Take a moment to breathe as Crystal Zaragoza, Host Team Pastor at Life.Church Northwest Oklahoma City, shares a seed of encouragement for all pastors as we lead up to Easter weekend.
Pastors, you’ve been doing an incredible job of turning on a dime and being flexible to continue to lead your church in an unprecedented time of the COVID-19 crisis. As we begin to gain our sea-legs and settle into our new normal, you may look up and realize that Easter is here.
If that realization brings on a wave of stress, I encourage you now to take a moment to pause and breathe. I get it.
In my ministry as a Host Team pastor at Life.Church I would normally be putting the finishing touches on our overflow seating plan, confirming volunteer rosters, scheduling delivery of pastel-colored Easter cookies and planning appreciation goodies for Host Team volunteers. Instead, I am making phone calls and sending texts to check in on people as we shelter-in-place, planning content for a virtual huddle video, scheduling my own serving time for Church Online and making daily posts to social media to keep my team engaged. Yet still, Easter is coming.
I had to ask myself, is Easter still Easter without all of the things? Of course, the answer is a resounding YES! But maybe that’s where you are today. Or maybe you’re also struggling with the sudden shift in the methods of ministry, the loss of tradition and wondering how in the world do I make Easter special through all of this? The short answer is, you don’t.
Easter is Easter without anything we do.
This is where we pause to remember all of the reasons why Easter is already special. Easter is special because Jesus died for us on the cross and rose on the third day victorious over sin and death! Easter is special because His sacrifice afforded us a personal relationship with God. Easter is never confined to a church building or defined by any of our traditions. The Church is the people, and we’re discovering that now more than ever, aren’t we? This weekend, we will celebrate the risen Savior and see Jesus continue to draw people to Himself. That is pretty special!
Whatever it is you’re feeling on a holy week that feels a bit foreign, now’s the time to hit pause and spend some time in His presence. Give thanks for God’s sacrifice and remember: this Easter is for you, too.
If you find yourself feeling discouraged Easter won’t look like normal this year, click this link to hear some encouraging words from other pastors just like you.
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