By Cherie Werner
Resurrection Day is the most important day of the entire church year; the center of our Christian faith. The joy and hope that accompany Easter make this time of year perfect for outreach and mission opportunities. Here are nine ways to share the Easter message with your church and community.
Invite them in:
- Stations of the Cross: Invite your community to attend a multisensory experience of the events leading up to and including the resurrection. Let your guests feel the nails and the whip. Let them hear the shouts of the crowd and taste the vinegar. Invite them back for Easter worship services and let them know about other events and activities at your church.
- Stations of the Resurrection: Many churches have Stations of the Cross, but what about all the exciting events that took place after the women discovered the empty tomb? Consider portraying the Stations of the Cross before Easter and then on Easter, replay the events following Jesus’ first appearing. Re-create events like that first meeting Mary had with Jesus when she thought he was the gardener, the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, the disciples hiding behind locked doors when Jesus was suddenly with them, Thomas touching Jesus’ hands and side, Jesus cooking fish on the shore while the disciples fished in the boat, the events of Ascension Day, and the Holy Spirit’s arrival on Pentecost.
- Free Car Wash: In the week leading up to Resurrection Day, offer a free car wash. Don’t frame this as a fundraiser, but as a service to the community. Leave an invitation to your Easter services in each car.
- Colorful Flyers: Have students decorate and color Easter-themed flyers with details about your worship services. Send parents and kids out into the nearby neighborhood and shopping centers to hand out the flyers.
- Invite a Friend: Encourage each family to invite one or more friends to church on Easter morning. Personal invitations are always the best!
Send the message out:
- Easter Basket Give Away: Collect items that would go in a traditional Easter basket and set up a “shop” at a local food pantry. Give food pantry shoppers the opportunity to pick out a few items, assemble the baskets, and take the gifts home as a surprise for their children. Make sure to include a book or coloring book that describes the very first Easter.
- Easter Egg Cookies: In the days following Easter, bake and decorate Easter egg-shaped cookies. Print words on them much like conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day. Messages could read: He is risen, Jesus lives, 4given, Loved, Jesus is alive, Died 4 U, Grace, Rejoice, Jesus saves, or God is love. Go out into your neighborhood and share the cookies.
- Plastic Easter Eggs: Fill colorful Easter eggs with Bible verses and messages of hope. Leave them in doctors’ offices, restrooms, parks, libraries, playgrounds, and shopping centers. Write “Open Me” on the outside of each egg. Include the name of your church and a website or phone number so people can contact you if they wish.
- Deliver the Message: Not everyone can come to church on Easter. Consider taking your service (or parts of it) to places like nursing homes, Veterans’ homes, detention centers, prisons, mobile-home parks, and the homes of shut-ins.
We want to hear from you! What is your favorite Easter-season outreach project?
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