Church traditions are funny things. There are some traditions that have been a part of the Church for centuries. There are other traditions that are unique to church bodies or even individual congregations. If you have been a member of the same congregation for a long time, it can be hard to tell the types of traditions apart.
I'm not a big fan of many holidays, but I love Easter.
There's something special about transitioning from the deep sadness of Good Friday and the quiet of Saturday to the joyful celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is, quite literally, the most exciting thing in the world; it is the gift of salvation won for us by Jesus Christ.
That's why I waited until after Easter to share this post. On Easter morning, our attention is best focused on the empty tomb, not on church attendance or figuring out how to reach visitors in the weeks and months ahead.
My guess is that this happens every year. Some well-meaning person comes up to you after the Christmas Eve service and says "Isn’t it exciting to see so our church so full? Wouldn't it be great if we could get them to all come back next week?"
If no one has ever said that to you, I’m sure you’ve at least had that same thought. I know I have!
Sometimes it’s really easy to get worked up about the number of people who worship at your congregation. Our culture defines success by numbers. When large numbers of visitors attend worship, we think that means we must be successful as a congregation, and our thoughts naturally turn to how we can keep them coming back.