Easter Family Outreach Event

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A meaningful way to share the Easter story with families in your
community.

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Look Who’s Coming

Host: Circus Ringmaster

Materials: Party decorations such as balloons and
streamers, old coats, green construction paper strips, wooden paint
stir sticks, glue sticks, permanent markers, and a Bible

The Scene: Decorate this station with party decorations.
Lay coats on the floor to create a path through the room or
designated space. Place green construction paper strips, wooden
paint stir sticks, glue sticks, and permanent markers near the
station entrance.

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Experience: As families enter the station, have them tell
each other things they celebrate about one another, such as good
grades, talents, or accomplishments. Then have them cheer for their
family.

Afterward, ask: How did it feel to have people celebrate
you? How did it feel to celebrate others?

Say: The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday
because people waved palm branches to celebrate Jesus as he arrived
in Jerusalem. They also showed their excitement by shouting and
singing.

Have families write things their family celebrates on several
strips of green paper. Then have them glue the paper strips to the
paint sticks to create a palm branch. Set aside to dry.

Have families sit along the coat path. Then read aloud Luke 19:28-38.

Ask: How do you think the people felt when Jesus came to
town? How would it have felt to celebrate Jesus on that first Palm
Sunday? When have you been excited? How did you show your
excitement? How would you show your excitement if Jesus came to
town?

Say: Let’s try some of those ways right now to celebrate
Jesus.

Lead families in the ways they mentioned.

Then say: Many in Jerusalem celebrated Jesus’ arrival that
day, but there were others who were plotting his death. As you move
to the next station, wave your palm branches, shout praises to
Jesus, and celebrate Easter.

Serve One Another

Theme: Dining Room

Host: Waiter

Materials: A table set for dinner, bread or crackers,
grapes or grape juice, washbasins, water, liquid soap, towels, and
a Bible

The Scene: Place a table in the center of the room or
station area. Set the table for dinner with linens, place settings,
covered serving dishes, and candles. Place washbasins filled
halfway with water in each corner of the room. Put liquid soap and
towels next to each basin.

Experience: Gather families around the dinner table. Ask:
What’s your favorite meal? Explain. Who usually prepares and serves
meals in your family? What other roles do family members have in
meal time preparation or cleanup? Explain.

Say: During Jesus’ last week on Earth, he shared a meal
with his disciples. This meal is often called the Last Supper.
Before they ate, Jesus served his friends in a unique way.
Listen.

Have the youngest person in each family serve his or her family
members the food as you read aloud John 13:1-15.

Afterward, say: Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to give
them an example of how to serve others. In a moment I’ll ask you to
serve each other in a unique way. As you leave the table, gather
your family around one of the washbasins. Take turns washing each
other’s hands with soap and water in the basin. While you wash a
family member’s hands, tell that person something you appreciate
about him or her and why. When everyone’s hands are washed, move to
the next station.

Quiet Time in the Garden

Host: Gardener

Materials: Live or artificial trees and plants, a bench,
small stones, a bucket, permanent markers, a nature sounds CD, and
a Bible

The Scene: Place a bench surrounded by trees and plants
close to the entrance of the station. Fill the bucket with stones,
and place it near the bench.

Experience: Have families gather on the floor in front of
the bench as they arrive. When everyone is seated on the floor,
ask: Does anyone have a special place where you go to pray?
Explain.

Say: Just before Jesus was arrested, he went to the Garden
of Gethsemane to pray. Let’s see what happened that night.

Read aloud Mark 14:32-42. Say: Jesus knew what would
happen to him that night. He also knew it’s important to pray when
things get tough. In just a moment your family will pray together.
First, have the oldest person in your family come get a stone for
each family member and a permanent marker. Write a word on your
stone that describes what you’ll pray for this week, such as a
person’s name or a situation you’re struggling with.

Allow time. Say: Jesus is sometimes referred to as the
Rock. That means he’s strong to help us! As your family prays, hold
your stone and remember that we can talk to God about
anything.

Quietly play the nature sounds CD as families pray together.

Prayer Pots

Have families make Prayer Pots to encourage them to continue to
pray at home as a family.

Each family will need a flowerpot, five tongue depressors, five
fabric flowers, floral tape, a marker, and Easter grass.

Have adults or older children write the following prayer items on
separate tongue depressors: our family; our community; our church;
people who need help; thanks and praise.

Families will secure a fabric flower on the end of each tongue
depressor with floral tape. Then have them place flower sticks and
Easter grass in the flowerpot.

Encourage families to set the flowers on their tables for family
meals. The flowers can serve as a reminder of Jesus’ example as he
prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. At meal time, have each family
member pick a flower and pray for the item written on the
stick.

Farther Than the Eye Can See

Host: Baseball Player

Materials: Four paper “bases,” baseball equipment, scrap
paper, markers, tape, and a small bouncy ball

The Scene: Use paper baseball “bases” to form a baseball
diamond on the floor. Decorate the station area with baseball
equipment, such as bats, mitts, or jerseys. Put a stack of scrap
paper and markers at home plate. Wrap a piece of crumpled paper
around the bouncy ball and secure it with tape.

