This Easter, Make Jesus the Main Attraction

Easter is the most sacred of holidays in the Christian year. It is traditionally the Sunday with the highest church attendance in the year. It is the day during the year that more non-Christians or de-churched folks are likely to attend church. Many church plants strategically launch on Easter Sunday because of this fact. More churches do mass marketing campaigns and pithy postcards for Easter than any other Sunday. Churches will work hard to be attractive this Sunday. Churches will do their best this Easter to put their most talented musicians on stage, show their best video, have the nicest greeters, display the prettiest flowers, and have the most manicured lawns. Preachers will prepare to preach their best sermon. It’s the Sunday where, for mama’s sake, families will suck it up, don the seersucker, and pack a pew. It’s a day when churches are so passionate to get people in the door they might even give away an iPad or two.

Cross-in-Chimayo-AreaCreative Commons License Photo Credit: Glen Van Etten via Compfight

And oh yeah, it’s the day when we celebrate that there is hope for humanity because Jesus was victorious over sin and rose victoriously from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)! It’s the day that we remember that he who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is a day, above all else, to worship the King of Kings and lift Him high so that He will draw all people to Himself.

There will be lots of reasons people gather this Sunday. There will be thousands of invitations to people and tactics that, though they may be done with the best of intentions, cross the line into gimmickry and even manipulation. There will be lots of attractions at church this Easter, but I pray that for your own life or the life of your church you will make Jesus the main attraction. As Ed Stetzer said on this topic: “Let’s not lose focus of this: no show, stage dressing, egg drop, or speaker should eclipse the one who conquered sin and death.”

A.A. Milne, of “Winnie the Pooh” fame, wrote a poem about Christopher Robin going to Buckingham Palace. Christopher Robin sees the sentry houses and the changing of the guard and hears of the grand parties hosted on the palace grounds. He is fascinated by all that he sees, but Christopher Robin doesn’t see the one he hoped to see–the King!

It’s quite tragic, you see, to go to the palace and not see the King.

 

That’s My King

It’s Spring Break for many this week, but it’s also known as Holy Week on the Christian calendar observing the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry and in anticipation of the celebration of His resurrection. I hope this video will encourage your worship of the King as much as it has me:

Special thanks to Granger Community Church for putting this together.

Practical Ways to Worship as a Disciple

In the last post I asserted that if your worship is off then all of your life as a disciple will be off. If that is true, then it behooves the disciple to ask, what will it take truly to worship our sovereign God? In other words, after we establish WHO it is we are to worship, we must establish HOW we are to worship. By how, I am not speaking of style or method, per se. If you are looking for a good series on Worship Wars you should check out my friend and colleague Kenny Lamm’s series on the subject. I am speaking more of the practicalities of living out a life of worship to the Father.

Image: thephotoholic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Discipleship is holistic; however, it is helpful to think of specific environments in which the disciple lives out his faith. Four environments for discipleship are (1) personal; (2) family; (3) church; (4) world. Each dimension of discipleship–worship, community, and mission–can be explored in each of these environments. Help in establishing best practices for worship can be found in examining worship through the lens of these four environments: personal worship, family worship, corporate worship, and worship in the world. [Read more…]

Dimensions of Discipleship, Part 1: Worship

I recently began a series on the question, What is a disciple?  Based on 1 John 2:6 we have stated that a disciple is someone who is abiding in Christ and doing what Jesus did. This definition raises many questions for the would-be disciple. One of those questions, naturally, is, “What, then, did Jesus do?” Jesus did many things in His earthly ministry, but a strong case can be made that His primary focus may be seen in just three behaviors. These three dimensions of the life of Jesus are in fact the three primary dimensions of discipleship. In observing Jesus in the Gospels we can see that Jesus worshiped the Father, served people, and invited others to join Him. Consequently, the three dimensions of discipleship are worship, mission, and community.

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At the heart of discipleship is worship. Jesus worshiped the Father. The focus of our Lord’s life was glorifying the Father. The Gospel that makes this clearest is John. [Read more…]