It was one of my very first events at my new church. Sadly, I was focused more on impressing them with my amazing creative ideas rather than providing a safe and secure environment for the kids.
We have very little grass on our property for an egg hunt, so I got permission to use a vacant lot that was across the street from our church. Now, I didn’t realize it would be a good idea to provide a crossing guard – or even a crossing area for the families to make it safely over to the lot. So, it was like a real-life game of FROGGER. Families were dodging cars left and right. Several nearly got hit.
For the pre-schoolers – I really didn’t know what to do. I had really only worked with Elementary children up to that point. So, rather than getting input from some of our preschool moms or volunteers – I just winged it on my own.
I chose what I thought was a great spot for the preschool egg hunt. It was a grassy little ravine down at the end of the property. It has large rocks that I thought would make great hiding places for the kids. I could just imagine their joy as they peeked behind the rocks to find the eggs.
When I said, “GO!”, the little tikes starting rolling down the hill, falling and scraping their knees on the rocks. I had parents looking at me like I was an idiot – they didn’t know the half of it. They hadn't opened the eggs yet...
When the kids opened the eggs, they found the little prize I had put inside. You see, I had gotten a GREAT deal at Sam’s Club on Atomic Fire Balls. How was I supposed to know they were a choking hazard?? 🙁
When it was all over I had a bunch of bloody preschoolers with candy they couldn’t possibly eat. My Preschool Director – who also happened to be my pastor’s wife – walked up to me holding a handful of Atomic Fireballs. All I remember her saying was, “Really, Brian? REALLY?” She was not happy - and I didn't blame her.
I had not taken the safety of the kids into consideration at all. And, if you ever thought that safety and security doesn’t have a correlation to the spiritual – think about this. If we had any first time guests that day – they sure didn’t come back for Easter the next day. Which means we had multiple families who did not have an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. All because I was more focused on impressing others rather than putting safety first – and utilizing the talents of the rest of my team.
Here's hoping your Easter outreaches are a huge success as you seek to make the Gospel come alive to the children and families of your community. And, take my advice - avoid the Atomic Fireballs!