The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in history.
But Easter has an unseen downside for many Small Churches.
Right now, all around the world, churches are excitedly preparing for Easter Sunday. Lilies are being arranged, choirs are rehearsing, Passion Plays are being staged, Easter eggs being stuffed and hidden, extra services are being added.
Of all Sundays of the year, the one that still matters most is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We may have drifted away from a lot of important things, but it’s good to know that the one essential event of our faith still means so much to so many people.
The Other Side of the Celebration
The Easter celebration in the church I pastor isn’t as big as a lot of churches, but we do have to ask able-bodied regular attenders to park on the street and around the corner so our small parking lot can be available for the extra guests. I love the “problems” that come with big celebrations like this.
But I also know that this Easter attendance spike is not universal. There are many Small Churches that prepare for Easter Sunday under a burden that most people are unaware of.
In many Small Churches, Easter Sunday is one of the lowest-attended, most challenging days of the year.
I know this is true because I have first-hand experience with it. In the 25-plus years I’ve been pastoring Small Churches, it’s only been in the last ten or so that our crowds actually started to get bigger on Easter Sunday. For most of my time as a Small Church pastor, they got smaller.
I’ve talked with other Small Church pastors who face it, too. The reason most people don’t know about this reality is because they don’t go around complaining about it. They just deal with. And most deal with it extraordinarily well.
Why is Easter attendance so low in many Small Churches? Is this another “proof” that Small Churches and their leaders don’t have enough faith, prayer, planning or some other essential quality?
No. No. A thousand times, no.
Here’s what happens. Continue reading