igniteOkay, this shouldn’t be anyone’s primary reason for doing a big day, but every once in a while it’s good to do something that will irk Satan. If he’s not bothered by what you are doing, you must not be doing much against his cause. Or as a pastor and mentor of mine once advised me, “If you haven’t met the devil head-on lately, maybe it’s because you are moving in the same direction!”

You’ll find, though, that the devil is not the only one who gets mad when you start to spend time and energy on reaching new people. The unfortunate truth is that some people in your church will get mad too. Those who are comfortable with the present reality and don’t want to be bothered with a pesky thing like evangelism probably won’t like the idea of a big day. They don’t want their pew to get too full. They don’t want their parking place to be taken by someone else. You need to prepare yourself. Satan will use some of these people to try to discourage you and pull you away from God’s purposes.

God’s kingdom has never been and will never be built on the foundation of complacency. When you get serious about evangelism, you will force some of the complacent Christians in your church to reconsider their membership. Inwardly focused Christians don’t mesh well with outwardly focused churches. They will either leave or get back in alignment with God’s plan for their spiritual growth. Thankfully, our God works all things together for good. If complacent Christians choose to leave, that’s the kind of subtraction that paves the way for greater addition. Think of it as separating the grain from the chaff.

Here’s a question for you to consider: what could you do over the next twelve months, in addition to a big day, that would make the devil mad and reach the unchurched? Several years ago I pulled our staff together for a memorable brainstorming session where I asked: “What is the riskiest thing we can do to reach people? What would really make the devil mad?” The answer we came up with was rather unusual: advertise on The Howard Stern Show. At that time The Howard Stern Show was the most influential radio show in our city. So we decided we would use Stern’s position and prominence with our demographic to reach an unchurched audience with an invitation to our next big day—the kickoff of our February teaching series. We made the devil and quite a few complacent Christians from other churches mad. But we reached a ton of unchurched people through that series.

Henson, J. D., & Searcy, N. (2009). Ignite: how to spark immediate growth in your church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.