Your church will have more unchurched guests at Easter than at any service all year long (yes bigger than Christmas Eve). They may attend because it’s a cultural tradition. They may attend because their loved one pressured them to. Maybe your church invited them on social media. Most of the time, they attend because someone they knew, from your church, invited them.
To you as a church member, I can’t stress enough the importance of invitation.
All statistics still say that between 85-90% of people who come to church for the first time came because someone invited them. But this is not the most important thing this Easter or what this article is about.
Regardless of why these guests show up for Easter, it’s a great opportunity to share the Gospel with them. What is the Gospel? Gospel means ‘good news’.
To make the Gospel as simple are possible:
- We are all lost sinners. No one is good enough to get to heaven.
- The good news is Jesus came to make a way for us to get to heaven.
- He paid the price, taking the punishment for our sin on the cross and purchasing eternal life through His resurrection.
- Salvation (being saved from Hell and death) can’t be earned but is the free gift of God given through Christ Jesus.
- Today you can receive the forgiveness for your sin by asking for Jesus to forgive you as Savior and to become His follower by surrendering control of your life to Him.
To you who are preachers, here is the most important thing you’ll do this Easter…
More important than the music being awesome, more important than the greeters being welcoming, more important than having enough chairs or parking, more important than the children’s church being fun, more important than the bathrooms being clean, even more important than preaching the Gospel…what?
Ask for a Decision.
We must preach the Gospel but it doesn’t do any good unless we ASK for the decision to follow Jesus.
Rick Warren says every sermon comes down to the words “Will you?” I always ask these three questions:
- Will you make the decision to become a follower of Jesus?
- Will you ask Him to forgive your sin?
- Will you surrender control of you life to Him right now?
Too often people come to Easter, see a skit, hear a choir and listen to a message of how Jesus died for them but are never asked to change their lives. As an ex-sales trainer, I would get upset with salesmen that would tell a potential customer all the benefits of the product, engage them emotionally, peak their desire but then not ask them to buy in. We do the same thing in churches. “Jesus loves you, forgives you…He died for you. You should live for Him. Ok, Happy Easter, hope to see you next week.”
Don’t forget to ask for repentance and commitment. Ask for the decision.
My personal thought is to challenge their self-sufficiency. Too many sermons ask if people want to be forgiven but not who wants to carry their cross.
The Gospel you respond to is the Gospel you live by.
If we say, “Just whisper this prayer and abracadabra you’re born again.” We aren’t asking for their allegiance to Christ.
Many pastors inform the mind and engage the emotions, but avoid challenging the will.
This Easter the most important thing any preacher can do is clearly articulate the need for salvation and then ASK FOR A DECISION to live for Jesus!
God Bless and may you have a great Easter with many decisions for Jesus.
Bonus point #1: Some people think they’re too bad to be forgiven, give them hope. Let them know that they can come to faith in Christ. No person is too far away from God. Many people you’re trying to reach this Easter don’t believe this. Give examples from your life or sinful people forgiven in scripture such as King David the adulterer.
Bonus point #2: Follow up on all decisions. After you ask for a decision, remember that we don’t want to make decisions but disciples. You can’t do that if you don’t capture their information. To learn more about retaining your Easter guests go to:
To learn how to make disciples more effectively, the best thing you’ll ever do it participate in Leadership Coaching/Mentoring. Here’s a shameless plug since Leadership Coaching changed my ministry life.