How to Use Easter for Outreach
We are regularly encouraged in Scripture to minister, share, and care for all people as a priority in our lives. In one of His great parables, Jesus said… “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). The writer of Hebrews issued this challenge… “But to do good and to communicate [share] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:6). And Paul noted… “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Happily, Easter can offer one holiday when we can do all of these things!
Holiday or Holy Day?
Over the years, the definition of “holiday” has changed dramatically. Originally in Old English the word meant, “holy day.” Today, for most of us it just means a day off of work and an excuse to eat more than usual. But Easter is one holiday that truly fits the definition of “holy day.”
Yet, despite the fact that Easter celebrates one of the holiest days in Christianity, the day Christ rose from the tomb, somehow many Easter traditions have strayed far from these holy origins. In fact, you have to dig through quite a bit of Easter grass and jelly beans to even see the true meaning of Easter during most celebrations.
One of the most unfortunate things about Easter is the missed opportunity to reach out into the community and share the gospel story. There are a lot of fun Easter traditions that can also be incorporated with community outreach to share the gospel with those around us. Here are some suggestions for how to use Easter for outreach.
Egging is a relatively new tradition. Although it is based on fun and surprises, it can also be used to share the gospel. Egging is the practice of choosing a family (usually with children), visiting their yard when they aren’t expecting it, and leaving Easter eggs hiding in the yard. A fun Easter-themed note attached to their door gives the family this message:
“You’ve been egged! We have hidden 12 eggs in your yard. 11 are filled with treats, but the most special egg is empty! Why? It’s extra special because on Easter morning Jesus tomb was empty, too! Praise the Lord He is RISEN! Who will find the special egg?”
The simple, spontaneous egg hunt is a great way to reach out to those in your youth group, Bible class or anyone in your community with the truth of Easter. Adding scripture printouts to your treat filled eggs will make the message even more powerful. You can find colorful printables to make your Egging extra special.
Community Egg Hunts
Easter egg hunts have become a favorite, fun Easter tradition, and although there is often not a lot of consideration of “holy” things, there is no reason why your egg hunts can’t keep the focus on Jesus.
Having an egg hunt that is open to the community is, first of all, a great way to bring in visitors who normally may not come. Your visitors may come for the fun of the egg hunt, but they can leave with a new knowledge of the gospel story.
One of the easiest ways to keep your egg hunt Christ-centered is to incorporate Resurrection Eggs along with your regular Easter eggs. Making the Resurrection Eggs the “prize” eggs will help keep the focus on the true Easter story. Before handing out the prizes for these eggs, have the finders gather together in front of other participants, and allow a leader to go through the eggs one at a time. This gives the perfect opportunity to tell the entire gospel story to everyone attending your egg hunt.
Easter for the Elderly
Another great out reach opportunity is to visit the elderly with Easter baskets. Nursing homes and retirement communities are filled with people who do not get the social interaction they once enjoyed. Bad health, limited mobility and dependency on others can keep our elderly isolated and lonely. Easter is a great opportunity to remind our kids not to forget these important members of our community.
Plan a night to put together Easter baskets or Easter treats and then as a group visit these individuals. Encourage your young people to really visit and talk with these special folks. They often have amazing stories to share, and really all they want is a little conversation.
The best way to keep Christ in Easter is to focus outward. How can you use Easter for outreach this year?
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.