According to Barna Research, 46% of non-Christians do not understand why Christians celebrate Easter. This statistic could have huge implications as you plan your parish’s communications for the Easter season. So how do we use the tools we have today to help people understand the true meaning of Easter?
Why we have this challenge:
To begin, the term “Easter” itself, to most non-churchgoer’s today, means chocolate bunnies, sugar eggs, and the Easter bunny. Look around stores filled with Easter goodies. You seldom see the chocolate crosses that were sold in the past—today, it’s all bunnies and chicks and happy little candy eggs. Even more than at Christmastime, we need to remind our communities that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Clarify the meaning of Easter:
When you use the term “Easter” as in “Easter Concert” it means nothing to unchurched people this time of year. Just because the term “Easter” is a big deal to you, doesn’t mean it is a big deal to any of the folks in your community. Instead of using the term “Easter” lots of churches refer to it as Resurrection Sunday. That at least gives people a hint of what we are celebrating.
Use all the tools of social media and technology to implement these suggestions:
Website: think of your website as a place to say all the things you could say to people if you had time to explain the Catholic faith and what Easter is all about, such as:
- Articles about the meaning of Easter, the history of Easter written from the viewpoint of someone new to the parish.
- Ideas on how to celebrate Easter with kids like the Jelly Bean Prayer and Resurrection Cookies.
- Questions about the Resurrection of Jesus, why you believe it’s true and links to educational websites about the Catholic faith.
- Complete and clear schedules and directions to all Easter events—this is so basic and important and so often forgotten. Being sure all the details are easily available on your website is one of the greatest ways to show you love your parish family and community.
YouTube: You don’t need to have perfect production values to get some videos up on YouTube for your parish. You just need to have something significant to say. There are few messages that are more important than the message of Easter. One message is that we are forgiven and will live forever because of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Shoot short videos of people in your parish sharing what this means to them, how Easter changed their life and what they wish their friends knew about Easter.
Instagram and Pinterest: Because these are so highly visual you should post your Easter outreach materials or great Easter graphics with clear captions and links back to your parish’s website.
Facebook and Twitter: Make the obvious announcements and encourage people to come to Easter events—but always remember that these two forms of media are like rivers that flow past your house—and you can’t always remember something that quickly streams by. Be sure anything you post on Facebook and Twitter is also added to your parish’s website so that when people forget the time of the kids Easter Egg event or the times for Holy Thursday and Good Friday mass, they can look it up.
The Apostle Paul talked about how he “became all things to all people that he might win some.” Let his words challenge you this Easter season to use every technological and human tool you have to share Jesus and the joy of His resurrection.
Source: Ministry Tech