An Oklahoma City pastor and his staff met to consider a question that comes up every year: How could they spread the Easter message in a way that touches the heart of the community?
The Rev. Ted Miller and his congregation at Crossroads Church, 8901 S Shields, decided the answer would come from the community itself.
They are asking community members to go to a specially created website, jesusisgreaterthan.com, to share the many ways Christ has affected their lives.
Through the church’s Easter initiative called “Jesus Is Greater Than,” people are posting the various troubles and life issues they have overcome with Jesus’ help, including divorce, miscarriage, car problems, broken dreams and drugs.
One person said Jesus is greater than an F5 tornado, no doubt referring to the May 2013 tornadoes that pummeled several Oklahoma cities.
Miller said he has been encouraged by the public’s response. He said congregation members have been telling people about the website and wearing T-shirts promoting it, but the public is also learning about the outreach through yard signs and billboards around the metro area.
“We were praying and asking God for a good idea that would reach out to people, and people have responded. They said, ‘He’s helped me on my job. He’s helped me with my marriage,’” Miller said.
“All the things we experience in life — Jesus is the answer.”
Some of the postings, such as “Apple” and “American Idol,” are less serious but seem to indicate the notion that even things that are culturally popular are not more significant than Christ.
‘Let’s go to them’
Miller said the Easter outreach includes a series of egg hunts that will be held across the community.
Two of the egg hunts, one for children at the Salvation Army and the other for youths at City Rescue Mission, will be private, he said.
However, Miller said several of the egg hunts are set for April 12 and will be open to the public.
“We felt that rather than just asking people to come to us, let’s go to them,” he said.
Miller said the egg hunts will provide members of the congregation an opportunity to interact with people in neighborhoods around the city. He said one egg hunt will be at the church, and another egg hunt is planned for a park farther south. Egg hunts also are planned at a park near Tinker Air Force Base and in a neighborhood near downtown Oklahoma City.
Miller said about 300 church volunteers have signed up to make the egg hunts happen. About 50,000 pieces of candy will be stuffed into eggs for the hunts, and about 6,000 hot dogs will be distributed at the traditional Easter season events, he said.
“It’s Easter,” Miller said. “We say let’s celebrate it in grand style.”
•What: Easter egg hunts.
•When: 11 a.m. April 12.
•Where: Crossroads Church, 8901 S Shields; Merrel Medley Park, 11100 S Pennsylvania; Mackleman Park, 5501 Mackleman Drive; Goodholm Park, 2701 N Robinson in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
•Easter worship: 10:30 a.m. April 20 at the church.