In 1999, as part of their student ministry efforts, Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris began sending text messages to a small group of students, walking them through the events of Passion Week.
Their intent was to illustrate each event’s seamless connection to Old Testament prophecy.
The response was profound.
By 2016, more than 15,000 individuals received these messages in ‘real time,’ following Jesus through His last week on earth.
It became clear that the experience was impactful … but texting hundreds of people was unsustainable.
That’s when technology came to the rescue, and EasterNow was born.
Church Executive: What is EasterNow?
Gregory Love: The Passion Week was the most important week in cosmic history. Historically, the Passion Week was the time period between Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) through Easter Morning; Good Friday was the most action-packed day of this critical week.
EasterNow is an APP that works within a smart phone’s notification system to send messages that provide a step-by-step walk through the events of Passion Week. Those wanting a ‘deeper dive’ can click on each message to access a description of the particular event, a map depicting where the event took place, and the scripture associated with the event — gospel account and Old Testament prophecy.
EasterNow brings the Passion Week to life.
Church Executive: But how did EasterNow come about?
Love: Through Student Ministry. Kimberlee and I have been involved in high school ministry at Christ Chapel Bible Church for more than 25 years.
A student’s spiritual growth is enriched by a correct understanding of scripture. [Actually, that is true for everyone.] Understanding context is critical, and it takes work to overcome the challenges posed by time, geography, culture, language and theological constructs.
Passion week is the most important period of time in cosmic history. Walking through the events step-by-step with a contextual lens brings the biblical narrative and God’s redemptive plan to life. The more I understand God’s perfect plan, the deeper my relationship with Him.
Church Executive: How did that lead to the creation of an APP?
Love: After Christmas, we would study one of the gospels leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. The goal was to help set the stage for the events beginning at the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday).
Starting on that Sunday, I would begin a series of text messages to all of my small group guys walking them through the events of Passion Week in ‘real time’ as if we were in Jerusalem during that week in the 1st Century, supported by the relevant scripture and corresponding Old Testament prophecy.
It was very impactful. So much so that people started requesting to be added to my text group; some recipients began pushing the texts out to other peer groups. By 2016, more than 15,000 people were receiving these step-by-step texts all over the world. It became clear that the idea was valuable, but was no longer sustainable using text messaging.
My Bible study guys and a couple of tech-savvy friends suggested the creation of an APP that would replace the need for texting — and by doing so, the effort could reach a broader audience and users can have the messages received in their location consistent with the time zone and without delay from cell services and re-texting.
Church Executive: Is there a charge to use EasterNow?
Love: No — it’s free and available for iOS and Android devices.
Even though it’s free to users, it wasn’t free to us. But we wanted excellence and were pleased with the work of the developers in making this come to life.
Kimberlee and I felt a calling to do this — and we wanted to do it well.
Church Executive: Is EasterNow your ‘day job’?
Love: Actually, Kimberlee and I are sexual abuse lawyers and the Founders/Directors of MinistrySafe, an organization dedicated to providing sexual abuse prevention resources for ministries and child-serving organizations.
Thousands are experiencing Easter Week in a unique and unforgettable way. You’re invited to join them!