With these 101 Easter sermons and ideas for your church, you'll be ready to celebrate our risen Savior this year! As your church celebrates the glorious resurrection of Jesus this Easter, there is no better time to worship whole-heartedly and to reach out to your community effectively. We are called to share our hope of eternal life with the visitors who come through the doors for Easter services, as well as neighbors who are not connected with your church.
Churches of all sizes can put these 101 ideas into practice this Easter:
101 Easter Sermons and Ideas for Your Church
Here are 16 fresh Easter sermon ideas:
Text: Matthew 21
Focus: Often we want God to meet our expectations when God wants to go far beyond what we expect.
Function: Inspire listeners to let go of their expectations and to wait for God to exceed those expectations.
Text: 1 Peter 1:3
Focus: Often we look to God to forgive us when actually God wants to make us completely new.
Function: Inspire listeners to look to God not only for forgiveness but also for transformation. Easter only forgives sin, but also gives us power over it.
Text: Romans 5:6-8
Focus: While sin leaves us powerless, God loves us enough to give us power over sin by sending Jesus to die on the cross.
Function: Inspire listeners to offer themselves fully to God to experience the most hope, peace and joy.
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:4 (focusing on “rose” as a present verb)
Focus: Even though we remember Easter as a past event, we celebrate it as a present event as God continues to work in us.
Function: No matter what the past of the listener looks like, God wants to meet them in the present and transform their future.
Text: Ephesians 2:5
Focus: While Jesus was dead in the grave, the Father raised Him to new life. God is calling listeners to new life through Jesus.
Function: Inspire listeners to experience real life change by trusting God with their entire life.
Text: Romans 12:1
Focus: The resurrection is about the living Lord. His life should be the center of our lives.
Function: Don’t put Jesus first on the list; make Him the center of everything that you are and do.
Text: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Focus: The resurrection provides a new kind of life for Jesus, a life where he will never die.
Function: Inspire listeners to experience new life that comes with trusting Jesus.
Text: Genesis 3 vs. Gospel Resurrection
Focus: God is restoring creation from the Fall. In Adam there is death and in Jesus there is life.
Function: Inspire listeners to allow God to restore their broken lives.
Text: Matthew 28:16-20
Focus: Every scene of the resurrected Jesus, He is commissioning and sending. Jesus resurrection is linked to mission of the church.
Function: Inspire listeners to get on mission with resurrected Jesus.
10. Have Some Fun
Text: Philippians 4:4
Focus: God has already accomplished everything on the cross and the resurrection. There is nothing more for us to do but experience the joy of the Lord.
Function: Inspire listeners to stop trying to earn salvation and experience joy in this life.
Scripture: John 19:35-20:35
Summary: Let's examine the promises of Easter. Each promise is marked by something empty—an empty cross, empty clothes, and an empty cave. It is the very fact that each of these is empty that assures us God's promises are not.
12. The Easter Door
Scripture: Matthew 28:1
Summary: The kick off message for our ’One Month To Live’ Campaign. In this message I talk about the 3 doors, the Door Of: Forgiveness, Restoration and Hope.
Scripture: Matthew 27:57-66
Summary: I want us to put ourselves in the sandals of the disciples. For some that will be easy because despair is not foreign to you. Bur for others, that may be more difficult because...
Scripture: Mark 15:42-16:42
Summary: Easter - What were the first word’s Jesus says after his rez? ta da! The women at the tomb are filled with fear for they now understand who Jesus really is.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-6
Summary: Easter reveals the one big problem of man and the one big blessing for man.
As Chuck Lawless, (who is he?) writes, “We make new commitments at the start of a new year, but let’s be honest: For many of us, we’ve already given up on those commitments by the time Easter comes around. If ever there were a time to start over, though, it’s Easter. The resurrection is God’s reminder that hope still exists.”
Easter Sermons and Ideas for Worship
Utilize these stunning PowerPoint displays during your Easter services:
17. Easter Horizon
21. Love Starts Here
These videos will help create the atmosphere for your Easter weekend services:
This 5 minute countdown features the cross in a grunge setting. The countdown slowly gets colorful near the end as the timer counts down to zero. Perfect for Good Friday, Easter, or any generic Sunday countdown.
