Six Things This Easter Weekend Taught Me About Revitalization

Revitalization is an ongoing process in any church. Over the past year and a half, the churches that continued to move forward in the pauses and pivots have adjusted well. While this Easter still looked different from Easters of the past, it was amazing to worship together again on Easter both in person and online. As I have been reflecting on the celebrations and wins over Easter weekend, God showed me six insights into revitalization.  

  1. People are revitalized and excited about Jesus.

People still love Jesus. The absence of people regularly attending worship gatherings has confused the pastor. Each week, we see familiar faces, but we don’t see them consistently. Some people we haven’t seen at all since the pandemic began. This Easter weekend, I heard stories from people who I thought were disconnected from church. They were connected, and they built a bridge for others to come to church over Easter weekend. Even though I had not seen them regularly at church, they still love Jesus and were revitalized by the opportunity to invest and invite others on the journey. Do not assume that God isn’t working in people’s lives, even though you don’t see them regularly in church. Remember, just because you cannot discern the foreground does not mean God is not working in the background. Life-changing stories always bring a revitalizing hope. Make sure you capture and share them with your church. As a pastor, it is essential to keep revitalizing people's outlook.

  1. Your church revitalizes people.

As I looked out at the many people that attended our church over Easter weekend, I felt revitalized. Our church culture felt more normal again. The past year has been a year of social isolation. I had not seen some people in almost a year. People came back to church with joy.  It was so encouraging to see the smiling eyes and faces again. I heard many stories of how people had remained connected through emails, online gatherings, and remote connections. This showed me that people are still connecting with church. It just looks different. Connection may occur through social media, online meetups, through a friend, or through a group.  The good news is they are connecting in a high tech, low touch culture. Pastors must trust God to help keep the relationships in their church connected to Him and to the people that are being discipled. Even though you may not see everyone every week, your church is still revitalizing people.

  1. People are revitalized through serving and giving.

So many volunteers came together to help make our Easter weekend a success. It was incredible to see so many people serving and giving their time, treasure, and talents to God through the local church. I have challenged our church to be on the give and not on the take, and this Easter weekend, I saw this in action.  As we emerge from the isolation of the pandemic, consider opening up more opportunities for people to serve and give. Engage people both online and in-person to serve in their church and community.  Share the vision and mission of your church regularly and encourage and invite everyone to get involved and be on mission together.  Then share the stories of your local, regional, national, and global impact.  People will get revitalized to get involved in and to give to the vision to reach more people.

  1. People are revitalized through preaching. 

A great mentor in my life is Bob Russell, former Pastor of Southeast Christian Church. I remember him investing in me and telling me, “Just preach the Bible, line-by-line, book-by-book. Be creative and practical, and people will stick to the Word.” Through your preaching, give people hope and encourage them to dream for the future. Strive to make the Word of God relevant to people’s lives so that they can connect with it. Even though I am not the most eloquent speaker, I have a passion for changing lives in Christ. Keep preaching the Word with fewer gimmicks and more passion for Jesus. You, as the pastor, can revitalize your church through your preaching, but you must be hungry for the Word. Preach the Word, and your people will follow. The younger generation wants truth, and the truth overpowers cultural lies. Challenge yourself to remember how Jesus changed your life through His saving power and that He wants to do the same thing for others through His Word and your preaching.

  1. People are revitalized by community impact.

Easter can be a launching point for a future trajectory. People have been sitting still for too long, and they are now itching to make a more significant difference in their community and reengage with the Gospel. Over the past year I have seen people drop out, and I have seen people jump in. Moving forward, our churches will look different, but they still consist of passionate, focused people ready to be all in for a Kingdom future. The people who have hung on are ready to be a part of the next phase of what the Lord is going to do in your church and community. Work to revitalize people's hearts by supporting causes in your community and in the world. Strive to build an army of pioneers and not an audience of settlers. Get people engaged, share the stories of life change and impact, and keep pointing people outward.

  1. People are revitalized in Micro-Groups. 

Over the past year, people involved in discipleship Micro-Groups were well supported and cared for during the intense periods of isolation.  Easter weekend showed me that those who were connected to a group of people did better than those who were “lone rangers” with little connection. Those with little connections to people in the church dropped out, while those who were connected to a group stayed engaged. There is power in group connections. I saw many Micro-Groups mobilize to invite others to Easter and to make it an incredible weekend. Do everything you can to get people connected to others in your church, not just you. 

This Easter reaffirmed God is still working in people’s lives, and He is still revitalizing people.  He wants His church to continue to be on the move. What did God teach you this past Easter?  Add your comments in the box below.

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