Monday, April 2, 2012
to all MFI leaders! In the USA, we are having great Regionals around the
nation. Next stop: Idaho. Right now, as are most pastors and churches, I am
looking forward to Easter and preparing the best way to present the gospel. I
thought I would throw out a few ideas as to what we at City Bible Church do for
- We change our service times
to make room for all visitors and to make it special for all people. It is
not business as usual. This year, we’re holding one hour services at 9 AM,
10:30 AM, and 12 noon. This service is custom made for all who will visit
on Easter. We also provide some special goodies in the lobby so that
people can snack and linger after service.
- We do a special video with
new and original music that highlights people’s lives changed by Jesus.
Both the music and the video portray a moving story of what people face
today and how Jesus can step in.
- We keep the worship shorter
and focused on Jesus, the cross, forgiveness, and the power of the blood
of Jesus. The worship set will be powerful but not unusual, including a
well-known hymn. The spirit of the service will be grace, compassion,
hope, forgiveness, and redemption.
- We will baptize people in
water during the service to highlight the power of a changed life, of
grace and mercy, and new beginnings. It’s a visual of death, burial, and
resurrection. Those being baptized will invite their friends and family.
Baptisms on Easter Sunday is a huge win.
- I will speak for only 20
minutes and will share a straightforward Jesus message. Our Easter theme
is "Forgiven,” so everything – song, video, and message – will flow around
this theme. I will aim at the prodigals; the unsaved; the broken; the
fallen; those who have fallen into tragedy; and those who need healing,
hope, and a life encounter with Jesus. I will invite all those responding
to pray with me and I will also take time to make sure they fill out an
information card so that we can follow up with them throughout the week
and disciple them.
- We will also promote our
next series that starts the following Sunday, April 15. The series is
called "Your Ticket to Life,” a verse-by-verse study of 2 Peter 1:1-11.
The 11 verses give us specific tickets we must have to enter specific
doors in life. The ticket holder must take the ticket from Jesus, the
- We have a huge kid’s party
with a massive egg hunt, prizes, and food. It’s really quite amazing. The
gospel is presented clearly to all kids of every age and we have amazing
responses. This party is one hour, just like the service, and it is highly
hands out thousands of touch cards and posters for our Easter services. They
send out e-vites, tweets, and invitations to their friends on Facebook. We
promote Easter every way we can. This is the Sunday America goes to church.
Let’s be the church that sees amazing and miraculous results. Don’t try to
stuff too much into the service or the message. This is not the time to show
your theological roots and your 50 minute sermon on the meaning of Easter. Be
different this Easter Sunday. Be focused, be simple, be graceful, and be Spirit-sensitive.
People want hope, a future, a way to start over. Be the Jesus emotion and show
enclosing my sermon notes for April 1, this Sunday before Easter (click here to download the file). Its message
is strong in content, will be about 40 minutes, and it will get the cross
message deep into the heart of everyone.
have the greatest Easter ever!
Pastor, City Bible Church
Ministers Fellowship International