Easter – the Church has left the building!
Easter is a natural opportunity to talk to people about Jesus – but no one was expecting that this year we would not be celebrating Jesus’ resurrection in our church buildings. Instead, most of us will be at home, joining local church celebrations online.
The size of virtual congregations looking in on livestreamed church services over the first two weeks of Lockdown suggests that we can expect thousands of not-yet-Christians to be joining our Easter Sunday celebrations – far more than the numbers who might have attended an Easter service in more normal times.
We have prepared an Easter invitation, which you can download to promote your online Easter Sunday events on social media and a poster to use on church noticeboards (Plain version) (Version matching social media) or church members’ windows for passers-by to see on their daily walk. Download and print the poster and add the details of where to find your online service.
Invite a response
As your online service is likely to attract viewers who would never normally go to church, make sure it is visitor-friendly and gives a clear explanation of the good news. At the end of your service, will your online viewers know what difference the resurrection makes to lives today? Will they have an opportunity to take a next step in the journey of faith?
Offer an Easter gift
You can offer a copy of our gift book Who Do You Say I Am? or our new, beautifully illustrated Mark's Gospel to viewers who visit your Easter service. Either order copies in bulk to post yourself to individuals, request single copies for us to post to individuals, or invite people to order a copy for themselves to read Jesus’ life story.
Follow up your Easter services with a discovery course to help people explore faith for themselves. This could be a Discovery Bible course, Alpha course or online Christianity Explored course.
Many of HOPE Together’s social media posts are devised for Christians to share with their non-Christian friends. One example is: ‘Who is Sam? Tell us who is helping people in your community? Read the original #GoodSam story here.’ Other posts include ‘Reasons for Hope’ and ‘Help bring Hope’ offering ideas to encourage and serve people in this unprecedented season. Do share these online posts and tell us the #GoodSam stories from your area.
Hope in Uncertain Times
From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, the HOPE team will be posting short, thought-provoking reflections on social media for you to share with not-yet-Christian friends and family members. Look out for them on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – they will be posted each day as well as on a new resources page.
Mission Academy Live – for online youth groups
Don’t forget the young people in your community – many are reeling from the impact of interrupted career plans and dashed hopes. Some will be living in abusive situations with little escape during the lockdown. Encourage your church’s young people to reach out to them, More than 25 youth leaders have signed up for the 10-session video course Mission Academy Live so far this year. The course makes an ideal online youth group resource. Share the videos and discuss the topic online, learning together how to share faith.
Hope for All
If food hampers are being delivered to vulnerable folk in your area, include a copy of the Hope for All magazine - this is also available to share online from hopeinfo.org.uk, where readers can find our archive of encouraging hope-filled stories.