This church service starter, countdown video features worship music "O The Blood". The video is perfect start to a service and transition into worship or your introductions.
Easter Sermons and Ideas for Outreach
Hand out printed invitations to Easter worship services to all of your regular attendees. Ask them to pray for one person God is leading them to invite. Members either mail or hand-deliver the invitations to those people they’ve been praying for.
The Sunday before Easter, invite your community to join you for a meaningful time of spiritual reflection. Consider creating sacred spaces that guide people through the events leading up to the cross. It helps prepare people mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the Holy Week. You may want to borrow from the liturgy of other churches to help create the sacred environment.
In addition to direct mail, signage, fliers and other materials, promote your Easter service with an e-card that can easily be forwarded along with a personal note from your members.
27. Spring Cleaning
The week before Easter, host a huge, community-wide garage sale to benefit a local charity or cause. Offer a tax receipt to any donors and even offer to pick up larger items. Make it a fun community event by providing food, music and fliers promoting your church’s Easter week activities.
The Sunday before Easter, give children 10 plastic eggs with candy and an invitation for their friends and families to attend the Easter service. It is great to see children involved as inviters.
Set up an Easter-themed backdrop for pictures after the worship service. Give each person a connection card, including a website URL for accessing the photos.
Turn a multipurpose room into a gallery of crucifixion art, poetry and music created by people of all ages. Invite the community to participate.
Contact a local senior center or assisted living community and asked if your church may bring residents a nostalgic evening of the Irving Berlin classic film, popcorn and lemonade.
32. Messiah Live!
Host an evening of live orchestra presenting Handel’s oratorio. Engage your city’s orchestra.
33. Free Car Wash
Organize a car wash free of charge with no strings attached. Just leave a small Easter card with your church’s Easter worship activities in each vehicle.
Encourage everyone who attends your Easter service to bring canned food for a local food bank. Seeing the church serve others can offer unbelievers a different view of the church and ultimately cause them to be more open to hearing the Gospel.
Send teams out to offer Easter celebration services at locations in your area with people who may not be able to make it to church—nursing homes and jails. Ask permission first, and provide a service complete with music, communion and a Scripture-based message. If a local church already has a jail ministry, partner with it for an enhanced service.
36. Baskets Benefit
Collect Easter gift baskets from local businesses and church members for a silent auction, benefiting a local charity.
37. Love Jars
Fill canning jars called “Love Jars” with brownie mix, attractively layered, sealed with a lid and covered with seasonal fabric. Then make a personal visit to the home of each of Easter visitor. Make it a nonthreatening, non-preachy visit that simply says, “We’re glad you came…. hope to see you again.”
Instead of spending money on Easter lilies to decorate the church, buy lilies as a donation to local businesses, hospitals, law enforcement, schools, etc. Attach a small tag from your church: “With appreciation during this Easter season.”
Easter Ideas and Sermons for Outreach to Children
Here are a few powerful ideas for reaching kids with the message of Easter:
Teaching children about the Easter message isn’t exactly an easy task, but one ministry has simplified the approach, handing out bags filled with toys, candy, fruit, activity books and, most important, the Gospel message. Children are accepting Christ thanks to the bags, an initiative of Here’s Life Inner City. The urban ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), Here’s Life Inner City partners with local churches to distribute thousands of Easter bags each year to reach inner-city children.
The hunt was tailor-made for children with special needs, and the eggs she found contained audible beeping devices that let her track them down with no external help. Her only competition for the eggs came from others with visual impairments.
The egg hunt was part of a special needs Easter party at Guts Church on the Saturday before Easter. Beeping eggs were hidden for visually impaired children. For those with autism, the church roped off a special section in a quieter area, and for people in wheelchairs, the church hid eggs containing magnets, retrieved with metal poles provided to each participant. The eggs contained candy, change or even paper money, with the occasional large bill.
