I’m pumped that you are thinking about hosting a safe and fun Easter event for your community. Simple events like this help break down the barriers that keep the people in the community from coming to church.
Now, I’m not just talking about having an egg hunt during church services, although that’s fun too. I’m talking about an all-out Easter extravaganza event where people can come and have fun.
I hope you find this “How To” guide helpful and encouraging. You can do this! Remember to have fun and that we serve a big God!
Fellow Children’s Pastor,
Step By Step How To:
- Nail Down the Purpose (4-5 weeks until the event)
First things first! You will need to think through this question, “What is the purpose of my event?” Is your purpose to simply provide a fun and safe event for the families in your church? Great! Or do you want to have more of an outreach focus? Maybe your purpose is to provide a fun and attractive event that gets your community comfortable coming on church grounds and invites them to come back for church services. No matter the purpose, you just need to nail it down so that your team has a target to aim for.
**Side note, an event like this can be a great “icebreaker” for your community to get comfortable on church grounds. Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating, but it makes attending much easier if you know where things are. Leverage this event to invite families back to church.**
- Plan the Basics (4-5 weeks until the event)
Your purpose will direct your whole event. A lot of people skip over step one, but my philosophy is to always start with the purpose. Filter EVERYTHING through the purpose.
Next, you’ll want to plan a few basics. Think through these questions: (I like to get in front of a whiteboard and write down the answers)
- What day and time would work best for your target audience?
- How many people would attend your event?
- What “Features” would you like to have?
- How much can we spend on this event?
- Where is the best place to host this event? (Come up with one outdoor and one indoor space. Outdoor is always better in my opinion, but indoor can always still be a blast)
- Plan Your Promotion (4 weeks until the event)
Now that you have some basics down, you can strategize how to tell people about your amazing event coming up. My strategy is to communicate in every way possible. There is no such thing as communicating too much. You do want to make sure you don’t communicate too early or too late. The sweet spot for an event like this is about 3 weeks in advance.
**Side note… The only exception to communicating too early is an events calendar. It never hurts to send out a quarterly calendar to parents with all your events on them.**
Before we get to the promotion details, I encourage you to think about your needs for the event. This is an event that EVERYONE can get behind, even if people don’t have kids in their life.
This is a great time to submit a request to your church’s graphic arts team. If you are responsible for creating promotional materials for your events, don’t worry, you can easily create your own. One of my favorite graphic creation websites is called Canva. It’s free and there are a ton of “How to” videos on the internet. You can make your own stellar graphic there, or you can simply Google “Easter Egg Hunt” and snag a graphic on the “images” tab. If you choose the Google route, just make sure your image is large enough or it will look grainy. (The larger the _____ X _____ numbers are, the better)
- Signs: Your purpose will decide where you post signs for your event. If the purpose is mainly to provide an event for your church families, then you’ll want to focus your sign efforts on inside the church building. Post signs in bathroom stalls, on an information board, at the kids’ check-in area, and anywhere else there is high walking traffic in your church. If your purpose is to reach out to the community, go big and have a 4ft by 8ft sign made and put it out in front of the church. Another sign idea is to have sandwich board signs made so you can easily place them on the sidewalk out in front of the building. You’ll want to make sure the date, time, place, and your website are on them.
- **Tip: If you are purchasing large signs, think about how you can make them reusable. Maybe you don’t put the date of the event on them, but instead, put “More info at… the church’s website”. With an event like this, you can always say, “On Easter Sunday” since Easter Sunday is always on a Sunday!**
- Print items: Make a TON of handout cards to have all around our church. I recommend having the full graphic on one side and the information on the back. Keep it simple and sweet. I try to answer these questions: who, what, when, where?
- Social media: If you don’t have social media for your ministry, that’s ok, promoting this event is a great time to start one. Post on your social media once or twice a week for the 3 weeks leading up to Trunk OR Treat. Get creative through fun videos or graphics. Remember that you’re mainly communicating with parents with social media. Make sure to join any Facebook groups your community has. You can post event info on them and invite the community.
- Sunday avenues: We had the “Host” announce it from the stage every weekend leading up to the event. We included a slide and some fun facts for them to use. I encourage you to get wacky here if you can. Have your host wear a bunny costume, throw loaded Easter eggs into the crowd, or do something else memorable. Have them encourage your church to invite their neighbor and possibly donate Candy-loaded eggs. This is a great way people without kids can be a part of the event. Sunday kids’ services are also a great place to promote your event. If you can get the kids excited, then you’ll most likely get them to the event.
- Emails: Email all your current volunteers and ask them to support this event through helping the night of, assembling eggs, and most importantly praying for the event. A second email to all the parents in your ministry to support and attend the event is very important. Challenge them to grab invite cards on Sunday and hand them out to all their neighbors and friends.
- Outside Promotion: You could post an ad in the local newspaper, post flyers at local restaurants and gyms, send out a local mailer, or do a door drop-off.
- Plan the Details (3 weeks until the event)
Ok, so you’ve got your purpose, the basics, and promotion down. It’s time to get into the question, how can we pull this off? Remember that this is God’s event and that He has it handled. It can seem like a lot, but our God can handle it easily.
When it gets time to plan out the details of an event like this, I like to go back to the whiteboard. I’ll divide the board up into categories and start listing things that need to be done. Here are some categories I would focus on and some things to do to tackle them.
- Features (What “Features” or activities do you want to have?)
- Obviously, you are going to have an egg hunt, but do you want to have an egg dying station? A craft station where kids decorate a dollar store basket? A game station? Or?
