Easter is one of the easiest Sundays to invite a friend or neighbor to church. Winter is giving way to warm weather, and people are ready to get out. For many, Easter is a tradition of a church service, followed by grandma’s giant brunch. (I’m allergic to eggs, so I look at the food more than eat it, but the tradition is still awesome!) Even Google analytics confirm this cultural openness to Easter traditions, revealing that searches for “church” spike each Easter.
But when I was a youth pastor, Easter was always a dud for my group. I found myself writing Easter off as a time for lapsed Christians to check church off their list, and because our youth ministry met on Sundays, we never had youth group that day. Easter would come and go, often with little to no impact. This was a major missed opportunity.
Don’t let that happen to your ministry this year. Here are five ways you and your youth group can use Easter as an opening to share Jesus’s love and truth throughout your community this season.
1. Walk the neighborhoods.
At my church, Kenosha City Church, we often make door hangers for our Easter services, and we systematically walk up and down a majority of our streets and hang them on doors. As we go, we pray for each house, and we have many opportunities to invite people to church and to share the Gospel. We’ve seen people not only engage in Gospel conversations but also place their faith and trust in Jesus on the spot!
2. Mobilize students to serve Sunday morning.
We view Sunday morning church services as an opportunity for students to own and share all aspects of ministry with the adults, serving with our host team, kids ministry, and worship team. Your students will bring a freshness to what should already be an exciting morning. As people walk through the door for the first time since Christmas, they’ll be amazed that Gen Z is taking ownership of the church. It’s my view that it sets the table for people to receive the Gospel during the service.
3. Have students invite their unchurched parents.
In my experience, as church kids invite their friends to youth group, it leads to a large number of students from families who don’t regularly go to church. It may be awkward to invite parents to youth group, but you can encourage students to invite their parents to church on Easter. We’ve seen a number of parents not only attend with their kids but also give their lives to Jesus and become fully devoted followers of Christ. For example, we had a student named Ashley who brought her family to church on Easter, and both of her parents put their trust in Jesus!
5. Give a clear Gospel.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there should be a clear opportunity for people to hear the whole Gospel and respond to it. I can’t tell you how often people just allude to the Gospel or don’t give a chance for people to respond. This is a huge miss! Fully explain the Gospel on Easter—and every week—and always give people the opportunity to respond. In a recent week, I almost forgot to give the Gospel. As I was getting ready to dismiss the service, I stopped everyone from leaving and shared the Good News. One student indicated they wanted to receive Jesus. I almost missed the moment! You never know where anyone is at and how ready they are to receive Jesus.
4. Look beyond Easter Sunday.
Often people treat Easter as a one-time event (after all, it is the main event of the church calendar!), but it should be seen as a connecting point for the rest of the year. Make sure you (and your students) make plans to invite their friends and family back the following week. Have a follow-up process that helps connect people who have visited and who have given their life to Christ. We typically give out a box of goodies for guests and a new-believers kit for those who indicated they placed their faith and truth in Jesus.
However you choose to share the Gospel this Easter, remember that the observance is more than an annual celebration—it’s a catalyst to share and live out the truth of the Resurrection the entire year!