Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble. Psalm 107:2
The last several weeks we have been making plans for our Easter services on April 4th. We are going to have three services this year: 8:00AM, 9:30AM, and 11:00AM in order to ensure we have plenty of space for all who want to come. We would especially like to ask our church members to try to come to one of two early services as we expect the 11:00 service to be the largest. Last February and into March we were making plans for Easter 2020. We were hoping to have over 1,000 in attendance in our two services plus our sunrise service. Then Covid came and shut us down. We were able to have Easter services in the parking lot last year and we were thankful for the opportunity to worship together even though most people were in their vehicles the whole time.
This Easter we know we will be celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and we will be having at least 3 baptisms and our children’s choir will be singing in our 11:00AM service. We really don’t know what to expect in regards to the size of the crowds. We are having more and more church members returning each Sunday after receiving their second vaccine. It is exciting to see folks return and our attendance growing each week (359 this week). We are sending out Easter invites to our neighbors and are making plans to welcome all who come and make every effort to make people feel safe. We will have a portion of our worship service designated for mask wearers at our 8:00AM service.
As usual, you can help us in a few ways. If you are able, maybe you can park further away from the church on Easter morning and leave spaces closest to the church for our guest and elderly. Make sure you wear your smile even if you cover it up with your mask. While we do a pretty good job at welcoming guests, we want to be sensitive to others during Covid. Some who come (both members and guests) are still a little fearful or at least cautious. Please don’t assume everybody wants physical contact (like a handshake). If somebody extends their hand, fist, or elbow to me, I usually respond in like manner. However, I do not initiate those greetings because I know not everybody is comfortable with physical contact. We can show love by being extra sensitive to the concerns of others.
After Easter, we are going to kickoff 40 days of prayer for The Gospel to Every Home initiative. We are going to try to take gospel packets to as many of our neighbors as we can. I just got some updated demographics today. There are 8,621 persons living within 1 mile of our church, which is an increase of 3,578 (70.9%) since 2000. There are 27,679 persons living within 3 miles of our church. There are 62,557 persons living within 5 miles of Burlington Baptist, which is an increase of 25,635 (69.4%) since 2000. Wow! There are a lot of people within 5 miles of the church.
How many households are we going to try to reach? It all depends on how many of you are willing to participate. I’d love to have LOTS of teams who are willing to participate in the gospel distributions this summer. We can consider ourselves summer missionaries in our own backyard. Within a 3-mile radius of our church there are approximately 10,000 households. How can we get to 10, 000 doors? We should be back over 400 people attending our worship services by April. If we put them together on teams of 2, that would be 200 teams. If each team would commit to dropping off 25 gospel packets on 2 different days this summer, that would allow us to cover 10,000 homes. In other words, if each person would commit about 4 hours this summer, we can cover every home within a 3-mile radius. We can do that church!
Will you make plans to help? I need a few people to help lead this effort. Would you consider being a leader? We need a prayer leader, map leader, teams leader, and a gospel packet leader. If you think you can help with one of those roles, please let me know. After Easter, hopefully we will start praying, planning, and going. We will be teaching and preaching about evangelism, I will be doing some evangelism training. Then, we will hit our neighborhoods with gospel! I can’t wait!