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 were at home, joining local church celebrations online.
The size of virtual congregations looking in on livestreamed church services were far more than the numbers who might have attended an Easter service in more normal times.
We prepared an Easter invitation for churches to download to promote 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. For Easter 2021 we will continue to resource local churches appropriately.
Invite a response
As online services are attracting viewers who would never normally go to church, we are encouraging churches to make sure services are visitor-friendly and give a clear explanation of the good news. At the end of your Easter service, will your online congregation 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 church services online. 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 posted short, thought-provoking reflections on social media for Christians to share with not-yet-Christian friends and family members. We continue to post share-able content on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages as well as on Vimeo.
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.