Rob Rash encourages us to do more than “put our best foot forward.”
We all know the statistics about Easter and Christmas right? People are more open to coming to church on Christmas and Easter than at any other time of the year.
We look at these times of worship as great opportunities. Opportunities to ‘save’ people and share the gospel and put our ministry teams and creativity on display. Many times, praying and hoping, that those far from God will step over the threshold from death to life.
And while I think it is important to ‘put our best foot forward,’ I don’t believe this is enough to draw people back on it’s own. Apart from the grace of God, what people desire, especially lost people, is seeing an authentic love of God.
What Good Is It?
What good is a perfect service with amazing vocals and guitar solos if people are not worshiping authentically? What good is a well planned Easter service if the church isn’t celebrating our Jesus’ victory over death?
If we can’t get excited and rejoice and express our love for Jesus publicly, on Easter, then we’ve really failed to show the world that God is worth living for.
The Unbeliever and Worship
I’ve often struggled with the question “Who is the church for?” Is it for the saints and for building them up and equipping them like Paul teaches in Ephesians? Or is it for those on the fringes, a bit skeptical and yet seeking God? The believer or the the unbeliever?
I think how we answer those questions really determine how we approach our services. But the answer is really quite simple.
Who is the church for? It’s for Jesus. And who is Jesus for? Everybody.
So with that in mind, I’d like to share with you what I believe is the most important thing we need to do this Easter. And even before Easter.
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, mentions how true authentic worship can affect and change an unbelievers life.
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
1 Cor. 14:24-25 (ESV)
Now Paul was writing this to clear up some confusion about the misuse of tongues and prophesy and I don’t want to miss an important aspect to these verses. What Paul says, is that when authentic worship is taking place, God moves.
We have an opportunity this Easter to help those who are far from, experience the grace of God. And while I believe that God is the one who calls and saves, he does indeed use his church to reach the lost. We will most certainly have folks joining us for worship who don’t normally come unless you count Christmas too.
The Most Important Thing
And what lies before us is an incredible opportunity to display our great God. But it won’t necessarily happen because we’ve been really creative or had an amazing opening song or the preaching was spot on and short. Although these elements are important, I believe the most important thing we can do as a church, is to fully and passionately respond in worship in such an authentic way, that those who are visiting our churches will be convicted by all that is seen and turn to God.
If we fail at preparing, exhorting, imploring, and encouraging our churches to worship God fully, what many new guests will see is a really nice show. What people long for, more than an awesome church service, is an authentic experience with Jesus.
How can we sit by idly on Easter, the most important day in Christendom, while not responding to the greatest day in history? If we truly believe that we’ve been redeemed, restored, and forgiven, we have no excuse than to celebrate this good news.
That is what an unbelieving world really wants to see. I’ll leave you with this quote from author Brennan Manning,
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.