|PIC1|Dear Saddleback family,
Tonight (Thursday) we begin the first of 12 Saddleback Easter services. Have you invited anyone to come with you yet?
At our Easter services in the last three years more than 5,000 people opened their lives to Christ - because YOU invited them! It's almost guaranteed that if you bring those you care about to a Saddleback Easter service, they will come to know Jesus.
This year, our pastors and I will be speaking on "Time for a Frest Start." It is a message of encouragement that I've written to show how God, through Easter, gives us a chance to start over and enjoy a new relationship with him.
Who of your relatives, neighbours, and co-workers do you want to see come to Christ this Easter? People are more likely to be open to your invitation at Easter than at any other time of year. Don't miss this once-a-year opportunity to invite them to one of our church services!
Here's how you can fulfill your mission at Easter:
1. Ask God to show you who to invite.
2. Bring a different friend to each of our services! Bring someone every day! Thursday: 7 p.m.; Friday: noon (with lunch provided), 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.; Saturday: 3, 5, and 7 p.m.; Sunday: 7, 9, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m.
3. Bring someone from your office to our Good Friday lunch hour service (a free lunch is provided.)
4. PLEASE set an example and fill out the brief "Spiritual Survey" card that we take every year at Easter during the service - so visitors will see you do it and feel comfortable doing it too.
5. Pray that hundreds will commit their lives to Christ this Easter.
6. Greet everyone around you. There will be a lot of first-time visitors. Please help them with directions.
This Easter we are planning our greatest service ever. I am SO excited about it I can hardly sleep! The music we've planned is incredible! Thanks for your prayers. It's going to be an amazing four days! I love you so much and am so grateful to be your pastor. Let's each Reach One More ... for Jesus!
Until next time,
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., USA. In addition, Rick is author of the bestselling books The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church, and was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers.
Adapted from Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free weekly e-newsletter for pastors and church leaders, available at Pastors.com.
[Editor's Note: This column first appeared on The Christian Post on Feb. 25th 2006]