Children’s and youth leaders may guide kids and teens from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, but does that make them Easter leaders?
This weekend, hundreds of thousands of children’s and youth ministry leaders will serve at Easter services in churches all across the globe. They will retell the story of Christ’s death and resurrection in creative and compelling ways. They will invite children of all ages, and their families, to consider and celebrate the significance of the resurrection. A good portion of children’s and youth ministries will challenge as many as will listen to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and follow Him forever. It will be a powerful weekend for sure; but Easter leaders are needed all year, not just one Sunday each spring.
Leadership in ministry is a hot button issue these days. It can be inspirational or detrimental to congregations and communities, depending on who’s leading and how. Stories of exemplary leaders are routinely eclipsed by reports of poor leadership in action. It’s difficult to have hope amidst discouraging headlines about unhealthy leaders. Still, there’s a desire for a resurgence of God-honoring men and women to step up and show the way.
The church needs godly servants to pave the way forward for the sake of Christ around the globe. Today’s children, youth, and families are looking around for leaders who live and love like Jesus daily. If current and future generations are going to remain faithful to God at home and church, current and developing leaders must move ahead with Christ-like conviction, compassion, and courage. In other words, our world needs more Easter leaders.
Six Principles & Scripture Passages That Shape Easter Leaders
Easter leaders don’t sign up for a weekend serving slot, they embody the character of Christ anytime and anywhere. They’ve exchanged their own agenda for the Lord’s. They’ve given over control to the Holy Spirit so that the life they enjoy belongs to God and God alone. The way they interact with people reflects Jesus’ fully human and divine nature. Grace and truth guides and flows from them wherever they go. Easter leaders reach and disciple others in personal and practical ways so that the whole world will come to know, love, and serve Christ. These traits don’t suddenly appear; they’re shaped within Easter leaders from the inside out over time.
Here are six principles and Scripture passages that speak into and shape the hearts of Easter leaders. Imagine what children’s and youth ministries, churches, and this world would be like under this kind of leadership. It would be as if Jesus Himself was present on earth—and indeed, through His body, He is!
Easter leaders are unashamed of the gospel.
- Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Easter leaders are alive by faith in Christ alone.
- Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Easter leaders rely on divine power not human persuasion.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 – My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Easter leaders humbly embrace struggles as followers of Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 12:10 – That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Easter leaders let go of their own life as an act of loving sacrifice.
- 1 John 3:16 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Easter leaders move towards servanthood and suffering just like Jesus.
- 1 Peter 2:21 – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
These six principles and Scripture passages can deepen the leadership character of any children’s ministry, youth ministry, or church family. How they get implemented will vary from one context to another. Our world needs more Easter leaders who will walk with and in the way of Christ all day, everyday. Teams of leaders can grow personally and practically by talking through the principles and passages, discussing ways to live these out while serving, and choosing one or two to focus on in the immediate future. Doing this with Christ-like conviction, compassion, and courage won’t be easy, but the yearlong – and lifelong – affect will be remarkable. The power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection will become more and more present in the world as Easter leaders are shaped one after another.