Easter is coming. If you haven’t started planning for it now, it’s time to get started. We asked a bunch of people about the coolest thing they’ve seen a church do at Easter and collected their ideas below.
- “The famous Easter ‘bridge’ at Willow Creek.” -Angela Buikema
- “We did a cool presentation of a dramatized and musical message we called ‘The Choice.’ It was set on a park bench with a lamp post that also served as a directional signpost at which different people’s stories intersected. … Eventually all their stories intersect and the subtle message at the end is that life is meaningless without an authentic relationship with Jesus. … There was a standing ovation at the end of the production as well as an unbelievable response to the altar call.” -Joseph Thompson
- “Broadway quality passion plays.” -Darren Schalk
- “At Easter we always have our kids do speeches and skits/plays. We find that even those that don’t regularly come to services like to see their kids or other kids perform. We almost always give out small snack bags to all in attendance.” -Cynthia Chandler
- “I know cardboard testimonies are played out, but we did a series of six stories of changed lives with a very short phrase written on cardboard and a photo of the person/people holding the sign in the weeks leading up to Easter. We built a wooden cross with 2x8s that was open on the inside, put magnets on the outward facing edge, covered the cross with brown craft paper, and then put magnets on the back of the 6 cardboard signs that had been used in the photos. As the pastor spoke about each thing that people had been saved from, he removed the sign from the cross. Eventually, there was an empty cross, signifying that on Easter, the cross was empty. There were brown papers with commitment boxes to check under each seat. We tore the paper roughly to look like mini cardboard testimony signs. People were invited to write what they had been saved from on the back of the paper, and bring it to the foot of the cross.” -Priscilla Hammond
- “Modern dance interpretation of The Passion, danced by a teenage girl!” -Terra Osterling
- “Our church last year got theater lights to highlight the altar. Cheesy sounding, but ended up beautiful.” -Sarah Boyette
- “I once went to a church (other than the one I work) where they acted out the Easter story. They had rented a large auditorium for Easter and had incredible sets. It really made an impact.” -Leslie Zander
- “We have a joint Passover Seder and Easter Dinner to celebrate the commonalities of faiths, rather than the differences. We participate in an Interfaith Hospitality Network, in which churches, synagogues and even secular humanist groups work together to provide hosuing to families who have had their housing taken away from them.” -Win Morgan
- “Held services (for Christmas, too) during the week before so that the members can still go to a really amazing Easter/Christmas service and be with their families on the actual holiday.” -Sarah Myers
- “The congregation I attended as a child did a sunrise service on the lawn of a museum outside of the airport in my home town. The kicker was that the airport and the museum are on top of a plateau about 200 feet above the main town making for beautiful views of God’s creation.” -Carrie Gubsch
- “On Good Friday a church I was on staff with placed an above-ground pool in the middle of the sanctuary and baptized about 80 people. We surrounded the pool with our regular chairs so families and friends could watch their loved ones surrender their lives wholly to Christ.” -Tanya Glass
- “Give out decorated, edible eggs to homeless/needy individuals with short messages on then such as ‘Jesus Died 4 U.’” -Steven Proctor
- “Photo portraits of families.” -James Brown
- “Last year my church did a photo booth in conjunction with Easter. We figured Easter was the big day to dress up and thought people would want something free to commemorate the day. So we set up a photo canvas, incorporated some props to add some fun elements, including live baby chicks and had a great time. We actually doubled our attendance for the day. Here’s a handful of the pictures.” -Jon Rogers
- “Our arts ministry—IMAGO—hosts an annual Holy Week art show beginning two weeks before Easter Sunday with pieces submitted by professional and amateur artists within the church family. Each year’s theme either points to Easter specifically or is tied to the pastor’s message series from the previous year. With some members being well-known in the local artist community, the art show has served to draw people to the church who may otherwise never have come.” -Steven Murray
- “Our church serves food (pre-services) to our community, many homeless and needy come.” -Tracielynn Raterman
- “Around here, doing things out of the ordinary at Easter doesn’t do much to bring in new people. They often comment on ‘how cool of a show’ it was, but it’s not always enough to make them stick around. We try to correlate why Jesus’ sacrifice was important to mankind and bring it down to the lowest level, person-to-person. Anytime we can put the lofty spiritual ideas into concrete, practical examples, it seems to connect with our crowd.” -Zach Lorton
- “An augmented choir, trumpet players, lots of acolytes and a full house says it to me.” -Geoff Brown
- “For me the coolest thing about Easter is the celebration. With the triumphant music and the crowd and the palpable joy in the air—it makes church feel like a party. Then there’s the anticipation. In a liturgical church like mine every service ends with the congregation responding to our pastor’s exhortation with “Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia.” Except during Lent when we simply say “Thanks be to God,” (except for that first week when someone inevitably forgets). For six weeks we haven’t said Alleluia to close the service and at Easter we let loose and shout out with joy: “Alleluia, Alleluia!” It sounds ridiculous, but it feels like heaven.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen a church do at Easter?