4 Secrets to a great Easter

By Ted Traylor

Let me be dead level honest. For years, Easter was not my favorite Sunday of the year. Yes, I like the big numbers, but the hypocrisy of people showing up one time a year brought out a bad attitude in me. I just went through the motions. If I could, I would have taken a vacation day.

However, the pastor needs to show up on Easter with everyone else. Therefore, I had to repent. The Lord’s conviction in my soul was to take the day as an opportunity for the gospel.

There are three to five mountain peak days in the life of every church where numbers are larger than normal. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter and a couple of local church day traditions. Bring a Friend Day and Ingathering Sunday in the fall are a couple for us at Olive. Every church should make the most of these days.

Easter is coming. This year it is Sunday, April 16. Making the most of it for evangelism is no easy task, but it is worth the effort. Here are some actions that have worked for us.

1. Make the ask.
Get cards in the hands of your members with an invitation to their friends. Make sure the church members are on the inviting team.

Consider using some public relations. Certainly, use social media.

Plan and make a clear Gospel presentation. I normally make my sermon a little shorter than normal but focus on the Good News.

Plan for baptism that day. The liquid tomb is a great picture of the Gospel.

Make an appeal. There are various methods and I have tried them all. Come forward, fill out a card, meet at a designated place to speak to someone or use a phone to text in the decision.

2. Prepare your facilities.
Have a clean-up day. Maybe some fresh paint.

Train your greeters. Have them in the parking lot and at the doors. And smiling!

Make your printed materials first class. Listing some upcoming events is helpful.

Be sure you have workers scheduled for childcare.

3. Follow up.
Each Saturday afternoon, I call each guest who fills out a card the previous Sunday.

We write a letter to every guest.

Getting age group volunteers to make a visit to the guest still works. We do most of it by appointment, but cold calls can still be effective in Pensacola. You must determine this for your region.

4. Pray.
Nothing you do will be more important than this. Enlist teams to pray. Spend time fasting over Easter Sunday. Have your small groups commit to praying the four weeks prior to Easter for a mighty move of God on Resurrection Sunday.

You never know. God may change your heart about Easter. He did it for me. I cannot wait for the once a year crowd to arrive. God is going to save someone and that will be worth the effort.

Published May 30, 2018

Ted Traylor

Since 1990 Dr. Ted Traylor is the pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. His weekly radio and television ministry, At the Heart of Things, reaches thousands of homes along the Gulf Coast and through weekly podcasts and streaming. Dr. Traylor’s bold and practical preaching brings people to a fresh understanding of God’s Word and challenges them to become bondservants for Christ. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Samford University in 1997 and a Master of Divinity (1981) and Doctor of Ministry (1986) degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as First Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000 and President of the Florida Baptist Convention in 1995, Dr. Traylor was President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2004 Pastors’ Conference, 2010 Pensacola Bay Baptist Association moderator, and was part of the 2010 Great Commission Resurgence Task force team. Currently Dr. Traylor is proud to serve on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes board for the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!).