Easter Season

From 1993 till 2007 (14 years in a row) on Resurrection Sunday, Teen Challenge came to ZIP code 55057 and shared their ministry at our previous church. The name has changed to “Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge,” but it is still the same ministry, and as many of you know it holds a special place in Janet’s and my heart. The typical choir of 50 plus voices would sing with all their heart, and we would hear “tissue-needing” testimonies from many. The advertisements sent out to the community invited the interested to come and hear real-life stories of the Resurrection. The average Pastor would not pick Easter Sunday to invite individuals who attend their own church to experience this ministry. If there is one Sunday that most consider sacred it is TODAY! Nevertheless, our leadership saw this as an excellent “outreach" to a community where large numbers of people didn’t attend any church. Our target audience was individuals who had never gone to church, those who attended only on special holidays, or who didn’t have a church home. Often we would have 40 to 50 visitors come for this special service (about 30% were family members who came to see their loved ones currently in the program). Please pay attention to the next statement; MOST religious communities (adding all churches together) only reach about 15-20% of their population. These numbers take into consideration a few traditional churches having multiple services (Easter Sunday) to accommodate their Christmas and Easter attendees. 6,000 plus people live within 20 minutes of our local church. It is quite amazing that Douglas County/Northwest Wisconsin has a much larger percentage of its population, about 35-40%, who attend church regularly. Even though this is “above average" for church attendance, the fact still remains over half the people in our communities do not attend church. We should expect lots of visitors for special services such as today. Why? Because we have been praying and inviting people to attend. Never let empty chairs disappoint you. If anything, an empty chair should motivate you to keep on inviting a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, even a stranger! People are wanting to come back, don’t forget Easter last year was only an online experience. One day soon each and every chair in this facility will be filled. Hopefully, today will have more than 100 occupied but that still leaves 70+ chairs empty. I’m up to the challenge of filling these chairs, how about you? Let’s do some quick math...we need to fill the 70 remaining chairs and with over 3,600 people who don’t attend church and live within 20 minutes of our location, that only requires us to reach 2 percent. In 2021 let’s do everything we can because Together is Better! An additional 2%, and we’ll fill every seat in the sanctuary. What a great experience for Easter 2022 we all could witness! In 2019 we had 102 in attendance Easter Sunday, and even as I write this article on Thursday, I’m hoping 100 to 110 individuals (souls) will be with us to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Also, believing for 100 plus children to participate in our Easter Egg Hunt the day before. Thanks, Shelley for your leadership, whatever it takes to draw people towards God’s kingdom. Hopefully, many of you started your Easter morning here enjoying breakfast. Jim and Kelly know hungry souls also need temporal filling. Ultimately, we want Easter Sunday worshipers to become disciples of the Lord Jesus; that’s what really matters. Yes, I am totally committed to filling every chair in this facility, but my ultimate goal in filling every chair is to make devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus. Resurrection Sunday is one of those special times where we can see the Holy Spirit grab hold of searching souls. Sunday morning should be seen as a connection point for those looking for a local fellowship. Visitors become attendees, attendees become leaders and the process keeps repeating, and 2 Timothy 2:2 is in full operation. We will need ministry expansion in various ways because lives are being impacted.

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