In just a few days, thousands of churches all over the world will celebrate Easter. Some churches will have Easter egg hunts for the kids. Other churches will have elaborate cantatas, drama productions, or extended times of music. Some churches will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. In some assemblies, the pastor will deliver a message on the resurrection, and the church will have a fellowship meal together. Regardless of how a church commemorates this day, nearly all churches have one thing in common–they want to have a powerful Easter worship service. How can it be done?
Having a powerful Easter worship service isn’t about following five steps or adhering to a certain pattern. Powerful worship services aren’t the result of following rules. Powerful worship services are about following Jesus, and depending upon God’s grace. Nonetheless, these simple considerations may help you as you consider how to have a powerful Easter worship service.
- Focus on Jesus in your Easter Sunday service. Easter isn’t about a date on a calendar. It’s not even primarily about an event. It is primarily about a person–the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus ought to be the focus of your Easter service. Preach Jesus. Talk about Jesus. Praise Jesus. Worship Jesus. Jesus is worthy of all our devotion and our love. Every Sunday–even every day–ought to be an experience of adoration and praise of Jesus, but on Easter Sunday you should take this to the next level. At the end of Easter Sunday, you should be able to look back and think: “Jesus was glorified by what we did today.”
- Bathe your Easter Sunday service in prayer. Do you realize the absolute power of prayer? Prayer isn’t simply you talking to God. It’s God responding to your requests. He is infinitely powerful and wise. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is still working to transform lives. Don’t underestimate prayer’s importance. Have a time of staff prayer meeting before the service. Invite members of your church to an early morning prayer meeting on Easter morning or the night before.
- Teach about Salvation. Easter is about salvation. The Bible teaches that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Although you may be having an Easter cantata, an abbreviated service, or a theme on Christian living, you ought to introduce the gospel, too. Remember that more unbelievers attend church on Easter Sunday than any other day of the year. This may be your only opportunity to share with them the truth of salvation. Believing people need to hear the gospel as well as unbelieving people. Reminding ourselves of God’s glorious work in forgiving our sin and saving our souls ought to constantly challenge and change us to become more like Jesus.
- Introduce creative elements into your Easter Sunday service. Does your service always follow the same pattern, with the same events occurring in precisely the same order? There is nothing wrong with this, of course. Some churches depend on a liturgy in order to conduct an orderly worship service. However, on Easter Sunday, you may wish to change the service a bit. Be respectfully creative. Here are some ideas. Allow people in the church to give testimonies as to how the truth of the resurrection has changed their lives. Spend a portion of your service in congregational prayer. Introduce a new song on the theme of the resurrection. Show a video about the resurrection (see Sharefaith Easter videos).Think about some other ways in which you can arrest people’s attention, and introduce an element of variety that makes the service more significant.
- Develop a unified theme for your Easter Sunday service. People remember events when they have a central theme. This principle holds true in books, in lectures or in sermons. The principle holds true in your Easter Sunday service. Obviously, the general theme of the service will be about Easter and the resurrection. However, you may wish to give the people a powerful and succinct truth that pertains to Easter. For example: “He rose for me. I’ll live for him.” “Give glory to the Risen King.” “He Rose. He Lives. He’s coming back someday.” “Jesus’ resurrection gives meaning to my life.” Remember that you can enhance a theme by unifying your church media. This includes having a uniform bulletin, worship video, and sermon PowerPoint. (Sharefaith has many such sets on our Easter Sunday Passover page.)
Perhaps you can pause right now and pray that God would use your Easter Sunday for his glory.