One of the First Aims of Preaching from Rev. Adam Hamilton’s chapter on “Preaching” is called Evangelistic Sermons.
I’m sure you will agree that there are two times when the unchurched find themselves sitting in our pews: Christmas and Easter. Hamilton let’s us know that these are the times we need to go fishing!
As we prepare for our highest recruitment days (Christmas and Easter) or “Fishing Expedition” opportunities as Hamilton states, it’s important to be very intentional. He shares some strategies that have contributed to his success.
Recently, we rented the movie, “God is Not Dead.” I must say that overall I thought it was a good movie. It started a little slow in its building, but by the time we hit the middle and end I was hooked.
The movie was centered around a college student and his atheistic professor of philosophy. The theme is ‘apologetics.’ Apologetics in this sense is NOT apologizing, but rather offering a DEFENSE of one’s belief.
The first day of class the presumptuous professor convinced his class to write the words “God is Dead” on a sheet of paper to avoid having to teach the Evidence of the Existence God segment of his class. The bribe promised an easy ‘A’ and accounted for 30% of their grade.
The majority of students had no problem jotting down these three words. One student however, could not do this. The angered professor told him to he must then be prepared to defend his view or risk loosing 30% of his grade. The student had a lot to lose.He consulted a pastor for guidance.What the pastor said had a profound impact on me. He said,
“The acceptance of this challenge may be the ONLY meaningful exposure to God and Jesus they will ever have.”
Someone once said that Easter is the “Superbowl” of Christianity – the biggest event of the year.
Typically, on this day we have no problem attracting people to our churches. However, the challenge before us is to create such an experience that our visitors increase their visits from one time of year to multiple times a year — to eventually become active members of the Church.
As pastors, we MUST commit to planning earlier for our Easter services. Treating this day like any other Sunday would be a missed evangelistic opportunity.
Many churches that are seeing increases in membership, plan for these services a year in advance. This demonstrates that they are being not only evangelistic, but ‘intentional.’
With just a couple of weeks before Easter, I believe we still can put together some new things to have a successful evangelistic Easter Service.
Here are 7 things we can do right away to ensure great experience this Easter:
This blog addresses a few criticism I received on a play I wrote and produced called, “The Cup.” The drama ran on Thursday and Friday of Holy week (Easter). This year marked its second year in production. I am thrilled to report it was packed house on both nights.
The play depicted Jesus time and agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. I unpacked the figurative ‘Cup’ that Jesus asked God to remove from Him – exploring the types of sin that was in each of the cups with special attention given to the last cup that brought Jesus down to His knees making Him sweat drops of blood.
God really showed up as we attempted to display Jesus’ love, His compassion and ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.
Of course there is always a critic – and that’s okay!
Now let me say it this way, I (we) received many compliments about how great the production was. It warmed my heart, as well as the cast of plus 60 and all those who worked behind the scenes.
But there were those who found fault with the production. Let me me first say that “We won’t grow if everyone is constantly saying to us, “How Great Thou Art.” You can not improve upon perfection because perfection is the ultimate. And I admit I am no where near perfection.
Constructive criticism is always helpful because the motivation behind it is that the person really wants to see you do better. But then there are what I call ‘Modern Day Pharisees – MDPs.’ In biblical times Pharisees gave Jesus a hard time rebuking Him for not washing His hands, not making His disciples fast or healing people on the Sabbath Day.
In other words, they were sweating over the small stuff!
The Bible Miniseries – Episode #4 Review
This episode is called, “Mission.”
- Jesus brings a dead man back to life
- Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey
- Jesus turns on the money-changers in the temple
- Caiaphas coaxes Judas into betraying Jesus
- Jesus throws the disciples into turmoil at the Last Supper.
- Things I Liked
- Things that were Shocking
- Things that were Missing in Action
- Things that I Did Not Like
- Things that the UN-Churched Learned about Jesus