Experience: Have family members talk about a time they won
something as they enter the station.

Gather families around home plate. Have each family member write
the word “sin” on a sheet of paper and crumple the paper into a
ball.

Say: You talked about winning things. Today we’re going to
find out that we can’t beat problems without God’s help. The Bible
says that everyone has sin or that everyone has done wrong
things–even your mom and dad! We can try to throw our sins away to
be sinless. Stand at home plate and throw your sin as far as you
can into the outfield.

When everyone has had a turn, take the weighted paper ball and
throw it as far as possible. Ask: What happened to your sin? Why
didn’t it go as far as mine did?

Say: My ball went farther away from me because it had
extra power.

Read aloud Psalm 103:6-12.

Say: Jesus died on the cross for all our sins. These
verses say that God takes our sin far away–farther than we’ll ever
see or imagine. When we ask for forgiveness, our sin is gone–for
good. It’s the reason Easter is a time for celebration!

Have family members each retrieve a paper ball to take to the next
station.

Light in the Darkness

Host: Angel

Materials: Blindfolds, poster board, glow-in-the-dark
paint, paintbrush, tape, and a Bible

The Scene: This station should be in a dark room or in a
preconstructed tomb. Create a poster with the words to John 8:12 written on it in glow-in-the-dark
paint, and tape the poster to the wall. It’s important that
families are able to leave the dark room and go directly to a
well-lit area for the final station.

Experience: Have the Angel host meet families at the
entrance. The host will tell families that they’ll be entering the
tomb where Jesus was buried. Before entering, have each person put
on a blindfold. Guide families into the tomb and help them sit so
they’re facing the poster on the wall.

While people are still blindfolded, have them turn to a partner and
discuss: What does it feel like to be in the dark? What would it be
like to live in a world where it was always dark?

Say: Imagine how sad Jesus’ followers were when he died on
the cross. The Bible says that when Jesus died the earth shook, the
world went dark, and the temple curtain tore from top to bottom.
Even though it was a sad, dark day, we remember the day Jesus died
as Good Friday.

Ask: Why would such a sad day be called “good”?

Say: Remove your blindfolds. There’s a message on the
wall. Silently read the message or have someone read it to
you.

Allow time.

Ask: How does it feel to be able to see God’s Word now?
How do you think it feels when someone first believes in
Jesus?

Say: This is the good news of Easter! Because Jesus died
on the cross for each of us, we don’t have to live in darkness. If
we follow Jesus, he’ll be the light that guides us every day.

Say: When you entered the dark tomb, you carried your ball
of sin with you. Jesus died for our sins, and we buried our sins
with him. Leave your balls of sin in the tomb as we follow the
light.

Guide families to the last station. The entrance into a bright room
will help families experience the light of Jesus.

All Things New

Host: Farmer

Materials: A table set for breakfast, a wooden cross
wrapped with chicken wire, a bucket of long-stemmed fresh flowers,
a candle or glow stick for each person, a Bible, a CD with soft
praise music, and a CD player

The Scene: This station should be in a bright, well-lit
room. Place the cross and fresh flowers away from the breakfast
table. Place candles or glow sticks near the exit door. Play music
in the background.

Experience: Have the host enthusiastically greet families
as they enter the station. Greetings such as “Good morning! It’s a
brand-new day!” and “Happy Easter!” will help set the scene.

Gather families around the breakfast table and say: What a great
day for you to join us! Don’t you just love mornings? Everything is
new again! And on Easter morning we’re reminded that God makes all
things new. Jesus beat death on Easter–he was raised from the dead
to forgive our sins and give us a new life.

Read aloud John 3:16-21. Ask: What does it mean that
Jesus gives us new life? How do you feel when you get something
new? How are those feelings similar to the way you feel if Jesus
has given you new life?

Have families move to the cross. Tell them that the cross is a
reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us and of the new life we
can have because of Easter. Have each family member place a flower
in the chicken wire to create a beautiful floral cross.

Gather families for a closing near the exit. Read aloud Matthew 5:14-16. Say: We learned earlier today
that Jesus is the light of the world–that’s great news to share.
Jesus doesn’t want us to hide his light from others–he asks us to
share it with others. As you leave today, take this light as a
reminder to let your light shine for Jesus.

Give family members each a candle or glow stick as they leave.

Handy Flowers

If fresh flowers aren’t an option for the cross, have families make
personalized flowers to decorate the cross.

You’ll need colored construction paper, pencils, scissors, green
chenille wire, and green floral tape.

Have each person trace his or her hand and wrist on a piece of
construction paper. Cut out the traced pattern and wrap the wrist
portion around a chenille wire and secure it with floral tape. Wrap
the fingers outward around a pencil to create petals. Secure the
stem to the chicken wire on the cross.

A Meal of Thanks

Finish the night at the Last Supper by serving your Easter
Walk volunteers a celebration meal. At the end of your event, serve
volunteers a meal of gratitude to thank them for ministering to
families at Easter. Or fill a special basket with pastries and
juice for volunteers to eat during the event. Let your volunteers
know how much you appreciate the time they give and acknowledge
their heart for children.

 

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