Get OrganisedLooking ahead in your diary sound so simple, but it can be the one thing that stops youth ministries connecting young people with Easter. See when the last time you will have regular contact with those in your youth ministry before Easter and use this to your advantage (maybe even encourage them to listen to the Easter sermon you prepared at this occasion). Is the last time you have regular contact with young people in your youth ministry a Friday night? A Sunday morning? Sunday afternoon? Or a Sunday evening? Use this time wisely and not simply as a way of finishing what you’ve been doing.
Tell the Story
Young people today love stories - especially ones with tragedy, complexity, loss, and hope. An Easter sermon is a great opportunity to engage with these themes.
Don’t assume that young people today know the story or Easter. For many it’s seen as a time when you get to eat chocolate, when the shops are shut, when you spend more time with friends, or when you go away on holidays.
Ask the young people in your youth ministry to tell you the story of Easter and see what they know and are drawn to. You may be surprised at what you hear.
If you have a youth ministry that has a large portion of young people who have grown up in the church and/or attend Christian schools, perhaps you need to use a different translation of the Scriptures for your Easter sermon or draw their attention to a sometimes overlooked aspect or person in the Gospel accounts.
Change the focus
The language we use with young people always needs to be examined to ensure that it makes sense to them - this is particularly true at Easter.Think about the young people in your youth ministry right now. What concerns, ideas, and questions are you hearing? Perhaps this Easter you want to not simply speak about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, forgiveness of sin, the resurrection, and eternal life, but also separation, loss, confusion, betrayal, love, and belonging. Don’t change the story, or its meaning, but make sure you are making sense to young people.
We live in a fast past society, and it can easily become how we approach Easter. Spend time deliberately slowing down - especially during church services. Allow times of silence. Times of guided reflection.
Don’t rush to get to the Sunday Easter sermon.
Sit in the darkness, confusion, loss, and pain of Good Friday.
Young people need you to model what it means to feel the weight of Easter.
Extend an invitation
Invite young people to church gatherings this Easter.
Invite young people to invite their friends. Invite young people to invite their families.
Invite young people to be involved in church gatherings and to sit and read the story of Easter for themselves.
Invite young people to not simply know and experience Easter, but to embrace all that Jesus has done and won for them.
Invite young people to say yes to Jesus this Easter.
Invite. Invite. invite.