These days we do not seem to have anything like the numbers we used to have at Easter time due to so many people going away on holiday, many of them abroad. However, there are still wonderful opportunities with this season of the year and we need to make the most of them. Here are some suggestions which I have come across.
- HOPE Together: Magazines and more here. Publicise your services lets make Easter an invitation service we have lots to celebrate.
- Although many are away on holiday, you might still get holiday visitors of family and friends visiting your own members brought to church by them. Look out for the stranger to welcome.
- Encourage your church members to buy The Real Easter Egg for the children in their family. See more here. Also available from Eden in multiple packs.
- Have the local school get all the children drawing crosses various formats but all A4 size and then put them all on the church walls very colourful and draws in the families.
- Have all members of the congregation put red round their doorposts either with poster paint, red card or ribbon. Then either have a leaflet explaining what it is available in homes, shops etc. and/or have a stall in a local shop/supermarket manned by church members explaining what it is for plus invitation to Easter services/activities.
- Stations of the cross treasure hunt, hiding pictures of the stations in various places. Geo-capsules can also be used.
- Passion of the Christ. Several churches have done a public viewing of this film (remember it is 18 rated).
- Experience Easter, especially if this can be linked to local schools. This is a ready made set of prayer stations and several churches have used this then invited local schools to come and experience it, and then made it open to the public as well. Easter Experience can be obtained from the Diocese of Gloucester at: Diocese of Gloucester Resource Centre, 9 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX Tel: 01452 835560 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and details are here.
- The Easter Story Trail is a way of setting up your church for schools and the public to come and experience the Easter story and details can be found here
- Easter Egg hunt. Lots of organisations now do this (e.g. National Trust) but we have the original so why not use it?
- Where churches are open to the public during the day have prayer stations linked to Easter and a specific invitation to the community.
- Holy Week poster in the windows of every member and smaller versions for cars etc. Various ones are available from Christian Publicity Organisation: www.cpo.org.uk/. Lots of other Easter resources at CPO.
- Workshops. Many churches do Good Friday or Easter workshops for children and families and have many people coming. Several churches have used the contacts they have gained through these to develop and ongoing work with families like Messy Church. For details see: www.messychurch.org.uk/
- Many churches run Lent Courses. These are an ideal opportunity to invite and involve people in small groups who do not normally go to them. Always give the option after Lent of continuing on in a small group for teaching/fellowship/prayer. If people in your congregation are part of a small group they are less likely to drift and more likely to grow in faith, understanding and service. Lent is a great opportunity to start or bolster small group ministry.
If you have further suggestions and ideas, please share them with Richard Barrett