When encouraging families to be missional, it’s often best to focus outside the walls of the church. Just like Jesus entered into our world in order to share God’s love with us, we best share God’s love with others by entering into their world rather than asking them to come into ours.
However, Easter is a different story. Here’s why:
- Many people who wouldn’t consider going to church on a “regular” Sunday would say “yes” to an invitation on Easter
- Most preachers will explicitly and clearly preach the gospel of Jesus’s death and resurrection on behalf of sinners this weekend
- Most churches, knowing that many guests will join them, make plans to go the extra mile to be welcoming to guests
Click to tweet: Many people who wouldn’t go to church on a “regular” Sunday would say “yes” to an invitation on Easter. @johnmurk
In light of this unique opportunity that Easter provides, here are three ways to be missional with your kids this Easter:
1. Have Your Children Invite Their Friends
The first way to be missional this Easter is to ask your kids if they know anyone that they would like to invite to church. Then, make plans to give them an opportunity to invite them! Sit down with them and make a phone call, or try to arrange a get-together with that family.
Chances are that your child’s friend will want to come along. And if the child wants to come, then the parents will make an effort to be there, even if they wouldn’t have accepted an invitation from you. You know this from your own experience – we love to say “yes” to our kids. Otherwise, Chuck E Cheese would be out of business.
Click to tweet: If a child wants to come to church, then his parents will make an effort to be there. @johnmurk
Through the invitation of your children, entire families may decide to come to church with you, where they will all hear the gospel preached.
2. Go With Them
Once a family accepts your family’s invitation, make plans to go with them. To be truly hospitable to this family you have invited takes a lot more than saying, “Text me when you have dropped your kids off and we can sit together.”
Click to tweet: To be truly hospitable to a guest family takes a lot more than saying, “Text me when you get here.” @johnmurk
Put yourself in this guest family’s shoes for a minute. Imagine that you have accepted an invitation to go to a Jewish friend’s synagogue on Saturday, and you’re bringing your whole family. Think about all the questions that you would have. What should we wear? Where do I park? Will my kids be safe? Do I need to bring anything for them to do or eat? How will I know where to take my kids when I get there?
Every guest family at your church will have the same fears and questions as they pull up to our parking lot. If you invite a family to come with you, take some time to think through how you can answer those questions for them and make them feel at ease about attending church with you.
Perhaps you could even offer to drive to their house and let them follow you to campus. That way, you can park with them, walk them right up to the children’s check-in area, help them through the process, and sit with them in service.
3. Involve Them In Your Traditions
Of all three points, this one is probably the hardest one, yet it has the potential to have the biggest impact. Most of us have family traditions built up around this holiday, and changing them to include another family is a sacrifice. However, inviting the family that came to church with you to be a part of your Easter brunch, egg hunt, or whatever you do after church could be life-changing for them. Extending your time together past the church service gives the parents a chance to process what they heard with you while the kids are hunting eggs or hanging out together.
Click to tweet: Sacrificing your normal Easter traditions to include another family could be life-changing for them. @johnmurk
In addition, God may use your children to share the gospel with the other children while they are playing. One of my favorite Easter stories from recent years is a family who hosted a Muslim family at their house for lunch on Easter Sunday. The kids were in the back room, playing, while the parents were having dessert and coffee. The mom walked by the kids at one point and overheard her son repeating what he had just heard at church to the boy from the Muslim family. The parents thought that they were going to only share the gospel with the parents that day, but God used their son to share the gospel with the children, too!
Don’t forget that the Spirit of God that raised Jesus Christ from the grave is in you as well (Romans 8:11). And that Spirit can use you and your kids to bring more brothers and sisters into the family if God. Will you join me in praying that He will do that this Sunday, in our children’s ministries, our youth groups, and in “big church” all across the world.