Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Cheasters

This morning (Easter Sunday) our church, along with churches all over the world celebrated the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We had, as I’m sure most churches did, a very large crowd. We had a great day of worship with baptism, singing, prayer, Scripture reading, and the proclamation of the Word. My message was entitled "The Day Death Died." I proclaimed the good news that Jesus Christ arose from the dead defeating sin, death, and the grave.

Many of those who attended today are what the Mobile Register called Cheasters in an article entitled Churches Want You in the Door. Cheasters are “those who attend worship services on Christmas and Easter only." Many pastors are critical if not saddened concerning those who show up at church on Easter Sunday, but will not any other time, except maybe Christmas. They feel that Cheasters should be condemned for their apathetic approach to worship of the risen Savior.

I am not of this same opinion. As a pastor, I approach Easter worship with an expectancy that maybe today some Cheasters will get saved. The swell of attendance on Easter Sunday indicates that there are still those who realize they have a fundamental need for God.

Easter Sunday is a day for true Believers everywhere to come together to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ (which in reality is what we do every Sunday) and to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the prayer that some (yes, even Cheasters) may confess and repent of their sin, receive Jesus as Savior and surrender to Him as Lord.

According to the article, “Research from the Barna Group showed that nearly 60 percent of those who hadn’t attended church during the past year considered themselves to be Christians.” I believe, however, that 100 percent of those who chose to not attend church during the past year desperately need to be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of them attended Easter worship services today, giving pastors everywhere, a wonderful opportunity to reach them.

Usually, we must go out into the community to reach those who don’t attend church. On Easter Sunday, however, they come to us. This morning, my church had over 800 in attendance in our two worship services. This is a lot for our church. Many of those who attended today have not darkened the doorway of any church since last Easter. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me that I should not be critical or judge these Cheasters, but it was my responsibility to simply proclaim His Word to them in the prayer that some would get saved.

Just a thought.