This time of year offers something even better than jelly beans nestled in faux grass -- namely, fantastic opportunities by the basketful to bring up the gospel.
Don't be fooled: it takes planning on your part to make the most of the season's opportunities. Easter is Sunday, April 8.
Here are 10 outreach ideas for you to use this Easter from staff members of Cru.
Eggs, Chocolates and Baskets
- Resurrection Eggs®
FamilyLife created these plastic eggs, whose contents retell the gospel story.
Host an Easter egg hunt with a life-changing message in your backyard, neighborhood park or church (download a free activity planning book).
- Baskets for Friends
Remember the thrill of getting an Easter basket as a kid? Create a basket for a non-Christian friend, but in addition to the perfunctory Peeps and Skittles, add a book or DVD that focuses on the first Easter. Consider one of these offerings from The JESUS Film Project®:
» The Story of Jesus for Children
» JESUS: Fact or Fiction
» Magdalena: Through Her Eyes
- Gifts for Neighbors
Easter gifts don't have to be expensive. Put a few candies in "A Gift for You" door hanger bag for each door in your neighborhood, and then add your church's information, ministry brochure or an evangelistic booklet like the Who Is This Jesus? mini-magazine.
- Gifts for Co-workers
Several years ago, the entire faculty and staff of Georgia Tech received the gift of JESUS from a handful of evangelistic co-workers. Cru's Faculty Commons, the ministry to college professors, staff and alumni, ensured that all 4,200 Georgia Tech staff members and professors received a copy of the JESUS video from a co-worker within their own department. Order JESUS DVDs for each member of your department or office -- discount available for bulk orders.
Put it in Writing
- Put it in Facebook
Add one of the above Easter-themed ads to your Facebook page using these simple instructions.
- Newspaper Advertisements
EveryStudent.com is an online ministry within the Cru's campus ministry that created witty ads to run at Easter. They point interested readers to an evangelistic Web site run by Cru. The ads were designed to run in a college newspaper, but perhaps you have an idea where you could publish them.
- Invite People to Church
Invite people to church. They are open to visiting church during Easter, so invite everyone you know to join you on a Sunday. Also consider special church programs like a Passion play or Easter concert. Engage them in conversation afterward. Ask questions like:
» "Did your family have any religious traditions during the holidays?"
» "Where do you see yourself on your spiritual journey?" and
» "Would you like to know God personally?"
- Invite People to Easter Dinner
Invite non-Christians to your Easter dinner. Have fun coloring eggs or hiding and finding them -- whatever your traditions are. Ask God to give you the opportunity to discuss the true meaning of Easter.
Bridges International recommends inviting international students to an Easter dinner. Many international students have never stepped foot inside an American home. Hosts can serve a special dinner, tell the students about chocolate rabbits and Easter baskets, and share the true meaning of Easter.
- Read Benjamin's Box
This children's picturebook follows a fictional boy named Benjamin who collected items during the life of Christ that offer an explanation of our need for Him. Build your own box, stocked with small symbolic items like Benjamin's, so the kids can hold it. Consider reading this at Sunday school or to children you know.
- Prayer on the Porch
Show care for your neighbors by getting to know them and offering to pray for them. Download a prayer strategy guide to learn more. Some churches have made Prayer on the Porch a permanent outreach ministry of their church, not just for special events like Easter and Christmas.