We’ve been speaking to many in ministry around the UK and Ireland over the past few months, and a common theme has been the desire to make progress in lovingly connecting with the non-Christians around us.
There are some great ideas and resources already out there, so we wanted to try to collate some of them for you. However, before diving into those, some questions that might be worth asking ourselves are:
- How can we use Easter 2021 as an opportunity to personally connect with people around us, listen to how they really are, and find out what they think Easter is about?
- Is there one thing that your church family could do corporately to encourage one another to lovingly connect with non-Christians this Easter?
- If we are feeling particularly weak and under-resourced, are there other churches in our area that we could partner with in some easy outreach initiatives, especially online?
Below is a list of ideas to stimulate your thinking. Please contact us or join the conversation on Facebook to share other ideas you might have.
As a Church
- Prayer – Carve out some time in your church prayer meetings to pray specifically for non-Christian neighbours, family, friends and colleagues. Could the leadership encourage every church family member to choose five non-Christians to commit to pray for this Easter season?
- Easter services – Perhaps an obvious one, but let’s remind our church family members that they can invite neighbours and friends along to Easter services, either onsite or online. Plan for the services to be welcoming and accessible.
- Community activities – There are wonderful ideas and off-the-shelf resources out there to engage neighbourhoods in local community activities such as Easter trails and giveaways. Perhaps people in the church family could take the lead to organise something on behalf of the church or could you inspire church family members to do a smaller scale version for their own neighbourhoods? Here are some ideas we’ve come across:
- Easter trail and other great ideas here
- ‘In Search of Easter’ video-based treasure hunt for children and families by Scripture Union
- Door knocking or set-up a street table – Could a team go door-knocking to invite people to church or make connections with a little Easter gift of eggs and a tract? Could a table be set-up on a nearby street with some giveaways to spark conversations and invites to church?
- Evangelistic online events – With Zoom, it’s now never been easier to put together an evangelistic event. Perhaps you could put an outreach spin on your existing regular events such as Men or Women’s Breakfasts, student or family get-togethers and encourage everyone to invite someone along. You could invite an interesting Christian to share their story and hope in Jesus, or plan something a bit more creative, like a quiz or Easter-themed cook/bake-along with a short evangelistic talk! Perhaps your church could partner with other churches in your region to do something together or piggy-back on something already planned.
- Evangelistic videos – Could you show a thought-provoking video in an event or service to help make Jesus known in an engaging way? Or could you share video recommendations for Church family to use to help break the ice with non-Christians? You could make your own or use those already made!
- Books & tracts – Could you highlight some good evangelistic tracts, books, or even CDs that church family members might like to give as gifts? Giving children we know an Easter book with the gospel message might be a great way for parents to hear the good news too.
- Follow-up course or event – Perhaps another obvious one, but have you planned a follow-up evangelistic course or event to invite visitors to during your Easter services? Maybe you could partner with churches in your region to run these, or take turns hosting to help manage workload throughout the year.
- Re-connect and catch-up – Encourage people to prioritise re-connecting with one non-Christian friend over Easter. If it’s not possible to meet in person, hearing another person’s voice, over the phone or a video call, can mean so much more than a text or email.
- Go for a walk – Encourage people to invite one person, maybe a neighbour, to go on a walk together and have the chance to really listen.
- Have a picnic – God-willing, easing restrictions may open the door for a small group to meet outside for a picnic or other outdoor activity, maybe an Easter egg hunt! If restrictions allow, this could be a nice opportunity to introduce folk to other Christians to give them a taste of Church community.
- Online fun – An Easter quiz or other online activity could be easily organised as a bit of fun for smaller groups of friends and colleagues. This could include an invite to watch church or an evangelistic event together virtually as a “Watch Party”.
- Easter cards and eggs – Could people send an Easter card in the post to friends, family and colleagues? Or could you make friends with neighbours you don’t know by taking over some Easter eggs, flowers, or other goodies with a simple card and message of hope?
- Follow-up 121 – Remind Church family of resources they could use as a way to follow-up on a more personal level, such as Uncover or The Word One to One. Encourage church family members to accompany friends to follow-up courses.
Whatever we do this Easter, may our hearts rejoice that the tomb is empty and our Lord Jesus is risen!