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 a college ministry do 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 a natural way. 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?” 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 resurrection power in your life. One of the college ministries that I oversee hosted a potluck dinner earlier this week. 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. It was powerful!
Invite Students in Your College Ministry to Church
This may seem simple, but I wonder how many college ministries actually emphasize this. 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 invite people you already have relationship with.
What’s one thing that you can do to more effectively engage students in the days leading up to Easter Sunday?