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Special Section: Searching for Jesus

Carmen Kamrath

This Easter, help families find more than just candy and plastic eggs hidden in the grass -- guide them toward the True Hope of the season with this outreach event.

Thousands of years ago people searched for the Savior, the promised Messiah. And every year Easter reveals the hopeful answer people sought then and still search for today.

You and I know the search begins and ends with Jesus. But for many who are searching, Easter is about bunnies, colored eggs, and baskets full of candy. How can you reach these families and help them discover the true hope of Easter?

Why not do it through the hearts--and tummies--of children? This Easter, make something old new again by reaching out to your community with an unforgettable Easter Egg Hunt that leaves people hungry for the message and hope of Easter.





Scout the Hunt

Location is everything, and the location you choose for your Easter Egg Hunt can make a significant difference in how many people attend. While hosting the event on your church property may be convenient and easy, consider a location that's more familiar to the community, such as a local school or sports park facility. A community setting is a neutral place to invite families who may feel uneasy or nervous about attending an event at a church they aren't familiar with. Obtain any necessary permits from your local government and be sure the location has access to water, electricity, restrooms, shade, and an area where it's okay to barbecue.


Prepare

Your Easter Egg Hunt offers great opportunities for people in your church and community to serve. Use these ideas for your outreach preparations.

• Ask for donations. Ask families in your church to donate plastic eggs and bags of individually wrapped candies for the hunt. Local businesses may be willing to donate these items if you make the request in writing on ministry letterhead.

Also contact local businesses to donate gifts for your egg hunt, from large items such as bikes or filled Easter baskets to smaller items to place inside plastic eggs, such as coupons for free ice cream cones or stickers. Place gift vouchers for bigger items in the eggs so kids who find them can turn them in. Acknowledge all businesses that donate with a big thank you sign at the event entrance.

• Create special giveaways. Create themed Easter baskets to give away, such as a Home Movie Night (filled with a family-friendly DVD, microwave popcorn, and boxed candy), Outdoor Fun (filled with bubble solution, sidewalk chalk, a jump rope, and balls), or Beach Bum (filled with sand toys, a kid-friendly beach towel, and water goggles).

• Ask for extra hands. Getting the eggs ready for the hunt is the most time-consuming aspect of the event, and you'll need extra hands to do it. Filling eggs takes time, so tap all of these resources.

Senior Centers-Ask local senior citizen centers or senior organizations to join in the egg-stuffing venture. Drop off the eggs to the center during the week before and designate a pickup time.

Preteens-Host a fun night for preteens early in the week before Easter Sunday. Serve a meal and have preteens eat together in small groups with a leader for each group. Talk about the importance of loyalty and friendship, and let preteens discuss why they think Jesus wanted to share a special meal with his closest friends before he died. After the meal, give preteens a chance to serve by helping with last-minute egg hunt preparations, such as filling eggs, making signs, or preparing crafts. Then encourage preteens to invite a friend who doesn't attend church to attend the egg hunt with them.

Moms Groups-Ask your church's moms groups to stuff eggs at their next meeting while they talk and learn. Consider providing an hour of activities for children following the meeting so moms can stay to pitch in.

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