Summary: The Easter story begins with people talking. How important is word of mouth?

"Returning from the tomb they told all this to the 12 and the rest".

The Easter story begins with people talking:

"You’ve got to hear this"

"You’ll never believe it"

"Listen up"

"It’s just incredible- I’ve got to tell you about it"

The Easter story begins with people talking. Mary Magdalene, Jane, Mary mother of James,

who have seen something they can’t stop talking about.

Within a few days, that message had spread to Spain and India. This is without

telephones, email, faxes or postal service. It’s just done by people talking.

"You’ve got to hear this"

"You’ll never believe it"

"Listen up"

"It’s just incredible- I’ve got to tell you about it".

This message we share that Jesus has risen from the dead- that death itself has been

defeated is available to all who will accept it. This message they have to share IS

incredible .

Either it’s not true- in which case what on earth am i doing up at this time in the morning? [move as if to walk out the building]

Or else it is true. In which case it is worth sharing. It is so important it is worth talking

about, especially to our friends who don’t come to Church.

In 2001 several years before I got here- the P.C.C. [church trustees] adopted a mission statement:

To seek God’s will through prayer in order:

to bring people to Jesus and membership

in his family,

develop them into Christlike maturity,

and equip them for their ministry

in the church and life mission in the world,

in order to magnify God’s name

Now I’ve just seen some new figures last week that show that between 2001 and 2008 Holy Trinity

was the fastest growing Church in this borough.

There are two main reasons why as a church we have been the fastest growing church.

Firstly as a church, the majority of us experienced an encounter with the risen Jesus.

We have personal experiences of Jesus in our lives. You can’t share what you don’t have.

Secondly as individuals we have gone out and shared that message. Like Mary Magdalene,

Jane, Mary mother of James, we have gone out and told people. So many of you have invited

people to different events, taught them about our faith. Most of us have gone out and

shared this message with neighbours and friends. If something is worth signing up

to -it is worth sharing.

Did you know that with a film, when it is released, very little of its commercial success

depends on how much is spent on advertising. Very little depends on the reviews that appear

in the paper. The thing that has been shown to decide whether a film flourishes or flops is

the people who turn up in the first weekend. If enough of them tell thier friends to go see it

more poepl will go and see it and they’ll tell their friends and so the film will flourish.

But if the first people to see it dont bother to mention it to their friends or say

" actually it wasn’t that great" then in a few weeks they will have moved on to the next film

and the film will have flopped. Word of mouth makes all the difference.

Similarly in the next few weeks, we’re going to have politicians at the door begging

us to vote for them. Now it can be annoying when they ring on your bell as you are cooking dinner. But would you want to vote for a party

if none of the members can be bothered to ask for your vote. The reason they’ll be canvassing you

is because they know word of mouth makes a difference.

If word of mouth makes such a difference to something unimportant like a film’s success , if it makes such a difference to something of medium importance

like an election- Then it makes just as much difference to something truly important- the Easter Message of the ressurection

of Jesus. He is alive.He has defeated death. And through him we can have new life. Word of mouth makes a difference.

That is why have grown - because you shared the message

You might be tempted to suggest that this growth of Holy Trinity is down to me, the vicar. Now, I’m someone who like getting all the credit (especially for things I haven’t done).

When during the notices Maxine (the Church warden) thanked "Fr Edmund and his team" I liked that.

Of course he only reason why she didn’t mention anyone else by name is because there were to many people to thank.

but I still liked it when she said "Fr Edmund and his team".

And in the same way, I’d LIKE to take the credit for us being the fasted growing church between 2001 and 2008.

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