Jared Wilson writes about how not to waste your Easter:
In years past, churches have opened Easter Sunday services with AC/DC songs, laser light shows, egg drops from helicopters, and the like. This year the need to outdo last is pressing. One church is giving away automobiles and other prizes.
The simple explanation for all this is that they want people to hear about the resurrection, and these are ways to get people in proximity to hear the message. I am reminded of when Jesus tells the rich man in hell that if his surviving family didn’t believe Moses and the prophets, they weren’t going to believe a resurrected man. Does that sound backwards to you? The same principle is at stake here. If the message that Jesus died and came back to life(!) isn’t compelling enough to draw people, the enticement of winning a car is not going to cut it. Anyone who believes on Christ because they were attracted by “stuff” has been won to prosperity gospel, not crucifixion gospel.
The harder explanation for all this is that the PT Barnum pastoral tribe doesn’t trust that the gospel is a compelling message. They don’t trust that they can make it sound attractive and exciting just as it is. They’ve lost trust that it is, actually, power. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t feel the need to put it inside the Trojan horse of cash and prizes.
Why do churches treat the resurrection like it’s the heartworm medicine you put in a hot dog to trick the dog?
The truth is that all the bombast, the flash, the publicity, the attractions are a waste. They are the offer of mud pies, because we just can’t figure out how to sell a holiday at sea. (When, really, the holiday sells itself.)