For many churches it is a traditional service that evokes memories of similar services as a child. For others it becomes a special Sunday for creative expression of the gospel.
Our church falls in the second category. We move our Easter service off-site and take it to the Community Hall in our town. We call it an Easter Eggstravaganza. We do a pancake and ham breakfast at 9:30, an Easter Service at 10:30, and an Egg Hunt – with tons of chocolate – at 11:30.
But what really caught my attention this year was how many of our church people were involved in making this special annual event happen. I counted up all those who helped set up the night before, all those who helped prepare and serve breakfast, all those who donated candy or money for that, all those who helped clean up, all those who helped in the service, all those who invited people and helped make the whole weekend happen. And I came up with at least 40 youth and Adults who were involved in some way to make the event a success.
And it was a success! Over 160 people attended and heard the gospel of the Easter Story. We even had one person let us know on our Connection Cards that she wanted to have questions about Jesus answered, so my wife, Lynnette, and I were able to meet with her and tell her more about Jesus.
What I really wanted to celebrate is that we had 40 people,out of an average Sunday attendance of 60, serve in some way! In discussions about who we are and want to be as a church, our Elders Board recently stated that one of our core values should be: Everybody Plays. This was an example of that. Our congregation has bought into this event. They are all willing to make it happen.
That is one more of my joys in being in a small rural church. More often than not, we have a large percentage of our people serving in one way or another. In the past we did some Volunteer Appreciation Sundays where we began listing all those who had served in specific ways in the church. By the end of that ceremony we usually had only about 3 people left sitting in the pews. People didn’t like that so we quit showing our appreciation in that way, but the point is that we have most of the church involved in some means of serving – and that is exciting.