Easter is a powerful time in the life of every Christ-follower, but also in the life of your ministry. It's a time where we can build on the meaning inherent in the season and lay the foundation for real spiritual growth. But to do so means making sure we're thinking intentionally. If we don't plan to get the most out of it, we likely won't.
So here are five ways that you can make sure your students' Easter experience is everything it should be.
1. Get out in front of it.
You may not be in a faith tradition that traditionally participates in Lent. But the benefit of Lent is that it creates a time of anticipation and focus on what is coming. In short, Lent creates an expectancy. It gives students more time to think about Easter, and more time to think about Easter means a more meaningful experience.
Whether you do Lent or not, make sure that you make space in your schedule leading up to Easter to empower students to prepare their hearts and minds for the message of Easter.
2. Make space for the story in your teaching.
What makes Easter powerful is that it is, in some regards, the culmination of God's rescue plan. Of course, we know that God is still engaged in the ongoing work of bringing people to Him. But the cross and the tomb are the epicenters of God's plan to rescue His people from sin. The better students understand the plan, the more it means. What if you took a few weeks leading up to Easter to hit an overview of the story of God's plan of redemption?
Original sin, calling a people, the giving of the Law and the sacrificial system, how Jesus was always the better, more complete version of that system, Jesus as the perfect sacrifice, the lamb of God, and then, of course, the resurrection and what that means. That's not a bad overview! Do your students know the story? If not, Easter is a great time to teach it to them.
3. Empower students to welcome others in.
There may be no more evangelistic moment than Easter, where we remember the death and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It's the hinge-pin of our faith. What better time to challenge and equip our students to bring outsiders into your community?
4. Create a sense of expectancy.
Every week in our ministries should be expectant. We should operate in an environment of expecting to see God work. If we're honest, this doesn't always happen. We're human. We get tired. We can sometimes get in a rut. It's not OK, necessarily. But it's understandable. What if the weeks leading up to Easter were a time of changing things up, taking your ministry up a notch, and creating a sense of excitement and expectancy around Easter?
Change your room set-up. Do something different. Create the sense that THIS is different and new and worth celebrating.
5. Use Easter as a launching pad for a Christ-centered, Gospel-driven ministry.
If we're not careful, we can allow other things to be the focus of our ministries. Things like service, worship, fellowship, even games. Each of these things is an important part of our ministry. They are good things! They just should never be the main focus of our ministry strategy. Jesus and the Gospel message should be the focus of all we do, the main thing. Easter helps us fine-tune that approach.