What Happened on Easter (in Seattle, 2015)?

Last year, 130 congregations and countless brothers and sisters participated in a 40 day prayer effort. “What is God’s heart for your city?” Out of this, we learned through a short survey that Evangelism mattered in our cities. (So did prayer, homelessness, incarceration, local schools, immigrant and refuge care, foster care and much, much more.) Easter Sunday is a natural moment in the calendar of the Church to share the good news, and so we got behind local pastors, prayed for our Easter services and followed up with about 100 congregations. Now we can now share with you all, “What Happened on Easter!”

Sometimes we get so focused on what is or is not happening within our own walls that we lose sight of how the Spirit is at work where we live—through the diversity of the church, many can be reached with the Gospel and come to know the person of Jesus, grow in Jesus and serve others in response to His love.

We surveyed nearly 100 congregations, big and small, (about 10% of the churches in our region) and asked a few questions to get a sense of how God is working through his Church to impact our region, including special stories, how many people were in attendance, how many visitors attended, and the number of professions, recommitments and baptisms. We are excited to share not just these numbers, but a whole list of quick stories. We hope that you are as encouraged as we were with what God is doing in the Greater Seattle region!

“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:22-23

What Happened on Easter (In Seattle – 2015):

The Numbers:

69,744 in attendance.

9,597 visitors.

970 individuals committed to Christ for the first time.

520 recommitments to Christ.

124 baptisms.

The Stories:

  • The gospel was preached and the resurrected Christ was worshiped!

  • A congregation in Wallingford had their first Easter in their new building… everyone likes ice cream, so they made Easter Sunday’s after church!

  • In Puyallup 20+ churches came together to feed anyone in the community on Easter—in which over 800 people were blessed with fellowship and community.

  • It was beautiful! As a church plant, to see so many of our volunteers/leaders get involved to make Easter so special (e.g. decorate, plan, etc) and to see fruit of people inviting people, just made the day incredible. But it was also our first time as a worship community, that I extended the invitation to Christ as a response to the message and 4 people gave their lives to JESUS! To do this work in a very “unchurched culture and to see this fruit after doing this weekly for only 6 months? TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!

  • Many congregations mentioned that they plan baptisms a few weeks after Easter.

  • We had folks from the neighborhood come who hadn’t been to church in a long time. It was nice to see the smiles on their faces as they sang with the children of our congregation. We had a children’s choir so it was fun to have folks come to be a part of the ensemble.

  • This was our biggest service to date and were so encouraged by how many visitors came. As a church that has just left the plant stage it was also our most organized service with 24 servant hearted members each doing their part for both the service and Easter Egg Hunt after service. The hunt was also very encouraging with almost 100 kids participating 80% of those were from the community and had been their first time interacting with our church!! It was a good Easter Sunday!

  • Family from all ever should up lots of healing and recommitted to Lord. Food given out amazing kids worshipping the Lord! Parents and kids coming back together!

  • An all-community 9+ church Good Friday service at Maple Valley Presbyterian. Pastor David Diehl invited our community of churches… and uses each pastor to either read scripture, serve communion and preach 2 – 10 minutes sermons. It’s the greatest thing for community unity. We have an amazing reputation of unity in our city… we own 2 apartment complexes for transitional housing, and we are all off on our annual retreat this week in CleElum. The Lord is moving in our region!

  • We had three wonderful celebrations of Christ’s resurrection out of death. Music and morale ran high. The Good News was proclaimed authentically and authoritatively. An invitation to come to Christ in faith was issued and God’s Spirit moved in hearts. A highlight of Easter for us each year is the second invitation at the end of the service for any one who has ever sung the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah to join the choir in singing it. People stream from the pews and overflow the choir loft. What follows is a powerful rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus to conclude the service. It is always a very powerful moment and fitting conclusion to Easter worship. Amen.