- You’ll want to plan out both indoor and outdoor options here. Outdoor egg hunts are the best, but indoors can be fun as well if the weather isn’t cooperating.
- Outdoor option: An open field for an egg hunt is always great, but even better if there are bushes, trees, and other obstacles. Obstacles allow for more difficulty to find hiding spots. The weirder place the eggs can be put the better. Kids will be talking about where they found the eggs for days. If you plan on having other features like the egg dying station, you can section off a part of the church parking lot and use canopies and tables. Make sure to buy fun Easter-colored tablecloths from the dollar store.
- Some other Feature ideas to have are:
- A photo backdrop with fun spring animal cutouts. Have a sign for families to hold that has a hashtag on your social media pages.
- A chalk section where kids can color with chalk in the parking lot.
- A bunny hop race with prizes.
- A Resurrection Roll-making station. (In a nutshell, you’ll take a large marshmallow and dip it into a butter/cinnamon mix and roll it tightly in a crescent roll. Bake it in a toaster oven and the marshmallow will melt making it appear like it’s an empty tomb. Check out this video) Have the kids come back for their roll since it takes 12 minutes.
- Indoor option: Now, moving an event indoors after coming up with grand outdoor plans can be frustrating, but remember that we serve a purposeful God. He might have had this in mind already because He knew something you didn’t. I always remind myself to take a few deep breaths and repeat Proverbs 3:5-6.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Ok, so now that we’ve survived having to change the event to indoors, let’s talk about some ideas. Find the biggest room in your church and set it up for an egg hunt. Like I said earlier, obstacles are great. Set out chairs, stuffed animals (Bigger the better), tables, animal cutouts, etc. You could also go throughout the whole church, lock doors you don’t want families to get into, and have a church-wide Easter egg hunt. How cool would that be! You’ll want to make sure the kids have supervision, but seriously, what kid wouldn’t love to do this. If you want to hold other features, set up tables in the lobby or your kids’ space to allow for families to engage with them.
- You’ll want to make sure to allow plenty of time to shop for supplies or order online. I’m a big fan of ordering online if you are short on time. Anyone can pull out their phone and order supplies while waiting at the doctor’s office or even during a boring staff meeting. Just kidding don’t do that!
- Think through fun ways you can tie the Easter message into each feature. Maybe you have the kids say, “He is Risen” once they found an egg or even send home an easter coloring book. If your purpose is to have this event be an “Icebreaker” for the community, you might not want to have a Gospel message planned, but a Gospel message is always good if you feel like it fits with your event.
- Event Setup (This is where you’ll want to make a checklist of each feature and what will need to be set up.)
- Think through what can be done before the day of the event. Send “Kits” of supplies home with volunteers so that they can prep at home and bring them in. Anything you can do to prep before the event is a win in my books!
- I like to make a master checklist and a “Day of event” checklist. The master checklist will have things to prep, and supplies needed. The “Day of event” checklist will be everything you’ll need to get set up for the day. I take the second checklist and write it out on a mobile whiteboard so that setup volunteers can come help and not have to ask me what needs to be done.
- Volunteers (Who can help this event be most welcoming and most prepared for?)
- I like to break my events into sections and assign “leads” to each section. I would have one “lead” for each feature, one for setup and tear down, one for a welcome team, one for a safety team, one for photo taking, etc.
- Make sure to overcommunicate with your volunteers. You’ll make the day of the event a breeze when you over-communicate to your volunteers. I’m not talking about holding a lengthy meeting, but rather making a quirky first-person info video and or making an instructional sheet for each lead.
- Signage (What signs need to be posted so that people get to where you want them when you want them to be there?)
- Think through traffic flow.
- Use the same graphic background from the invite cards to make signs for each feature.
- Things are hopping along quickly, time to finish prepping supplies! (1 Week to event)
- Hopefully, you have been able to get all the supplies you need, if not, this is the time to go shopping!
- Set up a day with set start and end times where volunteers can come help set up for the event. Make sure there’s fun music and snacks!
- Take inventory of stuffed eggs you have prepped, then make more! Since the egg hunt will be the most attractive part of this event, you’ll want to almost have a superfluous number of stuffed eggs. Kids will notice if there aren’t enough eggs!
- Post Event
- Plan to give a report on how the event went to the church. Have a short presentation planned to show pictures, give stats, and praise God the Sunday after. Whatever your report is, have fun and celebrate what God did!
- Take the info that you gathered above and post it on your social media and send a recap email to parents.
- Say something like: God is good! We had ____ people come and join us for our Easter event. We were ready with easter eggs coming out of our ears and God used every one of them! We hope you and your family had a blast coming. If you haven’t had a chance to attend our Sunday programming, you can join us at (Put service times here). We have fun safe kids programming your child will love! We hope to see you soon!
- Make sure to include a couple of fun pictures and or a link to a YouTube recap video.
- Sharing the great things God did through your Easter event helps set up momentum for the next year, so hype up the event!
- Lastly, you’ll want to make sure and send out thank you cards to your volunteers. You can never send out too many thank you cards!
TIPS, TRICKS, DOS AND DON’TS
- Don’t be discouraged when you run into challenges, remember that we are working for God Himself. Nothing can stand against God!
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Plan to take a day or two off after this event to rest and be with family.
- Do play music! Don’t pick the preschool music we always think of but go for upbeat Christian radio type music.
- Do put yourself in the shoes of someone attending this event. Think about what you’d like/want this event to be like.
- Do hand out as much work as you can to volunteers. The more volunteers invested, the less stressed you’ll be and the more excited the church will be for this event.
- Do meet with a small group of volunteers take time to evaluate this event. Ask the team, “Did this event accomplish its purpose?”