Easter & Leadership: 3 Things to Remember this Passion Week.
“These next two Sunday’s are going to be crazy” our Sunday Morning Worship leader said as we finished the first part of praise band practice. She is right, this time of year, alongside Christmas can be the most stressful two weeks of church services. Palm Sunday & Easter Sunday are two of the highest attended services, they are two of the most elaborate (some more than Christmas) and some of the most time consuming to prepare for.
Because of this it is very easy for those you are leading to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the service preparations. Leaders who are usually very conscious of the needs of those they are leading can very easily lose sight of the needs of the ones serving under them. Easter service preparations can bring out the worst in people; here are three things to remember this Easter.
Calm Down, Everything is Fine
Everything will be okay, so what if the flowers do not look good, or the piano is out of tune, or the vocalists forget all the world, or there are sound system issues. Are you there to impress people? To get the new people to come to your church because of the way you do things? Or are you there to glorify God?
If you are looking for a perfect service, you are going to be disappointed. If you are looking for the one who is perfect to come and infuse your service with his presence then sit back and allow him to take control. I have seen leaders who are usually level headed and very content to be led by the Holy Spirit turn into the meanest people alive during the Easter season.
If you find yourself getting irritated because nothing seems to be going well then sit back, relax, take a step back and calm down. If God is in control of your service then it will be alright. A church service’s effectiveness does not depend on how well the praise team does, or how well the pastor preaches or how great the flower arrangements look. Yes, these things will affect people’s judgment of your church, but the real work is done by the Holy Spirit, invite Him into your service and nothing else will matter.
Remember those Serving With You.
It is very easy to forget those serving with us. Spiritual abusers, especially the one I worked under are known for using people, treating them more like Cattle than human beings. They do not regard or recognize the personal needs of the people who are serving with them. It is very easy for both leaders and workers to get burned out over passion week, there is so much going on, so much to be involved in. Taking time to make sure they get a break will actually help them to be focused and ready to go on Saturday or Sunday.
I was very glad when heard that I had last Saturday Night off from my praise band responsibilities. April is already a busy month for me anyway with spring shows, LOVE Sterling and Saturday Night Services to get ready for I was glad for a Saturday Off, it worked out even better because I was playing in the Sunday Morning band and so the night of rest was well welcomed before the Palm Sunday Service.
My pastor understood when I explained to him why I was glad I had the night off, my needs did not get lost in the importance of the services. It was nice. It also helped me to focus on the sermon a little better, despite being in the praise band. When someone’s needs are not being met you will have a hard time getting them to cooperate. Remind them you care, love them, encourage them, even go out of your way to show kindness.
Remember the Reason You Are Here.
Easter is a wonderful time of the year, it is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ who died on the cross for our sins. It is a time to celebrate the freedom that the cross brings, a time to reflect on what Christ did. This should consume our thoughts, bring joy to our hearts and a song to our lips (even if you’re not a very good singer).
It is when we forget where the focus on should be on Easter Sunday that the world seems to fall apart for leaders. When the focus becomes attracting people to your church, making the service perfect, then our focus is not where it should be, it is no wonder we get stressed out. Philippians tells us “Whatever is good, what is right, whatever is holy, whatever is just, if anything be commendable, or praiseworthy, dwell on such things” (4:8). Easter is all these things, God is all these things.
So if you find yourself becoming stressed out this week, focusing on the service, stop, take a step back, remember those you are serving with and remember what the weekend has always been about. Who knows, you may be surprised on Sunday Morning or Saturday Night how smoothly the Holy Spirit runs the show when He is in complete control.