Inviting Folk to an Online Easter

Easter Reimagined (LMAP)Easter 2020 worldwide looks different. Not the message, but indeed the form.

The Easter message of death followed by life in Jesus is a glorious message of hope and perhaps as relevant and important for all to hear in the midst of a pandemic. If life matters, as it clearly does given the extraordinary measures that are being taken worldwide to stop the spread of this virus, then now is the time to proclaim the Easter message!

What has changed is the form. The opportunity to physically gather together with others to proclaim that ‘Christ is risen, he is risen indeed’ is not possible. And so we gather online and in many new and creative ways. Never before has there been such an opportunity for folk to connect into Easter without having to put a foot outside their front door. What an opportunity.

Anyone (with an internet connection) can step into church without the fear of having to make small talk, or the worry about what to do or where to sit, or the concern that they might ‘out’ themselves as someone who might just possibly be open to considering Jesus or his message. They can sit hidden behind their screen, undetectable to those who are proclaiming the Easter message.

How can we invite folk to join us online?

Here are some easy and obvious suggestions:

1) Make the most of ‘virtual’ connection points.

FaceBook, Instagram, What’s App, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit and more are all social media platforms. Each work slightly differently and if you are a current user you would know how. Use these platforms to invite folk to your online church. In just a few words you can connect your unchurched friends, colleagues, family and neighbours who might be tiring of being locked behind their front door and could welcome a new experience. Send them the link to your church online gathering. You can join me at Easter here.

2) Return to ‘old school’ connection.Noteworthy Cards

For all the new found benefit of our sudden virtual world, there may be many who are tiring of everything being on a screen. So contact them using the tried and true method of phoning them or sending them a snail-mail card. And when you do, include something about what you are doing at Easter including an invitation to online church. Have some fun with this. Go here for a humorous and socially responsible way to purchase greeting cards which interact with COVID-19.

An electronic version of this idea could be to send an e-card for Easter!

3) Gather for a Virtual Easter Lunch.

One tradition that will be hard for many this year (believer or not) is the family Easter lunch. For many this would have been the family connection point as they came together to enjoy a meal. With isolation, that is not as easy. Why not invite friends or family to join you this year for Easter lunch using a video conference tool – like Zoom, What’s App, Skype, Messenger et al.

Perhaps you could invite them to watch you church online Easter gathering, and while watching or after watching, share a meal in your respective locations. If looking for a fun idea for the kids, why not set up a virtual Easter Egg hunt or hold an Easter Hat parade. This may be a good opportunity to talk and show others your ‘Easter traditions’.

4) Point people to Kids Bible Resources.

Self-isolation and the encouragement to keep kids at home for school has changed much for many families. Parents now find themselves looking for ways to occupy kids when they have to stay close to home. If your church is able to provide Kids Easter (online) Resources then pointing parents to what is available may give them something else to do with their kids. That means both parents and kids get to look at the Easter story together.

The church where I serve produces Kid’s resources in a ‘google classroom’ for a) each day (in the form of daily Bible reading videos), b) for Easter, and c) for regular Sunday gatherings. There are Bible teaching videos, songs, activity sheets and suggestions for things to make and do. Contact me at lmap@lmap.org.au for more details and access codes.

 

Whatever you do, Easter is too good an opportunity to miss. So many of the endeavors which can ‘distract’ us from the gospel message have been closed for now – sporting events, holidays, movie theatres, non-essential shopping, festivals and more. With those lights turned off, Christians have a light that burns brightly.

‘In [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all humanity. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John 1:5)

Let’s shine a light brightly this Easter.

Tell me, I would love to hear your creative ideas.

Sermon – JesusWORKS: Who is Jesus?

JesusWORKS Flyer Image

JesusWORKS aims to introduce you to the Jesus of history by looking at his life, teaching and work. Primarily, it is for the person who wants to check out the claims of Jesus or the claims about Jesus – so that they can make up their own minds about him.

Yet, it is also for any Christian who wants to be prepared to give a reasoned answer for the hope that they have in the gospel of Jesus (1 Pet 3:15).

