches go all out on this Sunday. It is a celebration of joy and excitement. It is a day of hope and renewal. So, if the service seems a bit over the top, it is a day to celebrate.

Why are churches so short on seats for Easter Sunday? The three days of the year when churches have their largest attendance are Easter Sunday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day (who wants to disappoint Mom). On Easter and Christmas, the crowds are large and frequently can create a need for overflow seating. This does create a twice a year problem which in many cases has no viable solution except have overflow seating in the foyer. This lack of seating does not mean they do not want you there. On a normal Sunday there are 25-50% of the seats open, just waiting for you to come and fill one.

Why are churches so impersonal or too personal on Easter Sunday? The answer to this question are the answers to the last to questions. It is so impersonal in many cases because of the overflowing crowds. This not only is overwhelming for visitors, but also for many church members. They are just not sure how to handle all the humanity. The opposite side of that question, why so personal? This is such a joyous time for a congregation they want to share their joy with everyone in sight. This can also be overwhelming for a visitor who would like to privately enjoy a church service, but this is an instance of the church showing its hospitality.

Where does all of this leave someone who attends church once or twice a year, hoping to find a place they enjoy? There are several recommendations which can make this Easter day one of a church search. The first recommendation is attend the same church for at least four consecutive weeks. This will give you an opportunity to view the church during “normal” Sunday services. It will provide an opportunity to see if the congregation and pastor get to know you. If this church is not a good fit, it is time to try another church for a month.

The bottom line: Do not let Easter be the last day at church this year. Continue to try it out. Look around, ask questions, and see where friends go. Just do not give up.

 

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