For a lot of churches in the West, Easter weekend is treated not unlike SuperBowl Sunday. It’s the big show, a grand production. Kind of like a regular Sunday with a bit of extra “oomph”—which most often comes in the form of horrifically graphic video clips from a movie for which we may or may not have appropriate licensing, though occasionally it also involves laser light shows, motorcycle stunts, and an extravagant giveaway or two.
This is the weekend where we’re encouraged to invite our friends, our families, our neighbors, and bring them to church. It’s the weekend where they’re for sure going to hear the gospel preached and perhaps even the Lord might save them!
But you know something? I’m not sure it’s always a good idea. In fact, in some cases, maybe the best thing to do is to not invite them at all.
- Don’t invite them to church this weekend if they would be surprised to learn you’re a Christian.
- Don’t invite them if the gospel wasn’t preached last weekend.
- Don’t invite them if you wouldn’t invite them next weekend.
That’s not what they need. They don’t need to go to a church where they’re not going to hear about Jesus, and they don’t need to be invited to church on one weekend if you wouldn’t invite them any other time.
Some of us should, definitely, invite our friends to church this weekend, next weekend, and every weekend, as long as Jesus is consistently proclaimed. But for many of us, maybe we need to take a few steps back. Maybe we should invite them into our lives first, and share the gospel with them as we begin to share ourselves. Let them get to know a Christian and win them with the good news, rather than potentially confuse them with a big show.