Church and the Easter season: How will 2013 be different?

076We’re in the 11th hour before Easter weekend. Visual arts are ready; seating has been increased for the overflow of visitors; all satellite campuses have gone through AV testing to ensure connectivity; you’ve prepped the sermon with respect to the season: and your Welcoming team is prepped for the new faces. Same routine as the year before (and every other year before that)? Maybe, but what are we doing differently to challenge the norm?

I was inspired by the story, now viral, regarding a 15-year-old Sierra Leone youth who has made a difference in his region by simply challenging some of the perceived limitations in that area of the world. He emerged with a vision and a creative aptitude that won him the opportunity to visit MIT’s Media Lab and participate in their three-week program as the youngest practitioner in the program’s history.

So what was inspiring about this story, and how does it relate to the Easter season?

Obviously, the story itself is a commendable and deserved tribute to the ability of humanity to overcome situational adversity through the use of God-given talents. However, I found myself equally inspired by the astounding response to this message. As my mind drifted to the personal impact that this week represents, I considered the question – what if the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection had a viral impact that touched millions of people’s lives in a brief couple of days?

A couple thousand years ago a man came to this earth and changed the thinking of the world. He inspired people with His approach, His message, His unparalleled love expressed through His death on the cross, and His miraculous and life-changing resurrection. The message of a 15-year-old who crafted technological advancements in an impoverished part of the world gained over 4.3 million views. How much more should the message of Christ’s death and, even more impactful, resurrection change people’s hearts today? Have we lost our amazement over events of such monumental spiritual significance? Are we doing the work that we’ve been called to do, in expectation that millions of people will find this message to be life-changing and inspirational?

As you look to this coming weekend, renew the fervor in your heart to deliver a message that pulls your audience from their traditions and expectations. Perform a visually stimulating dramatic representation that stirs the soul of the observer. Share a warm greeting with the disenchanted. Be ready to express the love of the One who loved us even when we were unlovable. Remember, this isn’t just another holiday, and He wasn’t just another man. If we are as eager to share His inspirational message as we are the latest social post, it could very well open the hearts of millions to something that has eternal significance.

I look forward to hearing how God used you and your church to re-tell His story with new fervor!