Studies show that more Americans search the word “churches” around Easter than any other time of the year. If you know someone who only attends corporate worship once or twice a year, you may want to speak with them about this but not know how. As we approach Easter Sunday, I encourage you to pray for an opportunity to have a fruitful conversation. Below are some ideas that will hopefully help get you started.
Things to remember before talking with your friend:
Don’t succumb to spiritual pride.
As Christians, it’s easy to forget that our knowledge of God isn’t from ourselves. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us that our faith is not of our own doing; it is a gift from God. In other words, the faith that brings us to corporate worship every Sunday is from the Lord. Therefore, we must not regard ourselves better than those who have yet to receive the full gift of faith and understanding.
Don’t assume you know why your friend only attends church once a year; ask. Not only will you learn something new about your friend, but hopefully your friend will feel loved by your interest.
Speak truth, but with love.
While it’s vital that we speak truth, we must also live out Colossians 4:6: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Things to talk about with your friend that they might not know:
1. Easter Sunday is more than tradition.
Encourage your friend to read about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Encourage them then to consider what his resurrection means for us. Easter Sunday, better referred to as Resurrection Sunday, is a day to celebrate the authority that Jesus has over death! If Jesus is still in the grave, then we are still in our sin. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, that He resurrected, means that He is alive and that God’s children are free and forgiven! The joy that comes with this understanding will hopefully help your friend to see that our Savior deserves our worship more than just once a year!
2. We have many reasons for weekly corporate worship.
There are countless reasons why Christians gather for regular corporate worship.
1 Timothy 4:13 says, “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching.” >Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” >Ephesians 5:25 says that Christ so loved the church that He gave himself up for her. We, as a body of believers, are the church. Jesus died for us. If He loved us enough to die for us, shouldn’t we be humbled and thankful enough to show up and be counted among those gathered together as often as possible?
3. God, in his goodness, allows us to benefit from corporate worship.
Share with your friend what meeting regularly with your church family has done for you. Share the things you’ve learned and the spiritual growth you’ve experienced in your own life. Share about the relationships you’ve made within your church family and the impact those people have made on your life. Explain the joy of having a group of people you can trust and count on for prayer and support. And the best part is, that as we grow closer as a church family, we grow closer to the One who binds us together. Ask your friend to imagine how different our lives would look if God only showed up once a year.
4. Coming to church on Easter Sunday won’t save you.
Attending a church service once a year isn’t enough to save you. But, then again, neither is going to church every Sunday. What is enough? Jesus. In John 14:6, Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Many people who consider themselves to be Christians think that we attend church (regularly or once a year) in order to be saved. Make sure your friend understands that you have committed yourself to being part of a church family in response to the fact that you ARE saved, not in order to BE saved. We worship the Lord daily through how we live our lives, and through corporate worship on Sundays, because we are filled with a joy that must be expressed through worship. Attending corporate worship on a weekly basis is a beautiful, outward expression of our gratitude and praise to the One who gave us eternal life.
Lastly, don’t think that this one conversation will change your friend. Only the Lord can change hearts and give the gift of faith that brings the church together. Challenge yourself to not only think of your friend’s salvation once a year, but make a daily habit of praying for your friend and asking that the Lord would open their eyes to see and their ears to hear.
Beth Ann Baus is a wife and homeschooling mom of two boys. She is a writer and blogger who pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression and Tourettic OCD. Beth is an advocate for women struggling with sexual sin and strives to encourage young wives and mothers by pointing them to the grace offered only by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You can read more about her at www.bethannbaus.com.
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