I love an Easter Cantata and a Holy Week filled with celebrations like just about everybody, but I want to ask: What if we put just as much energy and creativity into the season following Resurrection Sunday as we do leading up to Resurrection Sunday?

Lent is an amazing, intentional season of teaching, learning, and experiencing the sticky faith practices which point littles and bigs to Jesus. Keeping the main thing the main thing: celebrating our Risen Savior. 

The scriptures share that for 50 days, the Lord Jesus made His way around His world reaching his friends, appearing to more than 500 including His brother, James. The Lord Jesus had a ton of work and coverage to do following His resurrection and so do we.

Before we jump straight into VBS mode, can we ask a few questions around a couple of tables, in prayer, and leverage the power of the Holy Spirit for intentional movement of ‘spring strategy for summer strength’ rather than settling for ‘spring bumps into summer slumps’? (Dan Reiland)

Bring Your Parents to Sunday School is the Sunday after Easter. Kids will invite their parents to their typical kid’s Sunday school morning: Welcome Center, Large Group with song, Bible, prayer, and repeat after me, “We light this candle….as a symbol….of God’s presence with us…and around us always,” then on to their kid’s small group for about 5-7 minutes. After that time I’ll gather all the parents from small groups for a chat altogether: Is this the Sunday school you remember? (NO! It is not.) This is our vision. This is what you can expect this summer. This is what you can expect this fall. This is where YOU can serve and step into this. The stakes are too high! Sooooo, I’ll have Steak & Shake and Longhorn gift cards for those willing to step into the team of coaches this summer and this fall. GOAL: Servant leaders for summer and fall; next steps for those who have been attenders to grow in relationship with their kids and others they’ll serve alongside.

Good Neighbor Baskets Each Women’s Bible study and Women’s Ministry small group (Women’s Ministry is my lane, too) was invited to participate in a service activity before their last class. One opportunity was to bring new/used outdoor play items to fill laundry baskets which will be dropped at local green spaces and neighborhood playgrounds. A sign on the laundry basket will read, “Enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has made with these items for you to share and keep from your friends and neighbors of McEachern Memorial UMC!” Part of our being a good neighbor is unwrapping everything so it’s ready to play and there is little to no trash/debris. Items include sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, bats, hula hoops, play animals/dinosaurs/ people, and more. These will be delivered mid/end of April when we know we’ll be having several days of fabulous weather. GOAL: Be a good and generous neighbor to delight littles and their bigs where they play. No bait and switch, just being a good and generous neighbor. Give small groups an opportunity to serve and practice generosity.

Summer Jubilee is when we offer June and July off for our regular Sunday servant leaders. We typically offer a one-room Sunday school, but our numbers will be too large this year and we wanted to build energy for kids to come and bring their friends/family. We’ve planned to offer an extended large group time with another game, more music, and deeper dive into the Bible story from an apologetics (defending our faith) point of view. That’ll be 30 minutes rather than our typical 20 minutes. The other 30 minutes will be covered in two small groups: K5-2nd grades will be learning American Sign Language to present as part of the summer Children’s Moments in song or Apostle’s Creed or any other regular part of our worship service led by our intern and her ‘wingman’; 3rd-5th grade will be using power tools and building with wood led by a general contractor and his ‘wingman’. A faith in Jesus is always under construction!

What are some other spring strategies for building summer strength? I’ll share a few more ideas in next week’s post.

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God.” Romans 10:1-2a