During Easter, purchase butterfly chrysalises online and give them away; it’s even possible to purchase chrysalises that can be timed to hatch within a day or so of your target. The butterfly is often seen as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. Death, transformation and life are all found in the chrysalis. Distribute the chrysalises on Good Friday, with a special connection card, and the butterflies will emerge on Easter Sunday. Find butterfly breeders in your state at ButterflyBreeders.org.
42. Where's Jesus?
Kids will make Jesus disappear from his tomb-and learn that Jesus’ real disappearance was no illusion.
Best for: Ages 5 to 9
43. Sunrise Magnets
Kids will make fun magnets as a reminder that Jesus rose, just as the sun does each day. Then they can share the good news with church visitors.
Best for: Ages 3 to 9
44. Community Garden
This spring, help kids start an outreach to feed the hungry in your community.
Best for: All Ages
Easter Sermons and Ideas for Reaching Visitors
45. Include a meal
Easter guests are the hardest to assimilate. Slow them down by offering lunch afterward.
Most moms don’t really want to cook on Easter, so if you can offer them an alternative, they’ll jump on it.
We invite local restaurants and food trucks to set up in our parking lot. Add some tables, chairs and hosts, and you have the makings of a feast and a chance to get to know your guests.
46. Throw a party
People like to party around the holidays. Provide them one by hiring in jumpies and other inflatables.
For the past three years, we’ve hosted a carnival in our atrium. It includes inflatables and also simple games where kids can win toys.
Add a cotton candy booth, popcorn and some music, and you’ve got a great excuse to invite the neighborhood.
Host this on Saturday, and guests are likely to return for church. Host this immediately before or after your services, and guests are very likely to attend your service.
47. Entice with eggs
We know the Easter bunny has nothing to do with Jesus, but years ago I did a survey of our pre-Christian neighbors and discovered that they were far more likely to attend Easter services if their kids could participate in an Easter egg hunt there.
Our church doesn’t have a lawn area, so we promise eggs in all our promotions, but skip the hunt. Instead, we hand each child a bag of eggs (with candy enclosed) at the end of their Sunday School class.
The kids go home happy. Which means parents go home happy, too.
This is the best thing you can do, in my opinion. If we spent more time up front making people feel welcome, we wouldn’t have to spend as much time afterward trying to get them to come back. If people have a bad experience, it doesn’t matter how many times you call them or write them, they are not going to come back. Meet and exceed their expectations on their first visit. Create irresistible environments and they will return. This includes everything from parking to directional signage to children’s ministry to greeters to worship and more.
We live in the day of digital communication with email, text, video, Twitter and generated form letters. A simple, personal, handwritten note can have an even bigger impact than a letter created by mail merge or an email with a cool video attached.
Give them the option to request a phone call on the guest card and if they check “yes,” call them by Wednesday. The phone call should be relaxed and not come across as a “sales pitch.” Ask them if they enjoyed the service, if they have any connections at the church, and if they have any questions about the church. Listen a lot more than you talk. Sincerely thank them for coming and let them know they are welcome to come back any time. Offer to help them get connected if they are interested.
Send them a coupon they can redeem for a free gift the next time they return. We do this on a weekly basis for guests and see a good number come back.
Reach out to your CEOs and share with them the importance of consistent attendance.
I have seen this work. We did this at one church I served at and had a larger attendance the weekend after Easter than we did for Easter.
Easter Sermons and Ideas for Children/Family
"This is one of my favorite things to do at big events at our church. Whether you do a fun booth with props or take a more “portrait” kind of approach, people love it! The most successful method we’ve used is having a professional photographer in place to take the photos plus a volunteer who can offer to take a picture on the guest’s phone. We post all of these photos in an album on our Facebook page after the service."
Easter is all about Jesus and we don’t want to lose the life-changing miracle of a risen Savior in the middle of a big event. To focus on the real meaning of Easter, set up several stations that families will rotate through to hear the truths of Easter. (for example: The Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden, Jesus’ Trial, The Cross, and the Empty Tomb.) Decorations can be minimized because the message is what is most important at these stations. Kids receive an egg from each station with a scripture and candy included. The last station can be designed as an empty tomb where children can collect several eggs.
