Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Post Easter Sunday Morning Blues!

One of my most often searched blog posts is It's Friday but Sunday's Coming- Of course it is searched for the most around Easter.

Ah Easter! The most important tenant of the faith- Jesus is risen indeed! What Pastor doesn't enjoy preaching on Easter? What Pastor doesn't enjoy the crowds! Oh, the thrill of all those people coming to hear you preach a powerful sermon and partake of the marvellous activities you provide!

But wait, did they really come to hear you, or be wowed? I noticed again this year a couple who I saw last year at Easter. They didn't come back after my most wonderful sermon and service last Easter and I bet they won't be back this Sunday either! They are quite comfortable with the yearly visit and maybe even know that they are inflating our numbers that day. I think I saw that wry grin on their faces!

We Pastors get overly hyped about Easter. It is the one time (maybe Christmas?) that the church is packed! And what do we do? We get excited, post the numbers and revel in the them. It's as if somehow our ministry success is validated that day. We have arrived at a 'plateau breakthrough' we tell ourselves! We will finally be listed as one of the top ten fastest growing churches in America, hey, how about the world! Yes 'It's Friday but Sunday's coming!'

Problem is, so is next Sunday! The Sunday after Easter is 'reality check' time! The hype has come and gone. Our adrenaline is waning. We try to approach the next Sunday with the anticipation of the last. And Sunday comes! Where are the crowds! Where is the excitement among the congregation and even among the staff. It is like the finish and aftermath of running a marathon- the high and then the emotional letdown. Everyone and everything is depleted. It could be called 'Post Easter Sunday Morning Blues!'

The Sunday following Easter is a letdown and disappointment to many pastors. Some actually go into a depression. I have read that some pastors take a vacation after Easter, but you do have to face reality eventually! There are more Sundays to follow.

What is the word for 'Post Easter Sunday Morning Blues' for pastors? It is to Continue:
Continue to stand firm
Continue to press on
Continue to hold on to your dreams
Continue to understand that your success is not measured by numbers
Continue to be thankful for that Easter Sunday, the souls saved, and the ministry to the saints
...and regardless of the reality of this coming Sunday- continue!

Continue to run the race set before you and don't give up. Pastor I am praying for you today!


Anonymous said...

Pastor D.,

And maybe, just maybe you did reach that couple or the single person that came on Easter and they will return the following Sunday. It's ALL in the Holy Spirit's hands - NOT OURS. We are just the messenger of God and it is in Gods timing that He calls them to come and become a participating member of the family of Christ. Just hold on to the faith and hope that God is in control and He will do what He says He will do.

George Alexander said...

In the context of counting numbers, Sam says in Calvin Miller's book, "How else do we measure our success?" Baxter replies, "Success! Is that what you call it—success! Just to get a lot of people in one audience. Nero did that. Bon Jovi does that. When does God get to say what success is?"

Numbers are incidental. It's hard to accept, because we tend to think developmentally and not pastorally. But if we're thinking pastorally, we're not affirmed by numbers. Success for a pastor is faithfully doing what God has called him to do. The affirmation is in the faithful obedience. Anything else is bonus.

Pastor David said...

>anon- thanks for the perspective-

>george- thanks- great response!