What do we do AFTER Easter Worship?
“So that they might celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres.” (Nehemiah 12:27)
Now that the great Easter services are over, what do we do? How do we top that?
I have found over the years that churches, pastors, worship leaders and music planners have a tendency to create such grandiose worship services for Easter (and other major holidays), that the following weeks are something of a let-down. After the hours and hours of work and preparation, rehearsal, and the adrenaline rush of Easter morning, we get tired. And it shows.
I don’t write this in order to take away from the importance of great and celebrative worship. We certainly see examples of this in Scripture, when His people see God move they are often moved to celebration. I’m reminded of the festival-like procession and worship that Nehemiah led after completing the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Two choirs, all the officials in attendance, and an enormous feast!
“Then the two choirs took their stand in the house of God. So did I and half of the officials with me; and the priests…with the trumpets… And the singers sang, with Jezrahiah their leader, and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar. (Nehemiah 12:40-43)
In fact, our Christian year seems to “bounce” from one grand celebration to the next. From Christmas to Easter to other events that are liturgically based as well as cultural. Yet, the intervening weeks sometimes exist as if in a mist. The march of the Sunday-to-Sunday schedule is relentless, and even after the BIG EVENT the next week is just a few days away.
So what do we do? How do we keep up and keep fresh?
Well, ideas may abound to work through these things. Some churches have the ability to draw on resources of multiple teams of people to plan and lead worship, which allows them to plan for and execute the next Sunday’s needs with a fresh perspective and fresh people. Others have leaders that apparently have abundant energy. No need for a break, they just keep going and going (until they burn out!).
Yet, there are many churches and leaders that don’t have such resources of people or energy. Let me share a few suggestions that can give you a change of pace, and that might be welcomed by either your worship planners and leaders, or the congregation (and maybe both!).
First, try to avoid big holiday celebrations!
Yes, what you read is what I meant. There are several churches that I have served in which we avoided a big Christmas production and instead planned a very special Thanksgiving service the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We included choirs and solos and testimonies and preaching – just like any holiday service. The difference was that we spent all of our preparation time in September through mid-November, and then we were done. We celebrated the Christmas season in a much more relaxed atmosphere as a result, and the Church gave a needed “rest” to families needing more time during the holiday.
A Second idea is to plan a “mini event” each month.
You might think that would be a lot of extra work, but in fact it is an opportunity to involve others in significant ways in worship. For example, there may be a small group of men or women that would enjoy putting together a package of songs to sing, and maybe even participate in leading the congregational singing. They could be scheduled two or three times a year. Many churches have children’s choirs that could be scheduled more than at Christmas and Easter. Why not let the Youth groups plan a service two or three times per year? These ideas, if scheduled in advance, can allow those planning the “bigger” services to get a break, and yet provide the congregation with some very enjoyable services.
A Third is to be Purposeful …
A final suggestion I have leads us back to the need of these next few weeks, now that Easter is behind us. My thought is to be purposeful about quietness and reflection. The members of the congregation may be experiencing some exhaustion from Easter activities as well, not to mention that some Spring Break activity goes on in the same time frame. Here are several ways that this could function:
- Review the story of Christ’s appearances following the Resurrection. Consider what it may have been like for those who saw Him. How might that idea work in a worship service?
- Spend time in the service reflecting on the coming summer months – what is God preparing for your congregation? How might we bring redemption into the lives of those God has put in our paths?
- Consider the grandeur of God and the ascension of Christ to His right hand? What might it be like in their presence?
These are only a few thoughts. The flow of worship from week to week should follow the “warp and woof” of life. Just like we celebrate in life, we must also get on with the daily life of work. Some days seem to be more wonderful and wondrous, and others mundane – yet all are to be lived under the Lordship of Christ, the resurrected Lord!
(Original Post on April 21, 2014 at the Worldview Church)
Posted on March 29, 2016, in Christian Worldview, Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged Mark Sooy, theology, worship, worship leader, WorshipThink. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.