Ideas to make your Easter service one to remember

For Christians, Easter is an important celebration and one that brings many people to church - regular members, out-of-towners, periodic visitors and likely even a few first-timers. As a church leader, this is an exciting time but also one with a lot of pressure to make a big impression on all those who step in that door.

A touching sermon is a must, but there is more you can do to enhance your Easter service so that worshipers remember it weeks and even months from now. Here are six ideas to make your Easter service stand out this year:

Easter egg exchange: When families enter, ask them to write a meaningful phrase, wish or intention on a small piece of paper and place it in a colorful plastic egg. Add all eggs to a large basket or container. When families leave, ask them to take a random egg home and read it. It's fun to see what a mystery person said about this special holiday.

Photo booth: Purchase or rent a bunny costume and have a volunteer dress up to take pictures with the kids. You might also consider getting fun photo booth extras like bunny ears, silly hats, giant eggs and more for people to pose with. Then put pictures on the church's social media page and encourage guests to visit and share the images with friends and family.

Music mix-up: Easter is a great time to play the classics people will love while also throwing in a few new inspirational songs that really speak to the meaning of the celebration. Jesus has risen! Upbeat tunes that reflect what is arguably the most important even in the Christian faith are sure to make a big impression and get people smiling and tapping their toes.

Tasty and unexpected treats: Think outside the standard coffee and donuts to wow guests. Maybe it's sweet tea or lemonade to reflect the flavors of the spring season. Or perhaps guests can enjoy their own creations from a fun popcorn bar: Set out popcorn, small bowls and a variety of sprinkle toppings as well as fun mix-ins like chocolate chips, coconut and crumbled bacon.

Reflection wall: What does Easter mean to you? This simple question can inspire a variety of responses. If you have a large chalk wall by your coffee space, print this question and invite all visitors to write their response. If not, purchase large rolls of white paper and cover a wall where people congregate and ask them to do the same thing. It's great to share as well as read others' responses.

Children's ministry fun: On Easter, make it extra fun for the kids at Sunday school by playing games, such as relay races balancing an egg on a spoon. You might also consider having the kids make crafts such as dying eggs or handing out single flowers they can gift to their parents when they return to them at the end of class.

Many blessings and a happy Easter to you!