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Pennsylvania churches become all things to win some at Easter

Members of Paoli Community Church baked cupcakes and provided Easter-themed devotionals for residents at Green Meadow Nursing Home in Paoli. Photo courtesy of LaVeta Jones/BRN

What does it take to fulfill the Great Commission?

It’s not that complicated.

On a basic level it takes love and compassion, time and a willingness to meet people where they are. For a bonus, toss in a little creativity.

Harvest Church of Petroleum Valley, located in Petrolia, Pa., experienced this in taking creative steps to meet their community. In particular, this was accomplished during an Easter egg hunt earlier this month.

In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, the Apostle Paul speaks to this. In verse 22 he says, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Paul goes on to say that he does this for the sake of the gospel, so that he may share in its blessing.

Harvest Church grabbed hold of the vision and spent weeks preparing and packing eggs with treats. This enthusiasm remained through event day activities as they served and interacted with guests.

Pastor Michael Harvey told the story of one of those interactions.

“One of our members shared with the church following the event that they had a number of conversations with people, but the one that really stuck out to them was a gentleman who said that he ‘was raised in the church but church was just a list of do’s and don’ts.’ He never remembered the church ‘reaching out in the community or doing something as fun as an Easter Egg Hunt. It was always taboo to talk about the Easter bunny,’” said Harvey.

Harvest Church became “fun” and shared the love and message of Christ. When the event was over, they had done so with the help of serving about eight gallons of coffee and chocolate milk, hiding over 4,500 plastic eggs and taking over 100 pictures of kids with the Easter Bunny.

The success of Harvest’s first community outreach has led them to talk about ways to reach back in and build deeper relationships surrounding the truth of the Gospel.

Easter was also a busy time for Paoli Community Church, 15 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Their efforts included their biannual food drive for Pottstown Bible Church.

Paoli Community Church becamethe arms of Jesus for the Green Meadow Nursing Home by baking 25 dozen cupcakes, assembling 150 Scripture-based snack packs and providing 150 Easter devotionals for the 140 patients plus staff.

An estimated 14 million people in Pennsylvania/South Jersey area don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Churches such as Paoli and Harvest are among those showing how to reach them with the gospel through love and compassion as well as time and willingness to meet people where they are.