It's the day after Easter. Did your services go as you hoped and prayed?
What emotions are you feeling?
The emotions and general response of a church leader from arguably the most significant weekend in the Christian calendar will run a wide gamut today, and for the next several days—maybe weeks.
Some leaders are encouraged to see people they haven't seen in months. Others are frustrated that infrequent attenders showed up and may not be seen again until Christmas.
How you think and feel matters.
Easter is a big weekend, but there are 51 other weeks in the year, loaded with hope and potential.
Your leadership stamina and resilience are more important right now than you may know. The enemy would love for you to let up, lose your joy, or maybe even temporarily give up.
Guard Yourself and Your Church Against These 3 Dangers
1) Comparison and Disappointment
Comparing your church to others is natural but usually not helpful. When you focus on the attendance of other churches, two unhealthy outcomes are common.
The first is feeling disappointed or discouraged because other churches had attendance much larger than yours. The second is feeling good that your attendance was much larger than others. Both options are a waste of time and emotional energy.
The better choice is to thank God for His work in other churches and focus on gratitude for every good thing that happened on Easter at your church.
2) Business as Usual
The second common danger the day after Easter is that you go right back to business as usual.
It's almost as though Easter didn't happen. It may have felt like a blur. Perhaps you leave for vacation or just go back to emails, solving problems and thinking about what's next.
This one is my temptation. I'm on to the next thing before I've really fully experienced what just happened. It's like Thanksgiving dinner: three hours to prepare, then 30 minutes to eat, and that's it. It's over.
Here are a few better options: (Even just for a few minutes)
- Spend time today reflecting on your own salvation story and how your life has changed.
- Find a quiet place to thank God for all He did this past weekend—for the things you could see and the things you could not see (Eph. 6:10-12).
- Pour a cup of coffee and write several notes thanking your key leaders and volunteers for what they did to help advance the kingdom over Easter.
3) Party but no action
The final danger in this list is celebrating the success of Easter but with essentially little or no follow-through.
If you experienced a large number of guests and salvations for your church, that is awesome!
Having a post-Easter "party" with a few key leaders is great. Maybe enjoy a fun lunch together and tell a few favorite stories from yesterday. Or take a day off to smell the roses and catch your breath.
But you might be surprised by how many churches have no real written plan for guest follow-up. You may also be surprised by how many of those churches have no working plan for how they will follow up, connect with and train new Christians.
Who will connect with and teach your new Christians the basics of their faith and Christianity?
If you are a solo pastor in a small church, ask two or three people to help you. I'll bet they'll say yes!
Don't get overly focused on the number of guests you had; focus more on who you have and pour your energy there.
My hope is that you are encouraged and inspired to keep digging in and never take your eyes off the mission.
If you are discouraged, please remember how much God loves you, that He is with you and cherishes His church.
What you are doing matters!
Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as vice president of leadership and church development at INJOY.
This article originally appeared at danreiland.com.
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