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Actors Falling Off Crosses, Spontaneous Baptisms, and a Rabid Dog—Ed Stetzer Asks Church Leaders To Share Their Most Memorable Easter Service Moments

Screengrab via YouTube @GameMan08

For most pastors and church leaders, Easter is the most anticipated Sunday morning worship service of the year.

Easter also holds many memorable moments for pastors as they proclaim the gospel to their congregations, and to the many visitors who only attend on Christmas or Easter.

No matter how many additional hours church leadership spends on planning for Easter, it is always wise to plan for the unexpected. Unpredictable moments can present themselves in two forms—the “God moments,” like when one pastor who shared that 21 people were baptized spontaneously after seeing him baptize his eldest son.

Then there are the humorous situations that no one could have planned for and prove that God has a sense of humor.

“Our church put on an annual Easter cantata. On this particular year they pulled out all the stops and decided to end with a full on ascension,” another leader shared with ChurchLeaders. “The plan was for a group of disciples to stand, hands raised, praising God as Jesus ascended.”

“Since my dad was playing Jesus, I got to be one of the extras in the play,” she continued. “On the evening of the performance, I dutifully took my place as a worshipping disciple. Whoever set up the smoke machine overdid it and so it pumped smoke full on in our faces. As we gagged and coughed, ‘Jesus’ stepped onto the lift to ascend. No one had practiced this part so it was during the live performance that we discovered the crank needed oil. As the chain clacked and rattled, Jesus started his slow ascent.”

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She went on to say, “Midway up, the lift caught and dropped a couple inches. Jesus began swaying in the air and grabbed ahold of the chains, looking a bit terrified! As the lift made its final push to the top, the scenery people realized that the clouds they had fastened on the ceiling failed to meet the clouds they had fastened to the lift and thus the ending of our play left the ascended Jesus’ ankles and feet in full view.”

Outreach Magazine’s editor-in-chief Ed Stetzer asked pastors and church leaders to share their most memorable or humorous Easter service moments. Below are some of their responses.

Memorable and Humorous Stories From Easter Services

“At our church Passion Play, when the actor playing Jesus was lifted up on the cross, he fell off. The soldiers had to reattach him to the cross and raise it again. In my closing, rather than ignore it, I said that if He had fallen off, He would have climbed back on out of love.”

“During the closing prayer I had a brief invitation and invited to slip hands up for prayer. I meant to say, ‘I won’t call your name out, I just want to pray for you…’ but instead said, ‘I won’t pray for you I just want to call your name out…’”

“One Easter week was DST. Yours truly reprogramed the security system, but I missed AM/PM. At 11, alarm goes off in mid-message & no leaders can seem to get the code right. Seemed like for-ev-er! No way I could talk over it. Had to wait it out.”