Easter morning at our church, we had 3 services (we usually have 2). We had a 7:15 am sunrise service outside at a nearby city park that overlooks a lake, and then our regular 9:00 am traditional and 10:45 contemporary services.
The sunrise service was extremely cold (34 degrees), so there were only about 90 people at that one. The other two services were slammed, though. We had over 1200 people between the two (our church typically runs about 750 in worship between the two).
We had 3 families from our neighborhood show up. It was awesome to see the routine of inviting them finally pay off. All 3 enjoyed it.
The message was really unique as it was kind of a drama and kind of a message. Basically woven throughout our pastor's message were interviews with the 8 people mentioned at the cross of Christ. Pastor would interview them and then draw analogies between where that person was with Jesus, and where people today are with Jesus. It was extremely creative and interesting.
After talking to a neighbor, the only real complaint was about the music. They did traditional music in both hours. I had mentioned to my neighbors before that the second worship hour is contemporary and they were disappointed that it wasn't that way when they were there.
As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago, we discussed why we didn't put more effort into the music in the second hour, and the reason given was because of the sunrise service. So next year, I'm going to do my best to make sure that we have no sunrise service.
One of the main reasons that I'll push for it is because it really is just there to give Christians something special to do. I think it's awesome to create special experiences like that for believers, and is certainly something that should be done. But why does it have to be done on Easter when all of the resources are already being tapped out. Why not do it on some other time?
We'll see how that discussion goes once Easter 2008 rolls around. JM