Wow – what a week! I haven’t blogged very much because I have been very busy getting ready for Easter at The Orchard! The staff has spent a lot of time, particularly this week and last, in final preparations for all of the guests we are expecting this Easter weekend. We are hosting a Helicopter Easter Egg Drop – over 20,000 eggs and potentially thousands of guests on hand as a helicopter covers a field with eggs!
Of course, there are a lot of details to be managed for an event like this. The author who wrote "Don’t sweat the small stuff" never prepared for an Easter service! We are paying attention to the tiniest of details to make Easter weekend as meaningful and impactful as possible for the multitude of guests we know will be here.
What kind of details? We are dusting air vents, scrubbing carpets, and trying to look at our facility through the eye of a first time guest. Why you ask? Wouldn’t it be a shame (that’s not the word for it, just the only polite one I can think of) for one of our faithful Orchard attenders to step out and invite a friend or family member to our Easter service – maybe someone they have been working on inviting for months – and then have dirt and grime distract that guest from the wonderful message of Easter? It’s only eternity hanging in the balance!
If I invite company over for dinner to my house, especially a first time visitor, we use our good plates and silverware, we vacuum and dust, and all the toys are put away. That is just common courtesy. Why do anything less for the guests who will show up to your church on Easter – maybe the only time they will step into a church all year?
And most of the people who help make a church run, the staff and key volunteers, spend so much time at the church facility they get "shop eyes". Here’s what I mean: Very early in my career, I sold furniture and electronics while going to seminary. I was trained that after just a couple of days of being in the store, I would begin to see with "shop eyes": I would mentally block out stains, broken fixtures, and other maintenance issues that a furniture buyer would notice dead-bang. The same thing happens in churches – and we run the risk of putting across something less than our very best at the single most strategic time in all of the church year – Easter.
So it goes with out saying – produce the very best music and media that you can. Preach and teach the very best talk that you can write. But also pay attention to the cleanliness, the sights, smells, and sounds that clearly communicate the message that "We care that you came".
And Happy Easter – the day that changed history forever!