Episode 574

Easter Sunday Remains a High Attendance Day, Gospel’s Power Showing & Prayerfully Waiting on God’s Timing

Mar 27, 2024

Most pastors are expecting one of their largest crowds on Easter, but those expectations have tempered some in the past decade. Ministering to people in recovery centers and homeless shelters has resulted in some amazing Gospel success stories at Faith Baptist of Myra. And, in one of His most well-known parables in which He taught the importance of patience in prayer, Jesus contrasted a powerful judge to a vulnerable widow (Luke 18:1-8).

Transcript

Most pastors are expecting one of their largest crowds on Easter, but those expectations have tempered some in the past decade.

The three highest-attendance Sundays for pastors—Easter, Christmas and Mother’s Day—have remained the same since 2011, but each is now less likely to be among the top days, according to a Lifeway Research study of U.S. Protestant pastors.

Today, 90% of pastors identify Easter as the day their church has its highest, second-highest or third-highest attendance for worship service.

Other high attendance days are a day the church designates to invite friends (20%), homecoming or anniversary of the church’s founding (18%), Fourth of July (3%) and Father’s Day (3%).
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Ministering to people in recovery centers and homeless shelters has resulted in some amazing Gospel success stories at Faith Baptist of Myra.

Since August, Faith Baptist has had 31 baptisms — 25 of those being men drawn to the church while being in recovery. The number of men being transported from rehab to the church continues to grow, prompting a need for a second van. This month an anonymous church member donated $30,000 to help meet that need, and with $7,000 from the church, a vehicle was purchased.

The rehab ministry is special to Dave Hammond, who has pastored Faith Baptist since 1991. He has spoken in about 10 rehabs across the state and has a weekly prison ministry at Pike County Jail.

“I feel God has given me a testimony,” Hammond said. “I was once broken … I had an alcohol problem and was fired in 1985 as a teacher and basketball coach. It was then that I committed my life totally to the Lord. I said, ‘Take my life and make something of it.’ I can relate to those in rehab because I have been broken and down myself.”
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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In one of His most well-known parables in which He taught the importance of patience in prayer, Jesus contrasted a powerful judge to a vulnerable widow (Luke 18:1-8). The judge in the parable had no compassion for the widow’s legal or personal complaints. The widow, on the other hand, refused to stop showing up to court in order to demand justice. Finally, the corrupt judge conceded because the widow refused to stop asking for his assistance.

Jesus contrasted the heartless judge to our loving God by demonstrating that unlike the crooked judge, God desires to answer the cries of His people – the people Jesus compared favorably to the persistent widow.

Kie Bowman says we can learn three lessons from this story:
Wait in prayer even when the outcome appears unlikely
Wait in prayer because God hears
Wait in prayer because an answer is coming

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