Well, another celebration of Easter is here, and many of us will rejoice in the good news of the stone being rolled away and the tomb found empty.
We will imagine the miracle of Jesus overcoming death, walking again among His followers and charging them with the mighty task that has come to be known as the Great Commission. That day changed forever the lives of every believer on the planet who had been commanded to go and make disciples. What a wonderful day of remembrance and celebration!
But wait a minute —are we being way too self-focused? There are other things we think of too, aren’t there? Now, really! Give it a minute of thought and really search your mind. Besides a gathering or reunion of family, eating great food and celebration, Easter-egg hunts for the kids, aren’t there some lingering questions in the back of your mind left unanswered?
How many of you are thought to be a Christian once a year? You know, those people who only attend church on Easter, dust off the old suit and put on a tie. How many of us have been once-a-year people at some point in our lives or maybe still are today? What can we do to become “Easter people” all year long and reach out each day of the year to do as Christ commanded?
How many of the people who are around us are celebrating the holiday but really don’t have a clue about what the Great Commission is all about? How many wish they had a true, sincere and believing guide to help them understand and truly open their hearts and minds to Christ and be Easter people all year long? What can we do to change that, and how and when do we start to reach out?
Many people are present during these times for the simple reason that this is a social structure in their lives. They have the need for holidays in their lives and schedules. There is the significance of participation so that others will think positively of them, maybe they want to spend time with family. They are a part of what our society has established over many years, no matter what their level of belief may be.
The reality of these things is a plain, honest fact of life.
But we, as believers, have to step up and see the big picture and know that we are dealing with matters of eternity when we say we’re saved and decide to follow Christ.
Another major truth is that a high percentage of these “holiday people” have many questions on their minds, no matter what they may say. We may not be aware of that because we haven’t approached them to speak with and try to form productive relationships with them. Many of these men, women and children are reluctant to come forward and admit how they feel or discuss questions about faith and values in their personal lives for many reasons. They may have carried these feelings with them for years. Others also may feel that their lives are going along just fine for now and believe only in the pleasures and rewards that their earthly life provides.
There also are many who are waiting for someone to reach out to them in Christian love, faith and patience. They are waiting for believers to give enough of themselves to reach just one other person and make a disciple for Christ.
If you or someone you know is struggling with faith, a Stephen Minister can make a difference. The Stephen Ministry Program is faith-based, totally confidential, gender-sensitive and free of cost. We will walk with you, no matter how long it takes, on matters of faith and many other areas of conflict and crisis in your life. We are trained to help in so many ways and offer excellent referrals to other professional community-help agencies.
The Stephen Ministry is waiting for your call at 912-320-7840.
Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.