7 Creative Ways to Engage Teens This Easter - Dare 2 Share
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Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

7 Creative Ways to Engage Teens This Easter

Don’t miss the unique opportunities Holy Week presents for students.

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It’s almost Easter. Whether you’re a lead youth volunteer, bi-vocational leader, or staff youth pastor, you’ve probably been involved in a meeting or discussion about Easter preparation—and it likely focused primarily on adults and young children. It seems most churches overlook this special opportunity to reach both the teenagers who regularly attend your church and those whose parents dragged them there on Easter.

Here are seven creative ideas to ensure students are a priority this year:

1. Enlist “student ministry ambassadors.”

Coach your students in the weeks before Easter to come early to Easter morning services and focus on finding and befriending new teenagers. Equip them with an invitational postcard that has meeting times and locations for your youth group and a cool gift to give—stickers, coffee gift cards, hats, T-shirts, or travel mugs would all work well. Make sure you train them in detail on how to start the conversation, exchange names, give the gift, and personally invite the guest to a future youth event or gathering.

2. Convince your senior pastor to have a student up front.

Nothing shows guests who attend Easter morning services that your church values youth more than having one on stage, so work with your senior pastor to brainstorm a way to make that happen—maybe a student could make an announcement or lead a prayer. Or perhaps they could be part of an Easter skit, choir, worship team, or video testimony.  

3. Encourage teens to serve in strategic places.

Work with students, parents, and church leaders to encourage student participation on the greeting team, food team, coffee team, picture booth team, or other area where they would have opportunities to interact with new teens. Encourage your youth to be on the lookout for and talk with other teens and invite them to youth group.

4. Promote a follow-up event for students.

Plan a seeker-friendly event the week following Easter, and create some great promotional materials to make it clear to visiting teenagers that they’re invited and it will be worth their time to come. Ask your senior pastor if you could promote it during the main service in some fashion, and have students and leaders pass out postcards with the details.

5. Do a “cross experience” just before Easter.

There are many ways to approach this unique youth group night. Typically, you’d use a large wooden cross as a visual and allow students some time to reflect on the sacrifice Christ gave us, how they personally have sinned, and a clear Gospel message that helps them understand their redemption. One idea is to play worship music, have them write their individual sin on a piece of paper, fold it in half, and pin it to the cross. Then follow up with a short teaching time and group discussion, using any combination of Scriptures that explain the Gospel and describe Jesus’s experience from Palm Sunday through the resurrection. To make it easier on yourself, use the free Walk to the Cross curriculum.

6. Create a next-level Easter egg hunt just for teens.

Whether it’s Easter morning or a different time and day, consider doing an over-the-top hunt for eggs, with some creative twists. Here are a few ideas you could use:

  • Use giant eggs, and fill them with unique things (bendy Jesus, Starbucks gift card, Legos, shoestrings, earphones, batteries, scrunchies, etc.).
  • Boil eggs, and hide a combination of boiled eggs, raw eggs, and plastic eggs. After all the eggs have been found, play a game of egg roulette.
  • Get donations from congregation members and local businesses for gift cards, cool stickers, gifts, and large candy as prizes or things to put in the eggs.
  • Put some written dares inside some of the eggs. One of them could be related to sharing the G.O.S.P.E.L.
  • Make it a competition:
    • Hide a golden egg that gives the finder a special prize or advantage.
    • Have an “egg race”: Give a bonus prize to the player who collects the most eggs in a set amount of time.
    • Have teens hunt for eggs in teams, and the team with the most at the end wins.
  • Do the hunt in a public place, and incorporate surprise challenges along the way, such as having students do a dance randomly or share the Gospel with a stranger using the Life in 6 Words app.

Be creative in your planning, and do lots of promotion beforehand to get your students excited.

7. Raise the expectation.

Traditionally, at many churches, students are expected to serve in kids’ ministry on Easter. And while that’s good, I suggest you pray about the above ideas and discern what the best approach for students in your setting is. If your students volunteer in kids’ ministry, I encourage you to have a meeting with the leader to discuss raising the bar for how they utilize students. For example, instead of students just being a bathroom monitor they could be challenged to prepare and teach the lesson.

Regardless if you do one, two, or more of the above ideas, make sure to do something intentional this year to build relationships with teenagers, point them to Jesus, and show them they’re a valuable part of the church. Easter is for everyone, and it’s important that every student knows that!

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