Church Leaders: Help Your Families Plan a Meaningful Holy Week in Three Simple Steps

Article March 1, 2024

The highlight of children’s ministry is that one hour you spend with kids Sunday morning. It may be chaotic. It’s almost certainly loud. But more importantly, it’s a beautiful time of worship and community.

Still, it’s just an hour. 

There are 168 hours in a week. Which means that your one hour is competing with 167 other hours in any given week. Your hour could be awesome, inspired even. But if you want to fuel the faith of the families in your congregation, you know it’s got to happen during those other 167 hours.

Families don’t just need an hour of worship to fuel their faith. They need family habits that allow them to engage with God and one another throughout the week. Drip by drip, little by little, practiced over the long haul.

Which brings us to Easter. Sure, Easter might look like an example of that “one hour” you get with the kids in your church. But it’s also a great time to help families with their “167 hours.” It’s a rare moment to kick-start faith habits in the home. 

The good news is getting families to engage in the 167 hours leading up to Easter is actually easier than you think, for you and for families. We’ve seen it happen. And we’re here to tell you that you can plan it all in less than 10 minutes.

In just three steps, you can equip your families to engage more with God, not just this Easter but all year long. Here’s how:

1. Make It Beautiful
Start with a tangible object — whether it is a book, a candle (our favorite), a cross or any other physical resource you can find that fits your budget. Once you’ve found your object, get enough for all of your families; then give it to them as a gift ahead of Palm Sunday.

Feel free to get creative with this, but make sure the object you choose is pretty. If it’s not, it’ll go in the junk drawer. What you want is for families to display this object on their dining room table.

The goal of giving this gift out is that it will act as a sort of speed bump. Often the key to creating a meaningful moment with God, or one another, is simply slowing down enough to remember to do it. Your families already want to do something for Easter; what they need is a beautiful nudge in the right direction.

So help your people out by providing that beautiful nudge. When they see it, they’ll slow them down and be ready for the next step.


2. Make It Meaningful
If a candle on the dining room was enough to create spiritual moments in the home, everyone in your church would already be doing it. So you’ve got to take it another step further: Give your families something meaningful to read each day during Holy Week.

This is where your training can be a real benefit to your people. Do some of the hard work for them so they don’t have to guess what to read. If you tell them, “Just read the Holy Week stories from the Bible,” many of them won’t know where to start. So look through the Gospels yourself and select the seven or eight stories you want them to read. Or pick out a devotional resource for them. Whatever you do, take the guesswork out of it for your families.

If the resource is short enough, you could even print it out and give it along with the tangible item you picked out.


3. Make It Easy 
If you do steps 1 and 2, you’ve already made celebrating Easter much easier for families. They have a beautiful, tangible reminder, and they have meaningful content that pairs with it.

Now, make it remarkably easy by giving them step-by-step instructions for how everything works together. Commitment goes way up when people know exactly what they’re supposed to do. So even though you think it’s obvious, write the plan down as simply as possible. Something like this:

Put this candle on your kitchen table.
Put this reading plan right next to it.
Every night before dinner, light the candle and have someone read the story for that day. (Take turns; it’s more fun!)

That’s it. Now, all of a sudden, you have a beautiful, meaningful, easy plan that families can start — and finish — from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

We can’t wait to see what your families do with their 167 hours!

This article was written by our friend Chris Pappalardo. Chris is the co-founder of GoodKind, a ministry created to help parents be more intentional about family discipleship. To learn more about their Easter Blocks and other family resources, check out

If you’re looking for a free family discipleship resource to walk through this Easter, check out the free Journey Through Holy Week Family Guide from Awana. For more resources for your home and church, visit