Not only is Easter at the very heart of our faith, but it is also a unique cultural moment that we as the Church (and specifically your youth ministry) can build upon to lead people closer to Christ. There is a buzz around Easter that extends outside of our churches. Even in a culture that is more and more post-Christian, people are open (almost expectant) to attending a church, even if this is outside of their normal behavior. This goes for adults, but especially for teenagers.
The question we have to ask is what can we do to make sure that we are doing our best to make Easter an amazing experience for any student that crosses our path. What an encouragement to know that Easter can be the front door for a student coming into a deeper knowledge of God. But we have to make sure we’re ready for the opportunity.
How can we make sure Easter is amazing for our students and for students who may come in contact with our ministry for the first time?
The first thing we can do is make sure that we’ve laid the groundwork for the meaning of Easter to hit home.
If we're not careful, we realize Easter is a week away, and we haven't done anything to prepare the hearts and minds of our students. Of course, this is what Lent is all about. But maybe you are in a denomination that doesn't traditionally practice Lent. You don't have to embrace Lent to lay the foundation for a more in-depth understanding of what happened from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
Have a plan for using your teaching to build anticipation for Easter. Invite students into the narrative of God's plan to rescue humankind from sin, a plan that saw its perfection come to pass at Easter. When students know WHY Jesus went to the cross, they will value the resurrection even more.
At YM360, we have an Easter devotional, ARISE, that does an outstanding job of helping students prepare themselves for Easter. But there are other resources available online that accomplish the same purpose. Regardless of what you do, have a plan to create meaning around Easter.
The second thing we can do is to increase connectivity.
What do I mean by this? Easter is a time where people are more in-tune with the rhythms of their faith. It’s a perfect time. We can use the Easter season as a time to reach out to the people who may be on the fringes of your ministry. People expect you to invite them to your church around Easter. Take advantage of this, and do just that.
We can also use this time to solidify connections with those at the center of our ministries. Easter is a time to invite people in. If we’re more visible leading up to Easter, we get more people involved in the story, which is the goal.
The third thing we can do is to embrace creativity.
Easter is a sensory-rich time in our faith. The church has known this for centuries. There are so many symbols and visuals associated with Easter and Holy Week. What can you do to incorporate some of these elements into your ministry environment? Better yet, how can you enable your students to help you?
Easter is such a rich time for us. By being intentional, we can create the opportunity for it to be a rich time for others, as well.
Andy and Jake explain these 3 ways to make Easter exciting in the video below! Click below to watch now!
Or listen on the go with our podcast!
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