Easter is the most special holiday we celebrate during the year. It is the time where we reflect and rejoice in the amazing gift of salvation that was purchased for us through the blood of Christ. For weeks beforehand we prepare and plan for that celebration, both in our hearts and in our ministries.
But, if I am really honest, it is also one busiest times of year. In fact, it can be so busy for those of us in Children's ministry that we can come near to dreading this special time of year instead of rejoicing in it. After all, there are Egg Hunts to plan, Palm Sunday/Holy Week Activities, volunteers to recruit, prizes to purchase, decorations to prepare and let us not forget the actual Easter Sunday Service which needs to be hands down the best one of the year (no pressure). Plus, at least for my District, it is also near the end of the church year (our new year starts in April) which means reports and budgets to present as well. It can all be very overwhelming.
So, how can we keep the focus on the proper place during the busy and yet most sacred Easter Season? Here are a couple tips that I hope you find as useful as I have over the years.
When it comes to Easter Egg Hunts, don't try to compete with the church down the street. Do your own thing, do it well and then be happy with the results. In my area, there are churches near us who do egg hunts with more than 30,000 eggs...one even drops something like 50,000 eggs from a helicopter every year. There is no way we are going to top that. So we don't try. We do our own thing. We focus on an area where maybe others might miss. For us, we make sure that we have an area for children with special needs and all our games are easily played by any child of any developmental level as well. We have a great time and we get to love on our community, but we are not stressed about trying to be as big as anyone else.
Don't neglect your own time with the Lord
Make sure you are setting time aside for your own devotions. All the preparations will wait while you do. It's easy to let all the "stuff" that has to get done creep into your devotional time, but especially during busy times...don't let it. If you are focused on the Savior first, then everything else will fall into place. Keep your time with Him a top priority.
Start Planning Early
Start preparing for your Easter activities no later than January and sooner is better. If you know months early that you are going to need volunteers for your Egg Hunt, start thinking about who to ask way ahead of time. Then when it gets a little closer ask them. I will admit that this is where I have the most trouble because I don't want to ask so early that they forget that they said they would help, but I don't want to ask so late that they already have plans. You may need to send out reminders if you ask too early (not a bad thing to do anyway), but earlier is always better than last minute. Will you need a game created? If so, start working on it right away. The important thing is that you start planning well in advance so that you know exactly what you need and who you will need to help you.
Don't try to do everything yourself
In nearly every church, there are people who are willing to help if you ask them...SO ASK THEM. Don't try to do everything all on your own. I know what you're thinking, because this is by far the hardest thing for me to do as well. But the fact is, that trying to do it all is the quickest way to burn out emotionally, physically and spiritually. Find a group of people who you can rely on to help you and then work together. I know that sometimes it feels like it's just easier to do it yourself, but the old adage is indeed true...Many hands really do make for light work.
There is no two ways about it...Easter is a very busy time of year, but if we will do a bit of planning, keep our time with the Lord, and don't focus on what others are doing, we can change our perspective from one of "busyness" to one that really can rejoice in the gift of salvation that Easter celebrates.
Until next week!