Egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs and egg painting… are all fun parts of Easter. Since becoming a mum Easter has taken on a whole new meaning. Last year was Hunter’s first Easter. We dressed him up in his cute onesie and took him outside on the lawn for photos. We were living at a Theological college at the time. Hunter hadn’t been given chocolate before…. he devoured all the mini chocolate eggs without us realising – we were too interested in taking cute photos!
This year we did Easter differently. I say ‘did’ because in some way we already celebrated all the fun things. In filming for ‘Egg-streme Easter’ my husband George dressed up as the Easter bunny and we let Hunter wander around for the eggs and the bunny at different times. I love my little family so much! You can see a sneak peek of the first lesson with the video here.
The True Meaning of Easter
One thing I want for my son Hunter is that he grows up to know the true meaning of Easter. Egg hunts and chocolate bunnies are all super fun… but they aren’t what Easter is all about. So how do we help families engage with the true meaning of Easter this year? How do we help parents communicate clearly the gospel message to their children? I’ve been thinking a little bit about how to engage families in your kids ministry this Easter… and here are a few of my thoughts:
1) Bring it all Back to the Gospel
I think whatever we’re doing in this season, it’s so important to bring the gospel message through. Children need to know, more than ever, that there is a God of love that gave His Son for them. When we bring it back to the gospel we are bringing the truth of God’s Word to the forefront. This seems an obvious point, but sometimes we can get carried away with our plans that we don’t stop and take full account of what the purpose of all are plans are. Our first mission is to make Jesus known to our kids – to disciple them in their relationship with Christ.
2) Use a Simple Gospel Presentation
I love the simple 4 Points gospel presentation because anyone can understand it. If you’ve never heard of the 4 points before I challenge you to check it out. There are so many simple gospel presentations you can use that incorporate object lessons. A simple 5 minute message can really make an impact and leave families thinking through the message you have shared. The Egg-streme Easter teaching series has lots of opportunities for the gospel message using a resurrection eggs activity.
3) Empower Parents to Share the Story
Do your parents feel empowered to share the gospel story themselves? A simple way to encourage parents to share their own story and how Jesus changed their lives is to share three things with their kids: what their life was like before Christ, what their life is like after Christ and how Jesus made that difference.
If you’re able to meet fully in-person this year, perhaps you could encourage families to share together their own testimonies of how Jesus has changed their lives. The cardboard testimony is always a great place to start. And if in-person isn’t an option, have you thought about asking families to film their story? Or perhaps using the children in your ministry to tell some of the story themselves by filming it at home? The Egg-streme Easter curriculum comes with a zoom friendly lesson version to help you connect with kids when they’re at home.
You can also encourage parents to read the Easter story with their families. Glenys Nellist has just released her wonderful book,‘Twas the Morning of Easter and this looks like an amazing option for parents of 5-10 year olds.This year my church will be encouraging families to walk through the Stations of the Cross together as they do different activities along the way. We’ll also be giving families the opportunity to do their own Easter Trail in their own neighbourhood. In these Covid times we’ve had to get creative as we’re on lockdown with lots of restrictions. Everything in our stations of the cross will have to be given individual bags as the children and families walk around for this reason.
4) Equip Parents to Lead Family Devotions
Not every Christian parent is confident in talking to their children about Christ. It’s our role as Pastors to kids and families to help parents become more confident. The Corona outbreak made every kids pastor realise that they are not the sole – nor the most important – influencer in a child’s life. That role belongs to the parents. They are the primary influencers in their child’s life. That means our role is to equip parents to teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord. Ministry Ark provides family devotionals for each of our lessons in our newest teaching series as we understand the need to help parents disciple their kids. You can view one of our family devotionals here.
So if you’re wondering how to engage families in your kids ministry this Easter I hope you’ve gained a few ideas here… but let us know in the comments below what you’re going to be doing this year – you might just help someone out!