It’s been a crazy week and I’m just now getting a chance to add a post to my blog.
Easter weekend at Journey was an amazing experience. We hosted a Community Easter Service at a local civic center and it was an incredible success. We had 1,057 people at our weekend services, we collected $1,000 for John Evans Middle School (so they could host an amazing end of the year party), we received a huge offering, and we are going to be baptizing a bunch of people this Sunday who made decisions for Christ last Sunday.
As I’ve reflected on why last weekend was such a great success, I’ve decided to detail the reasons on my blog because I think it may be helpful to other ministry leaders.
1). Prayer–We began praying for our Easter services on the first Sunday in January. We prayed about the service at all of our leadership meetings and all of our staff meetings. About a month ago we hosted a special prayer service on Saturday night to pray for our Easter weekend services. We specifically prayed that God would reveal his plan for the weekend and we promised to follow his plan.
2) Planning–We began working on this service in January. Our spent countless hours discussing every detail, every scenario, every possible thing that could go wrong, and every thing we wanted to go right. Our leadership team met regularly, our Family Ministry team met regularly, our greeting/ushers team met…every one of our teams met as many times as they needed to to make sure that they were ready.
3) Teamwork–Over a hundred volunteers, led by my fantastic leadership team, pulled together as one to make this event happen. Every member of our staff worked diligently, enthusiastically, and professionally to make sure that the service would be everything God wanted it to be. Teamwork made the dream work.
4) Marketing–Early in February we strategized a marketing plan that included original artwork, posters, fliers, postcards, radio spots, ads in the newspaper, internet marketing, and regular promotion from the “pulpit” at church. This plan was not thrown together, but was diligently planned to make sure that every part of the plan was initiated at just the right time and in just the right way.
5) High Expectations–From Day One the leadership team enthusiastically communicated that we expected everyone to invite their friends to come to this exciting service…and the people responded in a huge way. We averaged about 550 people at our services last month, so we had almost twice as many people at our services last week as we had the week before. Why? Because the people of Journey rose to the occasion and invited people to this service. I’m so proud to be associated with the people of Journey! Their faith, vision, and enthusiasm for reaching people for Jesus is amazing.
6) Preacher Support–I was pumped about this service from the moment we signed the contract at the Civic Center. At the end of every service since mid-January I pushed our Easter service and shared my expectation that people would come and bring their friends. I mentioned it in my sermons, I talked about it during the week, I wrote about it in our newsletter. I knew that I had to lead the parade (so to say) and do everything I could to promote the service and our vision for how we believed God wanted to use that service to introduce people to Jesus.
7) Elder Support–The elders at Journey are an amazing group of men! I love serving with these guys and I love their love for God and their heart for the people of Greeley, Colorado. The elders were immediately supportive of this service and were fully engaged in doing what they could to help make the service a success…including walking around the lobby of the civic center before the service greeting people. Without their complete support, I’m confident that this service would have not been as successful as it was.
8) Congregational Support–Last week would have been a joke if the members of Journey hadn’t bought into the vision for this service. I’m so grateful for the way the people of Journey supported this service. Think about it…we deserted our almost new building on–arguably–the most important Sunday of the year for churches serious about evangelism. It was a risky thing to do, but I didn’t hear one comment complaining about leaving our building on Easter Sunday…not one. I love these people so much.
8 Breakfast burritos–I can’t prove it, but I’m positive that the breakfast burritos we ordered from The Fort we an essential part of the success of the entire day. 🙂
Let me close with a prayer of thanks.
“Lord, thank you for allowing us to share the love of Jesus with the people of Greeley. Thank you for allowing us to use the Union Colony Civic Center to glorify your name and your saving power–displayed through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you for bringing a great team of leaders and volunteers to Journey. I’m so grateful for each person who worked so hard to make sure that Jesus was exalted last Sunday. Thank you for going before us, moving among us, and blessing us with your good favor. Lord, help us to be faithful as we work to bring in the harvest and plant more seeds in this community. I praise you for what you did last week and I thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your plan. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”