  • Man who had just been released from prison came to church at his daughters request. He said he never thought he would go to a church service, but he wanted to start fresh with his daughter and felt so accepted and welcome by church members, he has found a new church home.

  • During second service, only two baptisms were scheduled and 6 people spontaneously came forward to be baptized. Some of these were rededications.

  • A husband and wife moved in- apartment started leaking and church helped out. God saved house for them in area- and moving back near church.

  • We had our largest attendance since we began weekly meeting s 6 months ago.

  • We have been praying for the month of March and the outpouring was wonderful on Easter. It is the largest attendance we have every had. The number of visitors and family friends was great. There was truly a spirit of God’s love present. I think the entire service was truly great from beginning to end. The worship was perfect, teaching very clear.

  • Lots of people looking for connecting and community.

  • In Federal Way 8 churches gathered together for a Good Friday service. The unity and creative expressions to honor Jesus death were exceptional. Pastor Gary’s wife Marie was in massive back pain for 3 days – we prayed for her the day before at the new Pastor’s Prayer meeting. She felt the Lord say to her, “if you go to the Good Friday service I will heal you.” She got out of bed, came, walked in to the building, and Jesus healed her immediately. It ignited faith for people to get saved and healed that night. We ended the Good Friday service praying for salvation, healing, and breakthrough. What a powerful unifying service we had together of over 500 people. Also – at LUTC I felt the Lord tell me to gather the pastors together weekly and pray. I started 7 weeks ago and invited them all — we started with 3 and we had 9 today and the prayer was anointed, effective, faith building, and really spirit filled. God is doing a new move in FW and we are believing for things unlike we have ever seen!!!

  • One lady who has struggled with drug addiction and has wavered in and out of the church for a number of years was one of the ones to come forward with a family member and recommit to follow Christ!

  • Did an Easter Egg hunt before the service, raffled off bikes, one went to a young man who didn’t have a bike at all, another to a child who was crying all morning. Highest service ever on Easter, the second week they matched their Easter numbers!

  • A 14 year old committed to follow Jesus and was baptized.

  • We had a great time of calling people to receive prayers of healing and committing their lives to Jesus. People with addictions and struggling with life coming up to receive prayers.

  • Largest service in 99 year history!

  • We combined our two Sunday services into one celebration service that entailed mostly singing, a sermon and baptisms to follow. We had lots of guest over 200 and celebrated two baptisms.

  • We are excited to see what the next few weeks will be like and as people plugged into communities and get into relationships with our members, I believe we will see that work God began at this Easter service. Thanks so much for your prayer.

  • One of our older members put together a youth and Young Adult orchestra for special music.

  • A church member rededicated her life to Christ. Only the Holy Spirit knows what else was happening in the hearts of those present. We trust the Lord for the fruit.

  • The Holy Spirit was very present! Double the size of a normal Sunday, a theme of Walking through the Door lead people to an action step fro their faith. Very exciting, God is moving!

  • The “win” for us was that many families that we reach out to through our afterschool program came to Easter Sunday service and the Gospel was presented. We had been using several previous methods to invite these families that we have regular contact with on weekdays to try out a Sunday with us for service and then an Easter Egg hunt/party afterwards. For the Egg Hunt portion the overwhelming majority of people there were from the immediate community, all ethnic minorities. It was a great Sunday. Thanks UGM for praying for us and many other churches!

  • Amazing second Easter in the churches history.

  • We are excited about the 39 that responded to the invitation to step out of doubt into faith in Jesus. Choosing Jesus, choosing faith and allowing doubts to clarify faith. To move from Thomas’ first statement, “I will not believe”, to his confession, “My Lord and My God.” Joy in the house!

  • We had a great time of celebration, surrounding the Death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sermon included the celebration of The Lord’s Table(communion), and it was a powerful object lesson on the significance of Easter. Our kid’s ministry sang, as well as our Praise team/choir. Many people left encouraged,in Columbia city area.

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