Monday, April 25, 2011


In a post last week, I gave a brief description, or "idea", of what our Easter service at Bethel was going to be.

It was very different for us. If you've been in church very long, you know that Easter can be a strange day. And for many churches, it ends up being a bit of a "letdown". While we all know that's not the way it supposed to be, I think many of us would admit to ending some Easter Sunday with a sense of disappointment.

People try to describe this in a lot of different ways ("The service was too much like a show" or "it wasn't 'special' enough" or "that wasn't a proper Easter sermon"), but at I think what folks are actually feeling is a disconnect - a realization that Easter Sunday has been about all the programming of a service and has no bearing or connection to the lives we live.

Back in February, we didn't have an Easter plan yet, but we did want to help our folks be more expectant of this great day. Since we had such success with our "One Word" podcasts during Advent, we decided to do it again during Lent. This series of podcasts was a bit harder because it required us to produce much more content than the Advent series.

As we got further into the process, some themes began to emerge...mostly about our own sin and the sentence of death. As we talked about that, it seemed like our Easter service would have to incorporate that in a way that would be a good summation of the thoughts Ross had been sharing on the podcasts. We didn't know what it was going to be, but we wanted it to be good.

TAKEAWAY: In ministry, it's always good to look back and projects or plans and analyze them from a variety of angles. For us, the podcast was pretty much win-win. We didn't record them all at one time, but tried to stay about a week ahead. The listeners seemed encouraged and educated by them, so that's a good thing! The only downside was a couple of web-related problems where folks didn't get their notifications of the new episodes each day.

After two successful "non-sermon" podcast ideas, we have some other ideas about using the podcast to expand communication and teaching for the rest of the year.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about Good Friday and what we planned for our church.