March 9th, 2012 at 10:32 am
On the surface, writing this article appeared that it should be an easy task for the children’s minister of a church led by a pastor with an unquenchable passion for evangelism. However, I realized that I had become so busy executing and leading programming that it had been some time since I had taken a fresh look at the things I was “doing” to ensure that they were continuing deliberately to incorporate the sharing of the gospel with the lost in our community.
Easter affords us the perfect opportunity to do just that – step back and reassess, asking the question, “What can we do within the context of our existing ministries to reach out to seeking individuals at Easter?” Not necessarily looking to add another special event or activity to our calendar but evaluating our existing programming and actively linking it to reaching the lost.
Many of the following ideas come as a result of this evaluation or brainstorming process in my church setting. While none of these ideas represent significant changes to our existing ministries or processes, they have helped us continue to keep our focus on reaching beyond our walls.
I encourage you to take a fresh look at your programs and ministries, and perhaps, you will find as I did that the process of evaluating how we reach out to the lost at Easter can provide a catalyst to keep us vigilant in ensuring our ministries and processes do not unintentionally drift toward an inward focus that no longer actively seeks to reach the lost, not only at Easter but throughout the year.
Ideas for sharing Jesus at Easter:
- Encourage church members to view Easter (a drama and worship services) as an opportunity to invite their unchurched friends and neighbors (promote as 4×4 Events). Provide resources (i.e. fliers) to members to assist in inviting friends and neighbors and creating opportunities for faith discussions.
- As a part of the regular, weekly outreach program, canvas a newer neighborhood in the community; distribute fliers promoting the Easter drama and worship services and engage in conversations regarding faith connections where appropriate.
- Ensure that the ongoing ministries into the community like the ESL Program, tutoring and weekly children’s outreach ministry distribute information regarding the Easter worship services and plan a special presentation of the Easter drama to be performed especially for these programs at their regularly scheduled meeting times the week prior to Easter Sunday.
- In conjunction with a Spring Break Vacation Bible School to be conducted by the Student Ministry in a disadvantaged neighborhood, incorporate information regarding the Easter drama and worship services into the VBS promotional material to be distributed door-to-door in that neighborhood.
- In anticipation of a worship service with many guests and seekers, reevaluate the effectiveness of the greeting and guest registration process.
- Noting that guests often do not complete a “Guest Registration Card,” which limits the ability to have future contact and ministry, develop a way to link the registration to something being provided to the guest instead of just requesting information.
- Look for meaningful connection opportunities in the activities planned in the weeks subsequent to Easter. Promote them on Easter Sunday and simplify the process for guests to plan to attend.
- We identified two evangelistic events already scheduled for later in April – a men’s steak dinner and a women’s fashion show luncheon both featuring evangelistic speakers. Guest registration cards will be modified to include a section for guests to indicate if they would like to receive tickets for one or both of these events (at no cost) as a gift to those who are guests in the services. These modified cards will be available for two to three weeks prior to the events including Easter Sunday.
- Provide an information or resource packet to guests at the worship service to include a message from the Pastor, a gospel presentation and information regarding selected existing programming that will provide other, nonthreatening “entry points” into the fellowship.
- Add an “FAQ at Easter” link to the church website. In addition to answering questions about Easter worship service times, church address and directions also include answers to questions regarding the resurrection and what we believe.
- If a new worship service opportunity is being planned, the Easter season can be an excellent time to begin. We selected Palm Sunday as the date to begin a new Spanish worship service on our campus.
By Lisa Burkett, Children’s Minister at Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown