Begin Now: Think and Pray Ahead About How You Can Use Easter Services to Help Loved Ones and Friends Come to Faith In Christ
There are two Sundays each year that provide the greatest opportunity to engage family, friends and people, in general, for invitations to church. Those two Sundays are Easter and Christmas. Even those who are irreligious are more open to attend church on these two Sundays.
So, you may ask, why are you telling us this several weeks before Easter? Because I want to challenge you to develop a list of three lost people whom you can invite to Easter services on April 16. Your list may include a son-in-law, a sister, parents of your child’s friend or the checker at the grocery store. The point is that you identify three people whom you know by name or who you can identify with through regular contact.
Begin now praying for them daily with the idea that you will extend an invitation for them to join you for Easter worship. When you pray for them, do so using the Word of God. For example, pray 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Pray that God would do a work in each of their lives that would bring them to repentance.
Or pray John 16:8-11, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” Ask the Lord to send the Holy Spirit to bring strong and powerful conviction in their lives so that when they hear the Easter message they would come under deep conviction and respond to the Gospel.
Pray also that they will be willing to attend Easter services with you. Be alert to opportunities that God may well provide for you to speak the Gospel into their lives even before Easter. As you know, praying for lost people means God is preparing and using you as a witness to speak into their lives. I have discovered that often He will open the door along the way to drop a brief witness or, on many occasions, He provides a wide-open door through circumstances to speak the Gospel to someone for whom I am praying.
One of the ways to extend the invitation to those for whom you are praying to join you for Easter services is to also invite them to your home for Easter lunch. Sadly, many of us have lost the art of Christian hospitality. We often look to biblical times and think that to sit down at a meal with someone indicates a willingness to come close. This is the reason the Pharisees criticized Jesus so many times. Remember, they said of Jesus that he “ate with sinners.” He did so because it showed He cared and wanted to know them beyond a passing “hello.” He wanted the opportunity to share the most significant truths with them in a natural and easy setting.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Anthony L. Jordan