Can I be honest? I feel like the words, “pivot,” “unprecedented,” and “uncertain times” have been used way too much in the past 11 months. In fact, I would be okay if we never have to use them again. Ever.
But, alas, as leaders in the world of Children’s Ministry, we are living in uncertain and unprecedented times that have caused us to pivot our ministries and everything we know about church life. We have all become well-versed in all things virtual, semi-virtual, and then virtual again. We have used technology and social media more than ever before. And we can edit and post videos as if we were the Tech Team and not the Kid Min Team. Am I right?
As Easter Sunday quickly approaches and our thoughts and plans turn to the greatest day of celebration, how do we—as leaders in Children’s Ministry—ensure we are reaching both the in-person and the virtual families of our church and community? How do we make sure that every household has the opportunity to hear the Good News—especially in a time when the world REALLY needs to hear some good news?
MEET FAMILIES WHERE THEY ARE
Whether your church is back to in-person gatherings or not, it is crucial that we are meeting families where they are. Whether that’s the couch or the pew, the car or the computer, we need to have a plan in place to reach all families—churched and unchurched—this Easter.
So how do we do that? If you have families ready to come back to in-person church, ensure they feel comfortable and safe. Be sure you are checking in with your families’ comfort levels and ensure you are doing all you can to protect all of your families. Recognize that every person who comes on your campus will have a different opinion and viewpoint about what is going on with our world. So, meet them where they are. Your assurance of safety and healthy practices, your excitement, and your welcoming smile-behind-the-mask will help all families feel 100% better about being in-person!
If families aren’t ready to come back to in-person church, make sure they don’t feel left out! Make sure you are offering things online for your at-home families. Don’t leave them hanging out by themselves. Rather, engage with them and help them feel like a part of your church—if even at a safe distance.
I love sharing the virtual experiences that are included in the Orange Kids media package with my families at home. You can use your small group leaders to write postcards, make personal phone calls, and even host drive-through parades to wave to your kids. Easter Sunday is a BIG deal, and we want to make sure every child has the chance to hear the Good News. Make sure you are using every tool in your ministry tool-belt to get the Easter Story into every home!
RALLY YOUR TEAM
One of the biggest blessings in serving as a Children’s Minister is getting to serve shoulder to shoulder with some amazing leaders. These men, women, and students make Sundays and Wednesdays—and all the days in-between—pure joy! In an effort to get the word out about your plans for Easter, make sure you have over-communicated with your team. Make sure your team knows every plan and is well-educated in the why and how of what you are doing! Your leaders are your very best billboards and cheerleaders. Encourage them to invite others, share services, and get the word out about all things Easter
RECONNECT WITH EASTER JAM
What do jousting Peeps and a basket full of laundry have to do with Easter? If you watched Easter Jam 2020 then you know the answer to this question! If you missed it, don’t miss this year’s Easter Jam . . . trust me! Your families will love it and you will have a WIN in ministry!
Now more than ever before, families need an opportunity to RECONNECT and Easter Jam will be just that. You can decide if you want to host Easter Jam virtually or in-person, and all the tools are given for you to do either. This free gift from Orange is fun for the whole family! Last year we had families posting photos all over social media and sharing their experience with their friends. We have already had families asking if we are hosting the event again because they loved it so much and I’m sure your families will too!
CREATE A FOLLOW-UP PLAN
No matter what we do in ministry, there should always be a plan in place for follow-up. Prior to Easter, come up with a way that you are going to a) Track who attended your Easter celebrations (services, Easter Jam, etc.) in-person or virtually. b) Reach out to those families who attended for the first time. And, c) Have a next step in place for those first-time guests.
When we thank families for attending, or we reach out to them after they have engaged online, I like to have something to invite the families to. That may be our next big event, a new member class, a Bible study, or—especially this time of year—let them know about our summer schedule. This information helps us let families know what we have to offer at our church and gives the family a “next step” with our ministry.
INVITE AND PROMOTE
If you are meeting in-person, encourage your families, beginning now, to start praying about people they can invite to join them for church on Easter Sunday. Make up mailers (people LOVE getting mail that isn’t bills!), create ads for social media, email your families, and use the power of a personal invitation to let families all around your community know that you want them to join you for Easter Sunday. Now more than ever before, people are feeling isolated. So change that! Really encourage your families to personally invite another family to church.
Reach out to those families who feel better staying put right now and encourage them to share your online service opportunities. Ask them to think of others who may need to know about your in-person or online services. And ask them to invite other families to participate. No matter the comfort level of your families, it is crucial that they all know how loved and important they are in spreading the Good News this Easter!
This Easter, make it your goal to share the Good News with even more families than ever before. As we look at the news, read anything on social media, or even stand in the grocery aisle, we are bombarded by scary, yucky, no good, and very bad things. Let’s flip the news. Let’s change the conversations. Let’s help families CONNECT with the ONE Who died for them. Let’s share the very best news ever!
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