Easter is a Big Deal
Easter is a big deal for Christians. We celebrate the fact that Jesus didn’t stay dead after He was crucified.
After He died, He was raised to life, offering hope to all who would trust in Him! Most churches consider this their biggest outreach opportunity of the year. What about campus ministries? What should we be doing during this strategic time?
For most colleges, Easter occurs in the middle of the spring term. Perhaps you are working hard to simply maintain course and hadn’t planned on doing anything unusual or special for Easter.
As a campus minister who is experiencing the same tensions and pressures right now, I believe it would be a mistake for a college ministry to adopt a “ministry as usual” attitude towards Easter. Like local church congregations, we too need to seize the moment! The week of Easter is a great outreach opportunity for us.
Invite Students to Share their Views on Jesus
With Easter on the minds of many students, it’s probably a more natural time than any other point in the year to ask people to share their views on Jesus. Be bold to bring up the topic of Easter in your conversations on campus. Perhaps it starts with something as simple as, “Do you have any special plans for Easter Sunday?” From there you might also ask, “Do you know what makes Easter holiday significant?” Be prepared to give a short explanation of why Jesus’ death and resurrection matters to their life. Asking questions is always a great way to go deeper, perhaps even more so this week.
Testify about How Jesus Changed Your Life
A story of personal transformation told clearly and with sincerity is powerful. The week leading up to Easter is a particularly great opportunity to testify about the impact of the resurrection on your life. On a memorable occasion, one of the college ministries I oversee hosted a potluck dinner. The promise of food may have been the primary motivator that drew people to the event, but the testimonies of two of our student leaders was surely the highlight. Students know what they are doing isn’t working. Life as they are living it is not satisfying their souls. Tell them about life in Christ. Show them a life that works.
Invite Students to Church
It may seem simple, but I wonder how many college ministries actually emphasize inviting students to church. We don’t always need to try to “reinvent the wheel” on campus. Due to its cultural significance, many students will be more willing to visit a local church on Easter than they would at some other time of the year.
Rather than trying to do (another) big event on campus, mobilize students on campus to bring people with them to your/their church. Organize a time and place where you can go out on campus together, pass out flyers, and extend invitations for Easter Sunday. And while you are inviting complete strangers, don’t forget to include people you already have a relationship with. Gather students together to pray for the friends they would like to join them at church and then text invites, offering to pick them up at a set time and place. Celebrate together as friends say “yes” to your personal invitations!
What’s one thing you can do to more effectively engage students in the days leading up to Easter Sunday?