During the season of Lent, it’s important to me to spend time contemplating the miracle of Easter. The events leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are some of the most poignant and meaningful passages in all of Scripture. Passion week has become a deeply moving time for me, thinking of Jesus enduring everything He willingly chose to suffer so that I would be able to spend eternity before a righteous and holy God. It’s so much more than my finite mind can handle! At times, I find myself getting caught up in the days leading up to the resurrection and actually losing sight of the resurrection itself. We have reason, the Reason, to celebrate!
Aside from the usual Easter traditions, what do you like to do during the Easter season? As a small group leader, do you take time to celebrate with your group? Leading a group of women to a closer, more meaningful relationship with God and with each other should include setting aside time and attention to the most pivotal day in our faith. Here are a few ideas about how to celebrate Easter with your small group.
- Remember those who are not there (John 13:34-35). During this time of pandemic, many women are still required to stay at home or to be safely isolated. Make a plan with your group to deliver small plants and cards to those who cannot be present at church services. In addition, you can safely deliver Communion elements to them so that they may take part in the Lord’s Supper. Our church’s small groups collect toiletries, wrapped candy, devotions, cards, and other gifts and make pretty Easter baskets for the women at our local shelters. Don’t forget a small stuffed animal as well—every woman likes something soft! Women’s rescue shelters are remaining at capacity during this difficult time. Many women and children escape with only the clothes they are wearing at the time. Having their basic needs met is a huge blessing to them, and you are showing Christ’s love in a tangible way. Each shelter’s needs and guidelines vary, and the protocols may restrict certain items, so be sure to call ahead!
- Remember each other (Gal. 6:9-10). Small group time is often jam-packed with prayer requests, Bible study, and announcements. Depending on your local guidelines, make plans to meet at a local park. If the women in your small group have children, this will allow the kids time to play together while you enjoy the beauty of spring. Of course, this will need to be done responsibly, but it can be achieved. It’s worth the time and effort to be innovative in order to invest in the women God has called you to lead. Plan a virtual paint night! Assemble kits and deliver them to homes, then organize an online meeting (Zoom, Teams, etc.) and paint together. Be creative!
- Remember your pastors and their wives (Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17). This time of year, pastors are not only planning and preparing their messages, but they are managing the challenges of reaching as many people as possible on Easter while complying with ever-changing regulations. In addition, they are carrying out the regular duties of shepherding the flock, all while being a godly husband and father. Our pastors’ wives are feeling the stress of keeping a household running and all that entails, while also encouraging their husbands, often working outside the home, serving in the church, and ministering to the community. Encourage your small group to purchase gifts cards, write thank you notes, and shower your pastors and their wives with love this season.
- Remember to be kind (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12). One of the best ways we can show the love of Jesus is being kind. Take some time at the beginning of your small group meeting to list some random acts of kindness that could easily be carried out in your community. (Don’t wait until the end of class because you may run out of time!) Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to new ideas. Once you have listed them, ask for volunteers to carry them out. These don’t have to be grand or showy, just simple gestures that will be a light to someone. Offer to weed your neighbor’s flower bed. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line. Utilize your church directory and call the women in your church—listen to them and pray with them. We all love to be encouraged and remembered!
- Remember the resurrection (Acts 2:24; 2 Tim. 2:8). Once, when I was teaching a Bible study that had to do with discernment and the Holy Spirit, a woman in my small group confessed she didn’t understand the Trinity. She simply had never felt comfortable asking about it until then. As small group leaders, we have no idea what women know or don’t know, what they are thinking, and what they struggle with. Just because someone has been in your group for some time doesn’t mean she has come to a place of understanding the importance and magnitude of Easter. As I paused the lesson to answer this sister’s questions, I knew that the Holy Spirit was growing both of us, and I knew that the others in the class were being reached as well. His Word never returns void. No matter the topic of your small group, take time to incorporate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope these suggestions are a helpful starting point for you as you lead and serve the women in your church and community. May the Holy Spirit minister to you during this blessed season of hope and renewal!
Years of experience in Christian leadership and service have given Dolly Mink a unique perspective, and she is eager to share her observations, insights, and words of encouragement in a way that honors her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Passionate about leading women to a deep and lasting relationship with Jesus, Dolly serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at River Oak Church in Chesapeake and is the women’s ministry coordinator for the SBC of Virginia.