Sorry Easter You Didn’t Make The Final Four — Rankings of Most Popular Holidays

Ahh…Spring is in the air! The signs are all around us. Flowers are blooming, daylight savings time is back, and college basketball’s March Madness with its rankings of the 64 best teams is in full swing. And oh yes, not to be left off the list Easter, and the church world’s BIGGEST marketing blitz of the year!

How do I say this? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Easter your slipping in the rankings. This according to thrillist.com a website devoted to eating, drinking, and traveling. They recently ranked the 16 most popular U.S. holidays for their frivolity and merriment. What are these most to least popular holidays you ask? Read on!

So what’s an Easter believer (which I AM one) to make of this Easter decline? For churches hustling for their share of the CEO (Christmas Easter Only) attendees, what’s the answer? Is it bigger, better egg hunts? More marvelous mailers? Glitzier, gifts, gags, and gimmicks? Or, jazzier Jesus jingles? How does one get to the top of the Easter heap?

And Easter’s slide in the polls may be just the tip of the iceberg which all the “Bring a Friend” Sundays are likely not to remedy. Pick your preferred reporting source and the reality is that church attendance and Christianity is on the steady decline in America.

BUT notice what I did NOT say. I did NOT say that Jesus or the ways of Jesus are on the decline. In fact, I find just the opposite! In the darkness of our world people still have an amazing appetite for good and are seeking a light to brighten their daily lives.

So…where’s the disconnect? Why are most churches and denominations (not all) in free fall and yet people are seeking spiritual truth and good perhaps like never before? Could I suggest that we have in Jesus words in Matthew 5, lost our flavor and dimmed our lights.

“You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”  ~ Matthew 5:13-16 TLB

WAHT IF collectively as churches we took  a different approach to the good news of Jesus resurrecting power to change lives.

  • WHAT IF our Easter “marketing” dollars were re-purposed year round into neighborhood “mission” dollars?
  • WHAT IF instead of only “inviting” people to our church buildings we“invested” in friendships with neighbors outside the walls of the church building?
  • WHAT IF we loved our local schools, visited our local senior adult homes, joined with city and business leaders to solve problems and improve our communities?
  • WHAT IF we daily let our good deeds glow for all to see?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the local church. I will be at a local church on Easter Sunday. I want the local church (and Christians) to return to the heart of Jesus…love their community as Jesus loved his community…THEN I believe people will again make the connection between the ways of Jesus, and the ways of the church. I’d love to know your thoughts!

Oh by the way, here’s the list from most to least popular holidays for merriment and eating and drinking:

1. Thanksgiving 2. Christmas 3. Halloween 4. Independence Day 5. St. Patrick’s Day 6. Memorial Day 7. Labor Day 8. Easter 9. New Year’s 10. Mother’s Day 11. Father’s Day 12. MLK Day 13. Veteran’s Day 14. Valentine’s Day 15. President’s Dat 16. Columbus Day

Cheering for Easter!

Jim

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