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Jesus rose from the dead.

Nobody else has ever done that. At least, not without Jesus' help.

And Jesus' resurrection has changed the world. It has changed history. It has changed me, and millions of others.

It's a big deal.

If you're a pastor or ministry leader, you have permission—actually, you have the responsibility—to make Easter Sunday as big a deal as possible at your church!

There are plenty of anti-large-church rants on the internet, urging us to avoid overdoing our promotion or our production—to keep it small and meaningful, as though large can't possibly be meaningful.

One of my mentors often talks about being "unapologetically pro church growth and church health." I'm with him. That doesn't mean bigger is better. Better is better. But being better often leads to getting bigger, and that's okay.

Here's my challenge to you—my reasons why you ought to maximize the potential of Easter Sunday at your church as an opportunity to host as many guests as possible.

1. People need Jesus.

If they don't discover a relationship with Jesus, they won't be forgiven of their sin and they won't spend eternity in heaven with God's people. And that's tragic. It breaks the heart of the one who went to such great lengths to save lost people. And it ought to break the hearts of all of his people, as well.

The only way for people to meet Jesus is to be told about Jesus, usually by a friend, and often by a friend who has been willing to invite them to experience their church family with them.

2. The Good News needs to be heard.

Jesus is alive! That's big news. And God wants everyone to hear this good news about Jesus.

Everyone. Not a select few. Not the elite. Not the special ones, or the frozen chosen or the good-looking people.

If (and by if I really mean since) Jesus rose from the dead, everyone needs to hear about it!

3. People are receptive.

I would agree that often people are more receptive to the story of the gospel than we give them credit for, but we're communicating it wrongly. We're presenting it as something purely therapeutic, or moralistic, or as a sort of eternal insurance policy.

But the good news of Jesus is life-encompassing. And people are often receptive to truth that brings relief to the pain and problems they experience. They're usually receptive to a word about Jesus. And they're especially receptive when that message is conveyed in love by a friend.

4. The world needs hope.

Like never before! Depression and suicide are epidemic in our culture. And while I believe very strongly in modern medicine, counseling, and therapy, I also believe that the only thing that will truly give hope to the hopeless is the message of King Jesus, which is:

  • There is one who came to seek and to save the lost,
  • There is one who died to conquer the sickness of sin,
  • There is one rose again to vanquish death and the grave,
  • There is one who loves, draws, saves, empowers and reconciles people today!

The world has never needed this hope more.

5. We who believe are stewards of grace.

This is me, from the gut. I shouldn't be a pastor. I shouldn't be forgiven, cleansed and healed. But I'm the recipient of unconditional love and immeasurable grace.

And as the recipient of such grace, I am also a steward. I am responsible for whether I horde the message of grace all to myself, or share it with the world in both word and deed.

It's time to love. It's time to invite. It's time to share the wealth of the goodness of God and the riches of grace found in the risen King Jesus!

So if you're in an underground church or a house church or a small church a dozen miles from the nearest gas station, include everyone that you can in your celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter weekend.

If you're helping to lead a megachurch with millions in the budget and multiple campuses and services, adorn the doctrine of Christ and make the resurrection as clear and apparent and unavoidable as possible.

If you're like tens of thousands of other leaders, working in the harvest among churches of a hundred or two or fewer people, give this weekend your all. Give it everything you've got. Go as big as you can!

Your success won't be measured, ultimately, by the number of seats you fill but rather by this question: Did you do the best you could to make the most of this present opportunity to share Jesus with as many people as possible?

So when you hear the critics attempt to shame the leaders making a big deal out of Easter Sunday, ignore them.

Go big. Jesus is worth it. And people are worth it.

Brandon Cox has been a pastor since he was 19 and has served churches large and small, including serving as a pastor at Saddleback Church. Currently, he is planting a purpose-driven church in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as editor of pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders, as well as a blog about men's issues, a blog about blogging and a blog about social media.

This article originally appeared at brandonacox.com.

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