Turn the tables on a morning or afternoon egg hunt and plan a glow-in-the-dark-hunt at night. Purchase cheap glow bracelets at a dollar store or in bulk online and tie them in a knot and put in translucent eggs. Hide these eggs at night challenging kids to look for the light in the darkness. After the hunt, gather kids and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world and because He is alive we can have new life through Him. Kids can leave with a glow necklace as a reminder that Easter is all about Jesus.
Minute-to-Win-It games like The Egg Drop, JellyBean Toss, and Pencil Toss.
These fun Easter ideas include a family art show, a cute egg guessing game for preschoolers, an egg-breaking ice-breaker, an amazing race themed Easter egg hunt, and more!
These are super easy to make and how cuddly are they? It’s a fun idea to put in your kids’ Easter Baskets that won’t be the same thing they always get.
Here you’ll find over 100 ways to decorate eggs. Metallic, water colored, marbled, leaf printed, glitter, lace, and so much more!
The great thing about these salt dough easter egg ornaments is that they last for years!
This craft is a great reminder for your kids of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It not only looks great, but its fun to make.
Easy and delicious!
Create pure magic and enjoy the wonder of your child’s imagination as they watch these Magic Jelly Beans grow into their own special Lollipop Garden.
Easter craft ideas like this Paper Plate Tomb bring Sunday school lessons and Easter sermons to life!
He came to Earth – He lived a perfect life – He died on the cross – He is risen!
Easter is just around the corner and chances are high your kids are already eggs-cited (Caution: once you start with the Easter puns it’s hard to stop!). Humor is a great way to help kids get into the celebration of Easter. Below, we’ve listed puns involving rabbits and eggs in question and answer format. These can make a great icebreaker that allows your kids to get all their giggles out before you launch into your Easter message.
Q: What do you call a rabbit housekeeper?
A: A dust bunny.
Q: Why was the Easter Bunny so upset?
A: He was having a bad hare day.
Q: What kind of music do bunnies like?
A: Hip Hop.
Q: How do bunnies stay healthy?
Q: What day of the week do eggs hate most?
Q: Why did the Easter egg hide?
A: He was a little chicken!
Q: What do you call ten rabbits marching backwards?
A: A receding hareline.
Q: What did the rabbit say to the carrot?
A: It’s been nice gnawing you.
Q: What do you call a sleeping egg?
Q: What kind of jokes do eggs tell?
Easter Sermons and Ideas for Social Media
77. Take A Sunday Selfie With Your Crowd (via The Creative Pastor)
A few examples:
- Do a #TBT (throwback Thursday) post from a previous Easter service.
- Ask your followers how your staff can pray for them (be prepared to respond).
- Share some tips for a first-time guests.
- Ask your audience a question like, “What’s your favorite Easter tradition?”
- Respond to every comment/reply about your Easter services.
- After each Easter service, ask your audience on social media to share their experience with their friends and invite them to another service.
- Develop an infographic about how many volunteers it will take to execute Easter, and use it to recruit volunteers.
- Share two or three key verses from your Easter service.
- Retweet/repost your pastor when they talk about your Easter service on social media.
- Share an Easter YouVersion reading plan as a resource.
- On Easter, prepare a few posts that will highlight a few of the day’s highlights.
- Share a photo album of the Easter experience day on Facebook and tag people.
99. Create sharable images for Facebook and Instagram.
Using your theme graphics, develop sharable images for your church members to post on their social media accounts. Also consider using these graphics as header images for your church Facebook and Twitter accounts.
100. Provide sample tweets for your members.
Similar to the sharable images, these tweets should contain relevant information about your Easter services or events. Send the tweets out through your church newsletter to your members, and encourage them to share them online. You can also develop a special page on the church website that contains all the graphics and sample tweets for members to reference as needed.
101. Use a specific hashtag for your church.
The use of a hashtag allows you to track the promotions for your Easter service in each social media channel, and can help create an online “buzz” about the event. But there is one caveat: your Easter hashtag needs to be unique to your church. For example, #Easter2016 is not something you should use; or even #FBCEaster. It would be best to tie your custom hashtag to your theme or name of the event. City Church in Tallahassee exemplified this with their special Christmas event this past year: #ChristmasOnTheMoon.
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