We kept our whole elementary school class combined for our Easter services (in addition to our usual 9:30 and 11:15, we added a service at 4:30 on Easter Saturday that had kids church). While the Hightide (preteens) class usually breaks off after worship, we all stayed together.
The kids performed a song on stage for the entire church congregation, a wonderfully fun mash-up of “Oh Happy Day” and the popular “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. If you’re interested, you can watch it here. This singing performance took away a little bit of our time downstairs, but we still had a really good class.
When we got back downstairs, the kids all sat down and we talked about the Easter story, from the Last Supper to the resurrection. I tried to keep the mood calm and semi-serious, and started out the story by asking lots of questions and being very interactive, then asking less and less questions as we got to the crux of the story, keeping the kids focused.
After the story, my husband (and co-children’s pastor) came up and did an object lesson with the kids about sin. He had two kids come up, one as “God” and one as “man.” He talked about when man sinned in the Garden of Eden, they took a step away from God. Every subsequent sin takes us further and further from God. But then when Jesus came, he bridged that gap–we had a large wooden cross on a stand, and laid it down between “God” and “man” so that the child who was “man” could return to God.
For the last part of our time, we broke the kids off into small groups by age–because we had plenty of leaders we were able to do 5 groups, leaving about 6-8 kids in each one. Within their groups they talked about what sin is, why Jesus makes a difference, and how God loves us despite our sin. Each child was given an index card and wrote on it “something bad” they’ve done. When the group was finished with their questions, they prayed together and brought their cards up to the cross (which was standing again) and we taped them on, showing how Jesus took our sins and although he didn’t stay on the cross, our sins did. We then closed out our service singing You Gave, a great worship song from VBS last year.
It was definitely a special Easter service, and we look forward to many more to come.