Easter Aftermath: Remember Easter?

Easter Aftermath: Remember Easter?

The article is a part of the Easter Aftermath series.

Every year tax season is a reminder. A reminder of how much or how little money we make. How much taxes we pay. And how much accountability we have with the government regarding our finances. In addition, each year the company that manages my retirement savings sends me an update on how my savings are doing. This report is sobering in how it clearly shows how much money I will have to retire with when the time comes. If I invest more, that number goes up, if I invest less the number falls. It really is simple math. I wonder what it would look like if we got a report each year showing how we are investing in the lives of others? We are commanded to make disciples by Christ. I’d sure hate to look back on my life and wished I would have invested more in making disciples. If you look back over the previous year, or even the past several years, are you seeing long-term investments in the lives of others for the sake of the gospel?

Easter is just a few weeks behind us now, and I wonder how many churches have moved on to the next slew of upcoming events. Graduation is just around the corner; summer camps are looming, Vacation Bible School is on the docket for many churches. Each of these events are certainly opportunities for reaching and discipling the people in our communities. But if we treated them as a “one and done” type of experience, we lose the impact of the long-term disciplemaking investment. While we prep for the events and programs on the horizon, let us ensure we have not forgotten about the people who took a first step at the last service or event.

Making disciples is not a static process. Events and programs typically are. The real challenge is leveraging these static events for the greater investment of making disciples who make disciplemakers. This multiplication is not an option for our churches; it is the intended design established by Jesus, who ministered in several different groups during His earthly ministry. He addressed the crowds (the 5000, 4000, Sermon on the Mount, etc.). He led the congregation (the 120 and the 70). He invested in biblical community (the 12). And He walked even more closely with the 3 (Peter, James, and John). Each of these areas of ministry is critical, each serves an important purpose, and we should not minimize any of them. But it is important to note, as Robby Gallaty has pointed out, that Jesus spent 90% of His ministry investing in the lives of the Twelve. As we examine the aftermath of Easter and other highly attended gatherings and events, how are we investing in the lives of people for spiritual growth? How are we equipping this army of Saints to go and do likewise?

Making disciples is not a static process. Click To Tweet

Imagine an Easter where more than just the staff and core group of lay leaders are stepping up and serving to see a great movement of God. Imagine our gatherings as places where the people of God are equipped to join in the work of the Great Commission. Too often our services are seen as the ending point in the pathway of our ministry. What if they became the launching point for our people to be sent out into the community to take the gospel to people who will never darken the door of the church? Let’s do more than remember a great day of attendance and decisions. Let’s start there rather than end there. Easter and highly attended gatherings should be the springboard for our equipped people to go and minister to the community in which God has placed them. Rather than remembering a day and moving on, let’s remember and press onward toward the goal or making disciples who make disciplemakers.

Too often our services are seen as the ending point in the pathway of our ministry. What if they became the launching point for our people to be sent out into the community to take the gospel to people who will never darken the door of the church? Click To Tweet
Chris Swain currently serves at Long Hollow Baptist Church as the Executive Director of Replicate Ministries. After fours years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Chris served in full-time ministry for 14 years in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, leading ministries ranging from Students, to Collegiate, to Spiritual Formation. Most recently, Chris served as the Director of Student Ministry Publishing at Lifeway Christian Resources serving the Church in its mission of making disciples. Chris’s heart is to expand the Gospel through disciple-making in the local church.