(and what we can do about it)
I’ve never been fond of the references to Easter as the “Super Bowl of the Church”, but it has some validity. Most ministries are very active during Holy Week as they build up to a Resurrection Sunday Celebration. Excitement is high and we all hope for a great season. But for some pastors, the season is very stressful. There are several reasons for that.
- High expectation: most people realize that Easter is the highlight of the church year and they demand that the church be firing on all cylinders. There is little room for subpar ministry.
- Comparison: The advent of social media has unfortunately fueled competitive flames among ministers as many tout what an awesome day/service they had.
- Guests: we all know that some folks only go to Church on Christmas and Easter (CEOs). This places a lot of pressure on a minister to reach these people in the very little time that they will be in church.
- Critical culture: Pastors are being critiqued as never before. People watch famous television preachers and expect their pastor to “perform” on a similar level.
- Visiting family and friends: when people bring their family to church, they don’t want to be embarrassed. Preachers feel this pressure.
- Concern for souls: Pastors care deeply about the spiritual condition of the people in their Easter services. While we know we can’t save anyone, if we blow this opportunity, there could be eternal consequences.
What can we do to help our Pastor (or ourselves) to find some relief during Easter?
- Pray for your pastor, especially this week.
- Don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself or your pastor. Billy Graham has gone to heaven so let’s not expect that kind of effectiveness.
- Don’t criticize a pastor. Instead, encourage them. A note card or quick text expressing appreciation and prayer support can have a huge impact this week.
- Distribute expectations. While Easter is the big week, taking a longer view of ministry will help to balance things. While we want the church to be full on Easter, we really desire long-term growth in our ministries.
- Prepare ahead of time. Pastor, work early on your sermon. Try to be finished early in the week so the last few hours can be spent in quiet reflection and rest.
- Don’t compare! In fact, stay off of Facebook on Easter Sunday afternoon.
- Give God the glory for the privilege of ministry, even in stressful seasons like Easter.
- Take Monday off!
Easter is all about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s not a performance or production. Keep it simple; don’t try to impress people. Relax, and worship the Risen Lord!
Blessed Easter 2019!