This week leading up to Easter is often very hectic for church leaders. Many are planning all sorts of stuff. Most churches have Good Friday services as well as Easter services…preluded by a week of choir and band practices, play rehearsals, prayer times…on and on. Add onto that family gatherings, food prep, tensions with uncles and aunts, and potentially emotions due to this being the first Easter without a loved one.
This week, however, I’ve decided to make relaxed and prayerful in my church. We decided to encourage people to simply gather at the church building MWF at 6am and 9pm for prayer. These times are guided a bit, but just prayer. For one another. For our neighbors. For things happening in the church. TTH we are encouraging people to gather in their community groups for prayer – or, if they don’t gather, at least praying for those in their community group.
Rather than busying people with service prep, mass mailers, drama’s and special music presentations, we just called people to a week of prayer and fasting. I’m, of course, not saying the previous things are bad and I’m not suggesting the way we’re doing it is better or more right. I’m just saying we are trying to focus. For me, at least, busyness with “church stuff” and prep for a weekend service easily takes my focus off of what this week is really all about. Maybe it’s just me. I’m sure there are those that can stay focused in midst of busyness, but in our church we want to minimize task during this week so that we might be able to maximize a prayerful focus.
In fact, we’re not even having a Good Friday “service.” Our prayer time Friday morning at 6 am and evening at 9pm will cover that. And our Easter service will be simple. A few songs and a message about redemption and reconciliation because of Christ conquering death. So, people have been asking me if this week is crazy busy. Nope, it’s not at all. People have asked if I have time to meet this week to talk through something. Yep, I sure do…