Reaching Your Community This Easter

By Keith Baldridge

Typically, Easter Sunday is not a day we would normally associate with a major outreach event. I say this because for most of my life, Easter has been all about wearing the newest spring clothes, attending church with family, and if the kids are lucky, an egg hunt is thrown in for good measure. This is how most Easters were until we moved to Denver to plant a church. Now, every Easter we hold a major outreach event that reaches hundreds of people in our community who don’t have a relationship with Jesus, and here’s the kicker—it actually works! But it happened quite by accident.

Several months before we launched our church, I thought it would be a great idea to have a community-wide Easter egg hunt on Good Friday as a way to “get the word out” about our new church. We rented a city park next to the high school where we would later launch the church. With the help of multiple mission teams, we handed out a few thousand fliers and spread the word on social media. Everything was going as planned until a major blizzard hit Denver, dumping three feet of snow on our plans!

The precious money we spent, the thousands of eggs we stuffed, and all the plans we’d made were seemingly lost! As I looked out over the dunes of snow, I desperately asked God for help and almost immediately He answered! As I was leaving the park, I spotted the custodian across the parking lot at the high school taking out the trash. I made a beeline toward him and asked if we could use the gym inside of the high school for our event on Easter Sunday, and he agreed!

Easter Sunday rolled around, and not only had we changed the time/day of the event, we had also moved the location. Would anyone show up? I won’t lie; I was nervous it would be only a few of us that Sunday, but much to my surprise we had around 100 people show up to the event! Then it hit me—here it is, the morning of Easter Sunday, these people came to an egg hunt, not an Easter service, because church and God weren’t even on their radar!

That Sunday morning we’d set up bounce houses, popcorn, cotton candy and of course an Easter egg hunt. I shared a brief message and the Gospel and invited them back to church in the next few months, as we’d soon begin holding preview services. To my surprise, many of the friends we’d made at the egg hunt not only came back to church, several actually gave their lives to Christ and became heavily involved!

The next Easter, we dreamt BIG and went all out! We reserved the city park again and held an outdoor worship service. We had bounce houses, food trucks, egg hunts for various age groups, and we topped it off by renting a hot air balloon that would give rides up to 100 feet high! The balloon drew scores of people from the surrounding neighborhood, with around 450 people at that event alone! If you give a church planter or pastor a reason to gather a crowd of lost people and share the Gospel, he will do everything short of sinning to make it happen!

Each year, we do this and other outreach events to be able to share the hope we have in the Resurrection of Jesus. Our church members love serving our community at these events and it’s truly something we look forward to every year! By engaging the city and offering events to meet people where they are, we have built strong relationships with families who may have never stepped foot inside a church otherwise. Since our launch in 2016, we’ve had the privilege of leading 112 people in prayer to receive Christ! Most of these people connected with us through one of our outreach events.

I believe we will see God move mightily, when we desperately seek His heart for our city. I encourage you to pray daily for your city, allowing God to speak clearly to your heart about the needs and people of your community. Ask God how you can lead your church to strategically engage your community, then step back and watch God begin to open doors that only He can open and forming deep relationships that lead to Jesus.

Keith Baldridge serves as Pastor of Vision and Teaching at The Living Stone Church in Broomfield, Colorado.

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