Jesus calls people to himself, yet he gives everyone the opportunity to examine him and his message before making that decision.who-is-jesus-0

In this second talk, we  seek to answer the question: Who is Jesus? – is he just a moral man, wise teacher, unfortunate martyr or could he in fact be the divine Lord?

 

Read the Bible texts – Mark 1:1-28; Mark 2:1-12; Mark 4:35-41; Mark 5:35-43

Talk 2 – Who is Jesus (Outline)

Watch the Talk – here

Listen to the Talk

 – Ken Noakes

For more information and resources that go with the JesusWORKS course – go here

Sermon – JesusWORKS: What is the Bible?

JesusWORKS Flyer Image

JesusWORKS aims to introduce you to the Jesus of history by looking at his life, teaching and work. Primarily, it is for the person who wants to check out the claims of Jesus or the claims about Jesus – so that they can make up their own minds about him.

Yet, it is also for any Christian who wants to be prepared to give a reasoned answer for the hope that they have in the gospel of Jesus (1 Pet 3:15).

Jesus calls people to himself, yet he gives everyone the opportunity to examine him and his message before making that decision.What is the Bible

In this talk, we  seek to answer the question: What is the Bible? – is it an old irrelevant book or is it a reliable source for understanding Jesus?

Read the Bible texts – 2 Peter 1:12-21

Talk 1 – What is the Bible (Outline)

Watch the Talk – here

Listen to the Talk

– Ken Noakes

For more information and resources that go with the JesusWORKS course – go here

Sermon – Does Science disprove Christianity? (Psalm 19/Romans 1:18-23)

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Can the disciplines that lie behind both Science and Christianity be compatible? Is there difference?  Glen Connor who holds degrees in both science and theology considers this often disputable topic. Perhaps both sides have things to learn?

Read the Bible texts – Psalm 19; Romans 1:18-23

Watch the Talk – here

Listen to the Talk

– Glen Connor

Sermon – If loving, God why send people to hell? (Luke 16:19-31)

Hot Topics Graphic

‘Hell’ is a repulsive concept and the one thing that proponents and objectors both agree upon, it is that ‘hell’ is a place to be avoided.

In this talk we look at what the Bible says about ‘hell’. It is real, people really are going there – but there is someone who really doesn’t want you there.

Read the Bible text – Luke 16:19-31

Talk Outline – If so loving why send people to Hell?

Watch the Talk – here

Listen to the Talk

– Ken Noakes

 

Sermon – Does Religion cause Violence? (Mark 12:28-31)

Hot Topics Graphic

A glance at history or a quick read through any newspaper will almost certainly report on some act of violence committed somewhere in the world. Often what lies behind those acts are people who declare themselves to be a follower of a particular religion.

Does Religion cause violence – and how does that implicate Christianity?

 

Read the Bible text – Mark 12:28-31

Talk Outline – Does Religion Cause Violence

Talk Addendum – Does Religion Cause Violence (This addendum is referred to in the talk)

Watch the Talk – here

– Ken Noakes

Sermon – Aren’t All Religions the Same? (Acts 17:1-34/John 14:1-6)

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It is not unusual for all religions to be lumped into the same basket and dismissed collectively. Yet, even a cursory reading of the core texts of any religion will expose clear differences. What does Christianity offer that might helpfully encourage a person to look more deeply into the truths that the Bible reveals?

Read the Bible texts – Acts 17:1-34; John 14:1-6

Watch this Talk – here

– Dave Swan

 

Sermon – Gospel Future and Glory (Romans 15:13-16:27)

Romans 9-16 Slide

The Letter to the Romans is a rich treasure trove for an Christian. In this talk we come to the end of the letter. Good theology has been put into practice. So to close the letter, the Apostle Paul wants the church in Rome (and by extension, Christians to today) to be ministers of Christ Jesus – in prayer, in partnership, in proclaiming the gospel where it is not known.

Christians have ever reason to boldly live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read the Bible text – Romans 15:13-16:27

Watch this talk – here

– Dave Swan