Easter is one of the two major holidays where those that don’t regularly attend church make their semi-annual visit to their local house of worship. Maybe that’s you.
Perhaps it is for family obligation – to make Mom, Grandma or your spouse happy; or at least get them off your back for another few months. Or to finally get the kids into church because it’s good for them. You had to go to church at Easter, and they should, too.
Maybe it’s tradition – you always go to church on Easter. You buy nice outfits, take a family picture, go to a fancy dinner and of course, go to church. Perhaps it’s to show God that you’re still here and want Him to show you His love…and hope He doesn’t forget about you when it’s time to hand out the merit badges or the tickets to heaven.
Going to church on Easter is a great idea. And if one of those thoughts is what it takes to help you get out the door Easter morning, then I’m on board.
But the reality is going to church on ANY day doesn’t make God love you more.
In fact, God couldn’t love you any more than He already does. And He wants a relationship with you.
How do you grow in a relationship? Time and attention. God wants your time and attention through reading His Word (the Bible) and through spending time with Him and His family, the church!
The church isn’t a building, it is the family of God (and they meet in buildings we often call churches). And just like every family, not everyone is perfect. But in this family, everyone is forgiven. And you can join this family in one simple action – believing that Jesus died in your place for your sins (because you’re not perfect, either) so you could join his family. That’s the ONLY way to get that “ticket to heaven.”
Here’s Jesus’ own words, found in the Bible in the book of John – “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6. See also Paul’s words in Romans 5:8). When you join the family, the Bible and church help show you how members of the family live together in obedience to God.
So this Easter, go to church. And make sure you’re a part of the family. And join that family every week (no, God won’t be mad if you miss a week here or there) to learn, grow and love.
Don’t have a church to go to on Easter and don’t know where to start? I’ve listed a few places below, places where our team from the River calls their church home and why they love it. If you’re reading this and have a great recommendation, list it in the comments below. We’d LOVE to hear about it!
God can’t wait to hear from you this Easter Sunday…and every day after.
River Team Church Recommendations:
Anne – LifePoint Church in Lewis Center. But there are also campuses in Westerville, Delaware, and Mount Vernon.
“Our church is really welcoming, especially for first time guests. Since Easter can be a time when so many people decide to bring family members or others who may be new to church, this would be a great fit. It’s definitely more of a modern church in terms of worship (the music is pretty loud!), but it’s definitely a great one to make people who are uncomfortable in church feel at home. The pastor is the kind of guy who doesn’t put on a show up on stage. What you see is what you get, and that’s one of my other favorite things.”
Mitchell – St. Matthew’s The Apostle Catholic Church
“If you’re looking for a bit more traditional/liturgical option for an Easter service, St. Matthew’s The Apostle Catholic Church in Gahanna is a great option. The staff there are big fans of the River, and are very friendly and welcoming. The music, sermons, and service are all done very well and provide a deep biblical background for the meaning of Easter. The staff there would also love to help provide many opportunities for bible studies and more ways to get involved!
It’s located at 807 Havens Corners Rd, Gahanna OH 43230
Easter Service Times: Saturday March 31st at 5p, Sunday April 1st at 8a, 10a, 12p, and 5p”
David – Hope Church.
“It’s a diverse church – life experience, race, vocations, family sizes, resources, etc. But everyone is bought in to the mission of the church. This makes the church inviting, opportunistic, and bonded.”
Josh – Lucas Grace Bible Church
“Our church loves people, loves to express kindness and welcome to visitors, and we show and preach that Jesus is so much more than a once-or-twice Sunday experience. He’s life, and it’s HIM that keeps us coming back.”
Brittany – H2o Church
“I think the church is special because it is super close of OSU’s campus. We have a congregation that meets on campus for students & a more city-focused congregation that meets a few blocks away from campus. Anyone is welcome, of course, but it is primarily a church of young people (college students or young adults). I feel like for young people, that can be less intimidating than walking into a church filled with people way older than you and in a totally different phase of life. So I think that’s pretty neat.”
Hailey – Delaware City Vineyard
“Really great worship and messages! Come as you are and you’ll be loved! On any given Sunday there are all types of people in our church. We dress normally (like what you would wear if you’re hanging out with friends), we talk normally (trying not to use strange religious words), we worship together (we sing), we study the Bible and apply it to our daily lives, and we pray together.”
Brett – Genoa Baptist Church
“Pastor Frank Carl cares for people, and often preaches truth that includes good humor. Nice people, and the preaching is fantastic with a focus on salvation. Four services.”
Bill – Linworth Baptist Church
“Linworth is a multi-generational, Bible-centered church with an amazing heart for the community. Worship ranges between traditional to contemporary, and ministries serve every age group. Their mission is to Love God, Serve Others and Share Christ MORE!”
Todd – Vineyard Columbus
“It’s very welcoming. It’s a very culturally diverse church, so no matter what race or ethnicity you are, you’re likely going to see someone who looks like you (which can make a person feel more comfortable in a new place).”
Dan – Leave a Mark Church
“Our Hope is in the risen savior Jesus Christ. Our church is a place where ‘no perfect people are allowed.'”
Scott – Northwest Bible Church
“The two distinctives of Northwest Bible would be the contemporary worship and amazing kids ministry – especially the 1st – 6th grade program.”