Did you enjoy Christmas?
The question on everyone’s lips, the question your leadership, your spouse, your pastor and even your choir and the congregation are asking, is now upon us: What are we doing for Easter?
Did you enjoy your Christmas productions?
How often did you have to deal with soloists getting sick at the last second? Or background tracks being played at the wrong time or not at all? Did your live nativity scene go haywire, when the donkey you rented decided right then that he knew scripture and made a break, to run to the hills where his help comes from? Did you have any arguments with parents about why their kids couldn’t be in the pageant - even though those kids didn’t make any rehearsals, nor even told you that they were interested?
After all that, did you get a little breather during the month of January?
Well, all that’s over!!
The Christmas production season is now in your rearview mirror, like your old MySpace page. The question on everyone’s lips, though, the question your leadership, your spouse, your pastor and even your choir and the congregation are asking, is now upon us: What are we doing for Easter?
I particularly like this question.
Specifically, I like the use of the pronoun, ‘we.’ It implies we are in this thing together.
This question could likely be asked by the person who is going to make the phone calls, find scripts, stay up late at night worrying in the leadup to the Easter production, while trying to figure out how a donkey will walk down your narrow center aisle, as people shout Hosanna.
So here we are again, as another high-volume Sunday is around the corner, and it’s on you to figure out just what to do.
Here are some tips to keep you sane and spiritual, during a time that can be very stressful.
Get with your leadership team today and start praying. Pray God gives you clarity on what He wants you to do with His people.
I have seen wonderfully elaborate productions, which failed to move anyone to Christ, while I have experienced bargain basement productions, where people cry from being in the presence of God.
It’s not the size, volume or how grandiose the presentation is, which moves the heart of God. Sometimes it can be a single spotlight on spirit and truth worship that moves.
Therefore, pray about what God wants, what you can comfortably do with support, what you think should be done, and what your senior pastor will support.
Focus on The Mission
Begin by asking, what is the purpose of your Easter production?
Is it being done so that your grandchild will have a vocal solo? Is it for people to see how busy you are, to show that you are valuable? Is it something to do, because you’ve always done it? Is it to honor tradition, therefore you dare not do anything different than what you did last year and the years before that?
I am no longer the worship leader at my former church, but when I was, I truly felt like it was important to tell the story of the Gospel.
I’m all for interesting, artistic and creative ways on telling the Easter story, especially because most of us reading this can testify we have heard the story thousands of times.
An Easter production, though, is not just for those of us that know Him; it might be more for those that don’t know Him!
Consequentially, you must decide on your mission very early, and don’t stray from it. You know your church culture more than I do; what makes sense to you?
If you attend a smaller church, and you tend not to get a lot of unsaved visitors on Easter for whatever reason, you might decide to take a more creative approach to how you tell the story. If Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter are super high-volume Sundays, with a bunch of visitors to your church coming through the door - don’t take for granted everyone knows what you already know!
Make sure people leave your production knowing it was God’s plan to send His son to die for our sins. Make sure your community knows He suffered a humiliating death without defending Himself vociferously.
Most importantly, make sure He conquered the grave and is alive and well, sitting on the right hand of the Father, preparing a place for all of those who believe in Him.
This place is available to your congregants, your neighbors, your friends, your strangers, because salvation is free!
That’s the story.
How you tell it is up to you, but make sure the story is told.
A cursory internet search for Easter productions can give you all the help you need. There are companies that will sell you Easter packages that contain scripts, songs and more. Explore and invest a minimal amount of money, in taking the grunt work out of the process.
The story has already been written.
If You Got It, Use It
If you belong to a church where you have resources in personnel, sound, music and technology, use them!
Just because it’s Easter, doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.
It’s not about you.
Get a team together, once you’ve prayed and settled on a mission. Decide on how you want the story told, and how that will be executed. Then utilize what you already may have at your church!
If you have some youth that serve in dance or on a drama team, they could serve as your actors for such a production. If you already have a music team, have them select Easter-appropriate music, and plug them into your script.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
The Wow Factor
See if you can interject a ‘wow’ into the production.
When the tomb was rolled away, and the angel asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?,” a reasonable response would be, “Wow!”
Is there a “wow” in your congregation?
Is there a person who attends your church, who was struggling with homelessness that is now in adequate shelter, that can give the final speech during the production, testifying about how in Him all things are made new?
Is there a young person who has struggled with addiction, who has now overcome it, that can sing the final solo?
Is there a family struggling with infertility, that can now announce how they are expecting a child, to where you can weave into how God resurrects life in the dead places in our lives?
Think outside the box.
It does not have to bust your budget, and it can have a lasting impact.