This Easter Family Outreach Event is a meaningful way to share the Easter story with families in your community. Minister to families by these six through these six stations (in order) to help them better understand the Easter story and our relationship with Jesus.
1. 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.
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.
Then 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.
2. Serve One Another
Theme: Dining Room
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. Then 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.
3. Quiet Time in the Garden
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 then 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, then 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.
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 then 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.
4. 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.
5. Light in the Darkness
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 pre-constructed 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. Then 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. Then 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.
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.
6. All Things New
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.
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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