Print out the tags below and have kids help build these Easter treats. As you work, remind kids about the story of Jesus and what this treat represents.
Print out the tags below. Attach them to carrot-shaped cellophane bags filled with candy and hand them out on Easter to teachers or volunteers. If your church is meeting virtually, consider a porch drop-off for volunteers.
My kids love to cook and bake with me. Each year we look forward to baking Resurrection Rolls for Easter! It’s a creative way to tell the story of Jesus’s burial and resurrection. Here’s the recipe and the story to tell while assembling the rolls. Enjoy and have fun celebrating the truth that our Savior is risen!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 cans of crescent rolls
16 large marshmallows
½ C melted butter
¼ C granulated sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon
The story (Note: you may want to modify for younger children)
Jesus is God’s son who was sent to earth to pay the price for our sin. He never sinned. The white of this marshmallow represents the purity and sin-free nature of Christ.
After Jesus died his body was prepared for burial. After he was buried, his friends prepared him to be buried with oil and spices. Dip the marshmallow in butter, then in sugar and cinnamon.
Jesus was wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb with a large rock rolled in front. Wrap the marshmallow in one triangle of dough covering it completely like a ball (rock).
Complete the process for all 16 triangles and marshmallows.
Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Allow rolls to cool. Say after 3 days, his friends went to visit the tomb but the rock was rolled away and two angels said, “why are you looking for the living among the dead?”
Reveal that when you cut open a roll or take a bite that the marshmallow has disappeared, leaving an empty “tomb.”
Remind children that the rolls are sweet just like the love God has for us.
Follow-up by reading the Easter story together from the Bible so that children know that it is true and that Jesus died for them and wants to be their savior. Pray with children, thanking God for the gift of Jesus.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
Stepping into a new position of leadership in kids ministry can be overwhelming. It may seem like there are thousands of things to think about and that there’s no good place to begin. Here are five helpful hints to help you get started on the right foot as you step into your new ministry role.
- Clarify expectations. — Setting, clarifying, and managing your expectations are the number one factor in regard to success and satisfaction in ministry, and in all of life. We bring our expectations into every situation, and every situation either meets, exceeds, or falls short of the expectation we bring. It is important to know that your leader, teammates and those you serve all have expectations for you in your role. It is important to communicate with your leader early to clarify what is expected of you. That way you can know that you are doing things that will meet or exceed his or her expectations for you.
- Determine what resources you have to work with. — Begin by taking a detailed inventory of the resources you have at your disposal. This may include actual items in a resource room or craft closet, but should also include notes about the facility, volunteers, and the level of moral and missional support that the kids ministry has within the church. It can be easy to focus on what you do not have, but it is important to not dwell on what is missing. List out all of the things that you do have and count them as assets. Begin building your strategy and growing your ministry around the things you already have in your arsenal. In addition to listing your assets, evaluate the condition of the resources you have and make note of items that may need replacing or upgrading soon. This will help when it is time to set a budget.
- Evaluate your team. — Take time to connect with your volunteer team as a group and as individuals to get to know their hearts and observe them in action to assess their contribution to the team. Sit in to watch your teachers teaching and helpers helping. As you assess your team you may find that some people are in roles that are not well-suited to their giftedness. Building relationships with your team and developing your own opinions about where they may serve best is crucial as you look to fill roles with current people and recruit new ones with specific skill sets to complement the group.
- Establish a contagious vision statement. — One of your primary roles as a leader is to cast vision and clarify purpose. Almost anyone can recite the ‘when’ of your ministry (Sunday morning at 9 and 11, Wednesday nights at 6:30), but very few (even leaders) can clearly articulate the ‘why.’ As a leader, it is essential that you identify the ‘why’ of the kids ministry in the unique context of your church. Everything you do will hinge on your why statement. For example, you may make very different decisions about the people you recruit and the resources you choose to use and the events you decide to host depending on whether your ministry targets depth of teaching for kids already inside the church or reaching unchurched kids in your community. Both are valid missions, but each may call for a different strategic plan of execution. Take time to draft and craft a brief mission statement for your kids ministry that can fit on a poster or a T-shirt or your email signature. As a bonus, when you recruit volunteers with a compelling and worthwhile ‘why’ they will stay longer and be more committed to the cause.
Avoid making big changes too soon. — You can pay a price for making big changes too quickly—even if those changes are necessary. It is wise to spend time assessing the situation yourself from the perspective of your new leadership position before making big decisions that will shock and shake your ministry area. Allow a few weeks or even a few months to build rapport, earn trust, and grow relational capital with your leaders, team, kids, and families. If big changes are necessary, they will be made best in the context of already solid relationships.
Chuck Peters is Director of Operations for Lifeway Kids. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck has served vocationally & voluntarily in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years.
Each year in the weeks leading up to Easter we hear from churches, parents, and leaders who are looking for intentional ways to keep their children focused on the resurrection amidst all the celebration. We are so encouraged by families’ commitments to celebrate the Easter story together and have created an Easter Devotional Guide to help you do just that. We hope our resources help you lead family discipleship throughout your entire church.
Post the link on your kids ministry social media page or print out copies of the guide to hand out next Sunday. May we truly celebrate our Savior’s resurrection this Easter and beyond. Happy Easter!
- Lots of colorful plastic Easter eggs
- A couple Easter baskets
- Fine-point permanent markers
THE GREAT EASTER EGG DIVIDE:
PLAY: Allow kids to divide prepared eggs into Old Testament and New Testament baskets.
