Easter is quickly approaching. Some kidmin pastors and leaders are scrambling because they have a dilemma. Do you stick with your normal curriculum or do you do something different and/or special for Easter ?
I used to freak out as well. Mostly because Easter (and Christmas too) had a way of sneaking up on me, and I was left scrambling to come up with holiday specific teaching and activities. I did this because I was under the misunderstanding that the children's ministry I am leading, that I am responsible for, was missing an opportunity to directly preach the gospel and point students to the risen Savior. It's a misunderstanding to think the gospel message is restricted to Christmas and Easter. This is dangerous for many reasons. Here are the biggest two:
1. It teaches the gospel is only for special occasions.
If the only time the gospel message is being shared is on special occasions, the underlying message is that it's only meant for those occasions and not for everyday life. We may not mean to teach that, but it's a real danger our actions will be received this way. We need the gospel message every day, all day. There should never be any part of any day where the gospel message is not seen as applicable and needed. We need to teach our students the gospel every week and not just on holidays. If the only time your students hear the gospel is on Easter (and Christmas), then you're robbing them of its truth and power. If the gospel doesn't come up every Sunday then your lessons are incomplete--you're teaching to inform rather than transform. Remember, your students are no different than you. We all need to hear and teach the good news every day.
2. It ruins the students' view of redemptive history.
It's important to teach our students to see the Bible both holistically and redemptively. Teaching random Bible stories to children can leave them with a disconnected puzzle that is hard for them to apply in their lives. That's the biggest reason I advocate teaching through the Bible with a holistic view of redemptive history as our lens. When no biblical book or epoch is skipped or omitted, we give students the complete picture.
Kids learn best in stories. When we break the story and rush to the climax just once each year, it can hurt the learning process. One way to remove barriers to the learning process is to make teaching the basic outline of the story (including the climax at the resurrection) a part of our normal, regular routine.
All of this is to say, yes, celebrate Easter! Make much of the Risen Christ! Don't wait for Easter though. Do it every week. Parents, do it throughout the week. Reflect the reality of the gospel daily. Help your kids to see the power of the gospel as a part of your regular routine.