The Reflectionary – Holy Week 2023

by | Apr 5, 2023 | The Reflectionary

So much goes on in the minds of pastors and church leaders during Holy Week. Easter Sunday is, after all, the single highest attendance day of the year for most churches. And while that makes it an exciting opportunity to share the good news of Jesus and the hope of his resurrection with a lot of people, this week also brings with it some stressful and unhealthy thoughts for most church leaders.

While we don’t always get to stop intrusive thoughts at the front door of our minds, we have every right to kick them out and welcome better thoughts in their place. So I wanted to offer you some alternative ways of seeing this week to replace the negative thinking church leaders struggle with.

Instead of thinking, I could have done more, invite more, made a bigger push, made better graphics, etc. for this big day, think, I’ve put effort into inviting people who need to hear about the hope we have in Christ and I’m going to trust God’s Spirit to draw those who need this Sunday the most.

One Sunday never makes or breaks a local church. While Easter is a cool opportunity to share the gospel with more people than usual, what matters more is who we are becoming week in and week out.

Instead of thinking, we’re not ready to do all the follow-up and care for the visitors that will show up on Sunday and people are going to slip through the cracks, think, We’re all connected and all I can do is love anybody in my pathway and lead my fellow leaders to do the same.

Discipleship is a relational work. As Skye Jethani says:

Throughout most of history Christian faith has been transmitted life to life. Disciple to disciple. But we no longer expect this to be the case. We can avoid the messy reality of human relationships because somewhere a curriculum has been published, a book has been written, a program has been created to meet our spiritual needs. Who needs a spiritual mother or father? We now have the institution to shepherd us in the faith.

Skye Jethani, The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity

It’s great that there are large churches with large budgets and large staffs working hard to attract large crowds to hear about Jesus, but truthfully, most people whose lives will be changed by the gospel will see that change happen in the context of relationships. And there are no minimum church size requirements for putting energy into meaningful relationships.

And instead of thinking, This weekend’s message has to be the biggest and best I’ve ever presented, think, I’m going to worship God through my preaching, drawing attention to the glory of Jesus Christ. And then I’ll let the Holy Spirit take over.

In other words, the pressure is off to have the perfect performance and production. Your acts of leadership, shepherding, and preaching this weekend are ultimately acts of worship. Therefore, as you move through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, intentionally point your thoughts toward Jesus Christ, whose saving story is at the center of it all.

And know that he loves you. He’s for you. He’s pleased that you’re in his family and that you’re doing what you can to get the good news about him to other people.

Don’t forget to enjoy God’s presence today, Sunday, and beyond!

Keep on growing!

Brandon

 

This Week’s Big Sermon Idea

 

The Jesus of History and the God of Mystery

A sermon idea based on Colossians 3:1-4 and assigned for Resurrection Sunday, the first Sunday of Easter, in the current Year A.

God is Mystery. Our minds can never fully comprehend him. But when we trust in Jesus, God incarnate, we enter into Christ. We are raised from our mere earthly existence to be able to journey onward with a fresh vision of our cosmic Creator as well as who we truly are in him.

Read and/or Share the Full Article »

 

Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

Because He Lives - a Creative Sermon Series for the Easter Season

From the Description:

This four-week, post-Easter sermon series explores the difference Christ’s resurrection makes in the life of the believer. Where Easter celebrates that Jesus died but was resurrected, we will now examine how this changes our lives now and forever. Knowing that something happened is all well and good, but the impact of that act comes from knowing why that something matters to us. How does Jesus’s sacrifice change the lives of believers?

Check Out This Sermon Series »

 

Resources for Leaders

 

BOOK
The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity
By Skye Jethani

The Divine Commodity explores spiritual practices that liberate our imaginations to live as Christ’s people in a consumer culture opposed to the values of his kingdom. Each chapter shows how our formation as consumers has distorted an element of our faith, and then energizes an alternative vision for those seeking a more meaningful faith. Before we can hope to live differently, we must have our minds released from consumerism’s grip and captivated once again by Christ.

 

RESEARCH
Americans Believe in Easter Resurrection But Aren’t Sure Why It Matters 
By Aaron Earls via LifeWay Research

 

ARTICLE
Preaching Is Beautiful and Burdensome
By James Ellis, III via Preaching Today

A biblical understanding of the Imago Dei says that you are first and most importantly a beloved child of God and that, furthermore, in Christ you have been purchased at the highest price because of your immense value to God. That’s it. Everything else gains its significance and marching orders from there.

 

ARTICLE
Taking a Walk Down Cemetery Lane – A Reminder of the Death of Death
By Judi Prince via Prince on Preaching

 

ARTICLE
Follow Up with Visitors After Easter 
By Rick Warren via Pastors.com

 

If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.

 

The Latest from Walk Humble

Walk Humble is where I host an ongoing conversation about life, faith, and relationships among people brave enough to admit they don’t have life all figured out yet.

ARTICLE
What Holy Week is All About for Christians

PODCAST
Podcast Episode #004: Stop Trying to Fit In

ARTICLE
Messin’ with Religious People

 

Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!

 

About the Cover Art: Photo by Aral Tasher on Unsplash.

 

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