OPTIONS: 1) Hide the eggs around the room and instruct kids to find the eggs and return them to the correct basket. 2) Prepare two sets of eggs and baskets for team relays. 3) Simplify the game by allowing kids to use a “Books of the Bible” poster or the listing from the front of the Bible to determine if the books is an Old or New Testament book.
BOOKS and DIVISIONS:
PREPARATION: On one side of a plastic Easter egg print the name of a book. On the other side of that same egg print the division from which that book belongs. Place the book halves in one basket and the division halves in another.
PLAY: Kids will match books and divisions to create “whole” eggs.
OPTIONS: 1) Create two sets of eggs and allow individuals or teams to see who can match all their books/divisions eggs first. 2) Use different colored eggs for the top (book) and bottom (division) so it’s not as obvious when looking for matches.
BEFORE and AFTER:
PREPARATION: On a slip of paper small enough to be placed inside a plastic Easter egg print any book of the Bible. On the “top half” of an egg print the book that is before the book that was chosen for the inside. Then on the “bottom half” print the book that follows. (Example: “Genesis” is printed on the top half of an egg, “Exodus” is printed on the slip of paper that will go inside the egg, and “Leviticus” is printed on the bottom half of the egg). Place the “top halves” in one Easter basket labeled “BEFORE” and the “bottom halves” in the other basket labeled “AFTER.” Lay the “middle” book (books you’ve printed on slips of paper) between the two baskets.
PLAY: On “go” encourage kids to select a book from the small slips of paper between the baskets and then find the book that’s before the book selected from within the “Before” basket, the book that’s after the book selected from within the “AFTER” basket and place the selected book inside the egg and close the egg. Continue until all eggs have been correctly assembled.
OPTION: Create a relay race for two teams: Player one from each team will select a book on one end of the room, run to the other end to find the “before and after” matches, place the selected book inside the egg and then return to their team to “tag” player 2 to continue the relay. The team that has all players correctly assembling a “before/after” match, wins.
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids. He is a graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served as a Kid’s Minister and currently teaches 2nd Grade Bible study.
Have you ever played, “Which One is Not Like the Others”? The title of this post may remind you of that game. Some of you may be thinking that “the Easter bunny” doesn’t belong in the list. Others may say that “the cross” shouldn’t be in the lineup.
Regardless of your perspective, churches are confronted this time of year with the question, “What do we do about preschoolers, the Easter bunny, and the cross?” The answer depends in part on your church’s context.
Preschoolers and the Easter Bunny—Reaching Families of Preschoolers
If hosting a community Easter egg hunt will help advance your church’s mission to make disciples, then maybe you should consider having one.
- Use an Easter egg hunt to introduce your church to the community and invite families to visit your church on Easter.
- Separate the Easter Bunny from the cross.
- Host the Easter egg hunt on any day other than Easter.
- Allow preschoolers to have fun hunting eggs, and avoid trying to spiritualize the eggs. Preschoolers are literal thinkers and don’t really grasp symbolism.
- If you choose to tell preschoolers (and parents) the story of Jesus’s resurrection be sure to do so from the Bible, as you would tell a Bible story at church on any other occasion.
- Tell the Bible story in a different location from where the eggs were hidden, such as in a park pavilion. If a “live” Easter bunny is present, make sure he’s out of the preschoolers’ line of sight during Bible story time.
Preschoolers and the Cross—Teaching Preschoolers the Gospel
Some preschoolers learn about Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection at home. Others have never really heard how Jesus showed His love toward us by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead.
- Teach preschoolers that God loves us and that God sent Jesus because He loves us.
- Refrain from using symbolic language, such as, “Jesus is the Lamb of God.”
- When stating that Jesus died on the cross, avoid the R-rated details of Jesus’s terrible death.
- Focus on the resurrection and assure preschoolers that Jesus is alive!
Easter can be a fun, celebratory, and memorable time at church and at home. Encourage parents to keep the cross and the bunny separate, and remind them that building spiritual foundations in their preschoolers’ lives takes time and needs to happen everyday, not just on Easter.
Landry Holmes is the Manager of Lifeway Kids Ministry Publishing, Nashville, TN. A graduate of Howard Payne University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Landry served on church staffs before coming to Lifeway. He is a church leader, writer, workshop facilitator, and publisher. Landry also teaches children at his church in Middle Tennessee. He and his wife Janetta are the parents of two adult sons and two daughters-in-law.
Easter is coming soon and if your church is like my church, we have parking lot issues on Easter Sunday. Because of the lack of space, we aren’t able to have Sunday School on Easter Sunday, so I’m always sad about not getting to see my second graders on Resurrection Day!
I don’t ever want to miss the opportunity to tell kids about the Savior and His sacrifice for us. Sometimes the sermon topics on Easter Sunday and the Sundays leading up to it can be graphic for children. It might be a good idea to have coloring pages available for kids to use during the service.
I also remember from children’s minister days that during the Easter season, I was never really sure when the adult choir would finish rehearsal. Having some coloring pages available is a great way to keep kids engaged after their friends have left to go home for the evening. You might even consider emailing them to families to reinforce the biblical content being taught at church.
In order to help, I’ve got you a few sets of Easter-themed coloring pages that will help your kids know that truly, Jesus is alive!!
Jeff Land is Publishing Team Leader for Bible Studies For Life: Kids. He holds a BSW from Mississippi College and a MACE from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff has served as children’s pastor and currently teaches second graders each week at his church. Jeff, his wife Abbey, and their four sons live in Coopertown, TN.