A big day is an all-out push toward a single Sunday for the purpose of breaking the next growth barrier and setting an attendance record in order to reach as many people as possible for Jesus.
Some of you may get stuck on the “attendance record” part of that definition. Let me assure you, the attendance record that you want to set through a big day has nothing to do with earning bragging rights among your pastor friends. It’s all about making sure you create a level of excitement that will bring in a bigger number of people than ever before so that lives can be changed and your church can become even more of a thriving force in your community.
When you do an all-out push toward a big day, something begins to change in the life of your church. People get excited. The community starts to buzz. God blesses the effort you are putting in. And why wouldn’t he? After all, big days are his idea. I didn’t create this big day concept. God did. A brief look back through history clearly shows how God has used big days as part of his plan since the beginning of time. In fact, time began with a big day. Wouldn’t you agree that it was a big day when God divided the light from the darkness and brought the world into existence? He had probably been planning the details of that day for a while. And if you study your Old Testament, you’ll find many more big days that God used to advance his purposes.
Perhaps one of the most famous and relevant of God’s big days—this one in the New Testament—was the day of Pentecost. That’s the day Peter preached and three thousand were saved. God used that one big day to rapidly expand the church. This should lead us to consider the question, “How fast can the church grow?” If we use the day of Pentecost as our measuring stick, we shouldn’t see doubling in a day as that big of a deal. God took the church from a handful of followers to thousands in one day, and yet we doubt his ability to do the same in our churches. Why is that?
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The God who engineered the day of Pentecost is the same God to whom you are entrusting your church. Is it possible that he would do something like that again, if we were willing to cooperate? I believe that it is. Your church may not go from a handful to over three thousand on one Sunday (or maybe it will), but by understanding and working with the power of a big day, you can tap into what God wants to do through the church in our day and see some amazing things happen. (For more on big days in the book of Acts, keep reading—more to come on page 39.)
Deciding to harness the potential of big days is simply agreeing to cooperate with God’s plan, in accordance with the way he has worked—and will continue to work—throughout history. We already know of another big day that God has in store. Just study the book of Revelation. Until that day when God’s plan for salvation is ultimately fulfilled, we have the opportunity to work with him to reach as many people as possible for the sake of Jesus Christ. That’s what the big day is all about.
Henson, J. D., & Searcy, N. (2009). Ignite: how to spark immediate growth in your church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.