The Missional Shift in Christian Education

Reposted from Jen James – Presbyterian geek married to a Methodist pastor, mother of twin boys, lifelong educator and learner, news junkie, heart for transformation and story.

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Fun, Free Way for Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (or any time)

THIS IS A GREAT IDEA FOR SHARING INVITATIONS TO YOUR CHURCH!

Found at this web site – http://newsmallchurch.com/easter-invitation-idea/#more-13303 – THANKS, KARL VATERS!

A Fun, Free Way For Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (Or Any Time)

 Easter 1 A Fun, Free Way For Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (Or Any Time)Easter is almost here!

This year our church is trying something new to invite people and greet them when they come. I’m sharing this idea here because it can be done by any church of any size. And it’s not too late for you to do it this year.

Plus, it’s fun, it’s personalized and it’s free!

Over the years, we spent a lot of time and money creating and printing Easter invitation flyers. Then we’d run an ad (at yet more expense) in the crowded Easter section of the neighborhood magazine or newspaper. It didn’t work.

With social media, we changed our tactics. We started creating our own flyers and making them available for church members to post on their social media pages. Not only was it free but, since people are always putting stuff like that on social media anyway, it felt less like advertising and more like chatting with friends.

This year, we’re taking it a step further. In addition to creating a Good Friday/Easter flyer for the church, we’re helping everyone create their own personalized invitation.

In today’s post, I’ll show you how we’re doing it. It’s completely free and can work for any church that has a camera and a computer. And you still have time to get it done for this Easter.

Cornerstone Is Skylar A Fun, Free Way For Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (Or Any Time)

Set Up a Photo Booth

Yesterday, after church, we set up a photo booth. We’ll have it set up on youth night and next Sunday, too. Then we asked the congregation to come by after the service to pose for some pictures. As you can see in the ones I’ve added here, it’s simple, but fun – and it isn’t actually inside a booth.

We used a pastel-colored, retro backyard loveseat, then added a side table with an antique-style light bulb. You can use what works for you, but I encourage you to follow a few simple rules about the photo-taking process:

  • Don’t have people stand against a wall (unless the police line-up look is what you’re going for)
  • Ask one person to be in charge – someone who has an eye for photos
  • Take several shots of each person / group
  • Mix up the groups – individuals, couples, families, friends, all kids, all youth, all seniors, etc.
  • Leave enough room around the photo edge to crop and add your info

 

Have Fun With the Sign

We used a white board. You can use anything from a chalk board to cardboard, to a piece of paper. Have fun with it. But make sure the words are large, legible and hand-written. Everything in the photo should be personalized, not computerized. 

As you can see from the photos in this post, we asked them to write a word or short phrase on the whiteboard that describes what our church – Cornerstone – means to them. Then we took a photo of them holding that white board up to the camera.

Cornerstone Is Gil A Fun, Free Way For Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (Or Any Time)

Add Your Church Info to the Photos

After taking the photos, we added the words “Cornerstone is…” at the top, and our church website in the bottom corner.

I recommend not adding any more info than that. Maybe a logo, but that’s all. And even that should be subtle. Anything more clutters it up and gives it an advertising feeling.

The people are what matter, so make them the stars of it.

 

Post Them Online

Don’t email the photos. That takes too much time and it limits who’ll see them. Post them where everyone can see them, like your church Facebook page, so they can find, copy and repost their photo to their own Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or wherever. (Your church isn’t on social media? You need to be. Now. Click here to read why.)

This is also a great time to be sure your church’s Facebook page and/or website is up-to-date. Including all the Easter info, of course.

And please, get those photos posted right away or you might as well not do it at all. Especially if you’re taking photos this coming Sunday. Every day you wait gives people that much less time to make them useful.

Cornerstone Is Jack A Fun, Free Way For Church Members to Invite Friends for Easter (Or Any Time)

Greet People On Easter With Your Smiling Faces – Both Real and Digital

On Easter Sunday, in addition to actual smiling greeters, we’ll use our projector and screen to have those photos rotating before and after the service as a way of welcoming people to the church.

If your church doesn’t have a projector, print them on a bulletin board. Or borrow a laptop or iPad – maybe even a couple of them – and have them situated in the lobby with the photos rotating on them. It will be gathering place and conversation starter. And it will show people how your church is a community of people, not just a building that people dress up to visit on Easter.

This idea is completely new to us, so I’ll tell you how it worked after Easter has come and gone. If you want to give it a shot, let us know how it works for you, too.

Intergenerational Easter Worship Activity

EASTER SUNDAY CELEBRATION – INTERGENERATIONAL

From http://engageworship.org/ideas/Resurrection_Parade

This Easter Sunday we are planning a Resurrection Praise Celebration. We are splitting the teaching into two halves – in the first half the preacher will show a giant paper (black & white) image of the world, and talk about how God created everything perfect. He will then rip the world into pieces, talking about how we have sinned and ruined God’s perfect creation. He will then ask what we should do with this ripped world – throw it out and start again? This is probably what we would do. But God is in the business of re-creating his broken world. And he did this by sending Jesus as a baby at Christmas (we want to make the connection for those who only come twice a year!) We will then explain that we are going to have a time of worship, where the children and anyone else who wants to can color in a piece of the broken world, whilst everyone else sings some songs, to symbolize us joining with God in remaking his broken world. At the end these pieces will be collected in, and a couple of people will begin to stick these pieces to a cutout of the resurrected Jesus (we are cutting around a projected image of the Rio de Janeiro ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue, to make a life-size MDF silhouette). The second half of the talk will unpack these verses from the Message Version of Colossians 1:18-20: “He [Jesus] was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” We will explain that we are going to join in the ‘Resurrection Parade’ that Christ is leading by having our own little parade behind our cut-out of Jesus, who has now been covered in the colorful pieces of our world, stuck back together on him. The band will play something celebratory as people who want to follow the figure around the church.

Feel free to steal or adapt this idea, or let us know what you’ve got planned or have done in Easter’s past!

You will need:

A giant paper black and white world

A large-sized piece of poster board, to make a resurrected Jesus cutout

Lots of brightly colored pens/crayons and glue