Articles

2020 Online Easter Guide

April 4, 2020
2020 Online Easter Guide

Remember first and foremost what Easter is all about, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The God who raised Jesus from the dead is certainly great enough to bring those dead in sin to life in Christ this Easter. There is no obstacle in this season of social distancing and online services that God is not able to overcome. Let’s keep focused this Easter, because Jesus is alive!

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him…Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:8 & 11

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Remember that Easter is the church’s celebration of Christ’s victory over sin, death, hell and the grave. Jesus is worth celebrating everyday, but especially at Easter. The resurrection is what separates Christianity from every other religion and belief system in the world. We have not put our faith in nor pledged our followership to a dead man. Let’s celebrate this Easter, because Jesus is alive!

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 & 19-20

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

Remember that Easter weekend is the church’s greatest opportunity to connect with the lost and unchurched. It is easy in this difficult season of online services and virtual ministry to be discouraged and upset about church family not being able to gather in the same room this Easter. However, the other side of that same coin is the unprecedented number of lost and unchurched people who will be home and available for your church to make connection with this Easter. While we may not have the number of people we would normally have in the building, it is highly likely the number of people participating in Easter services will be greater than the number of people who would be in sanctuaries were services being held in a traditional manner this year. Let’s connect and communicate with people this Easter, because Jesus is alive!

But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them…Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know, this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:14 & 22-24

“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:37-38

Below are categories of ideas and helpful hints to help you both connect with your community and communicate the truth, hope and power of the resurrection this Easter.

Invitation to Easter Services & Activities

  • Social media push and promotion of scheduled events leading up to Easter.
  • Brief testimonies of encouragement and hope from church members on church social media outlets.
  • Personal invitation from the pastor or staff members on social media outlets. 
  • Encourage your members to personally reach out and invite their family, friends and neighbors to take part in the church’s Easter celebration.

Invitation following Easter Services & Activities

  • Invite service participants to specific upcoming church functions and activities (i.e. small groups, prayer groups, online giving, children & student ministry online gatherings/groups).
    • They will need dates, times, age range, registration info if necessary, online platform for these activities, etc. However, it will likely be more effective to think of ways to get them to the place where most of this information can be found, rather than taking an exorbitant amount of time giving a long list of detailed announcements at the conclusion of an online service.
  • Provide ways for participants to make prayer requests, ask questions, respond in spiritual decisions or communicate a need.
    • Chat feature during live feed.
    • “Text in Church” reply service.
    • Church email or designated phone number for responses and requests.

Ideas for Easter Services & Activities

  • Easter egg drive thru - Families drive thru a designated drop off point at the church facility, and without leaving the vehicle receive Easter eggs to hide and bags of candy for their kids.
  • Drive thru egg hunt - Families drive past an area where Easter eggs are scattered in an open lot or large yard. Without getting out of the vehicle, the family should submit an online guess of the total number of eggs. The family closest to the actual number wins a prize pack.
  • Easter scavenger hunt - Families find things around the house and yard that relate in some way to the Easter story. They are to share their list of items online, and the family with the best show of items wins a prize pack.
  • Easter egg drive - Designated church members can display an Easter egg somewhere visible from a vehicle (indoor or outdoor). The church can designate a time period (i.e. from 10:00 - 2:00 a specific day, or possibly from Thursday - Saturday the week of Easter, etc.) Families can drive around town taking pictures from their vehicle of the Easter eggs they see at church member’s homes or places of business. The family to find and photo the most eggs in the designated time wins a prize pack.
  • Full service Easter egg hunt - Advertise within the community asking families who would like Easter eggs hidden in their yard to contact the church through a proper channel designated in the advertisement. The advertising should include details of the safety precautions that will be taken (i.e. wearing gloves, sanitizing the eggs, etc.) A volunteer from the church then hides the eggs in the family’s yard, messaging the family to let them know when the egg are hidden and ready to be found. Amongst the eggs should be one empty egg. The devotional material left on the porch for the family to read after the egg hunt will explain the empty egg is not meant to disappoint, but to remind us that the tomb is empty.
  • Easter service watch parties - Ask church members to host a group of 10 or less on Easter Sunday morning. The group can gather early for a sunrise (or closely after sunrise) service together. Devotional material could be provided for the host to lead this small group time if needed. After the early morning gathering, the group can enjoy breakfast together (either potluck or provided by the host), and then all tune in together to watch the Easter service livestream. Also, encourage those watching in small groups to engage in the comments/ reaction feed during the service.
  • Easter family “front porch” pictures - Families who would like to have a nice Easter picture taken together can register with the church for a “front porch” picture to be taken. Designated times can be given to those who register, asking them to be ready and available for their picture at a designated time or the specific time they request. At that designated time, an approved church volunteer can drive by the house taking the family’s photo digitally from a proper social distance. The church can then follow up with these people by emailing the digital Easter family “front porch” picture to them.
  • Easter Take Home Kit - The kit would include eggs, crafts, Easter lesson, and supplies for families to have an Easter experience at home.

Internet Helps for Easter Services & Activities

Lifeway: Easter Devotional Guide for Families
Lifeway: Family Easter Event
Lifeway: COVID-19 Response Resources
Ministry Safe: EasterNow App