Thom Rainer posted eleven reasons pastors struggle when Easter Sunday comes around.
- The day is often overwhelmingly busy.
- The pressure to “do well” is increased.
- Finding a unique approach to the Easter story is not easy.
- Pastors see members they haven’t seen since last Easter.
- Pastors see “lostness” come in the door . . . and leave unchanged.
- Pastors get a glimpse of what the church could be . . . but typically isn’t.
- Pastors often judge their own sermons more critically on Easter.
- Pastors brag about Easter attendance.
- Attendance expectations may not be met.
- Monday morning letdown can follow Easter.
- Some pastors have no resurrection joy themselves.
I especially resonate with Reason #2–the pressure to “do well” on Easter Sunday is intense. More people are sitting in our pews on Resurrection Sunday. We think to ourselves, “If I do well, they’ll come back.” We feel compared to other pastors and worry that our performance won’t match up. Even our own faithful members are hoping for an extra-good display of our gifts, especially if they brought friends and family along.
It’s tempting to find our identity in the comments people give us after the service: “Great sermon, pastor! God really spoke through you today, pastor!” Our innate sense of self-importance, our vanity, the expectations of fellow fallen people, and the devil himself conspire to make Easter Sunday anything but a day of gladness and celebration for pastors.
Here are words from God that may help you get through the Easter weekend with joy: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, i will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3a, ESV).
If you’re reading this and you’re not a pastor, pray for your pastoral team this weekend. You may be unaware of the burdens they are carrying.