Jesus vs. The Bunny

Webster defines culture as the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.

Culture is a social system created by man. Culture can be good, bad or indifferent.

Case in point is the culture we have created around Easter, which includes bunnies, bonnets and egg hunting.

Many churches embrace the Egg Hunts and the Easter Bunny while other churches feel that the added hoopla takes attention off of Jesus, especially for children. I can see both sides of the argument. What about you?

We see examples in the Bible of preachers using culture to present the Gospel. Jesus used cultural examples such as sheep, harvest, and fishing to teach spiritual truths.

The Apostle Paul was troubled by the idol worship in Athens. Instead of preaching against their idolatry, he used their culture to present the Gospel.

Standing before their high council Paul addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I noticed you are religious in every way, and one of your altars had this inscription on it ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God whom you worship without knowing, is the one I am telling you about.” Paul went on to preach to the people of Athens about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

I personally like to use the influence of culture as a platform to preach the Gospel. At my church this year, we gave away 10,000 Easter Eggs in our Egg Hunt and invited the Easter Bunny so kids could get their picture taken with him.

We are currently averaging 55 people on Sunday mornings. We had 220 visitors show up for a total of 275 people.

It was standing room only at the back of the movie theatre that we turn into a sanctuary on Sunday mornings. I preached a strong message on “The Cross” and fifteen people received Christ.

I was overwhelmed by the response from the community, but I was most blessed by our members as they stepped up and served our visitors. Our visitors outnumbered us three to one and our team stepped up and hit a Home Run.

Why do I do the Easter Bunny and the Egg Hunt?

I am in the business of fishing for men. If I want to reach families for Christ I need to use some bait. The Bunny and the Eggs are the bait.

Did it work? I think so. I am already making plans for next year. One thing I’m going to do is buy some more bait.

What about your church? What did you do for Easter? What were the results?

Mark Harper

Pastor, Filmmaker and Coach, Mark Harper has over 30 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark’s ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.
Mark Harper

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7 thoughts on “Jesus vs. The Bunny

  1. Verna says:

    Well, I must say that this gave me a completely different take on things. And at our church we did a hunt for the very first time. The children enjoyed it because hunting for hidden things is nothing less than FUN! I didn’t notice that it hindered the gospel going forth in any way and like yourself, we feel that we learned something new and are looking at next year!

  2. Lynn Collier Lutgen says:

    For our children we gave the children Easter bags filled with candy. The candy was donated by our members. The Bishop had drawings for gift cards for: gas, Wal-Mart, and Applebee. We had around 20 people give their lives to the Lord and one family join the church.

  3. Tom says:

    I like the idea of using bait to fish. Paul used the culture to draw people, but never attributed power to the objects he used. He even suggested that if using those objects, food, whatever for personal use impedes another believer from following Christ, it should be stopped.

    The bunny & egg are harmless and lifeless. What they represent might not be. I don’t want to cloud the theology of the resurrection with myth, hence do not use bunnies or eggs as bait. The gospel itself is the bait we cast and it is a most powerful and intriguing bait when anointed by the Holy Spirit.

    Kids for the most part do not know the myths behind eggs/bunnies & Easter, but someday some of them will and they will be like me when I found out and say, “Why did my church not know this?”

    If hunting eggs is so fun, why not do it in September?

  4. Lance McKinnon says:

    I’ve heard arguments for the Easter bunny and those against the Easter bunny.

    Personally, I like how Mark said it is merely a platform to preach the message of the Gospel and Jesus Christ. The Easter bunny and egg hunt are not the main purpose. It is simply a way to open them up for the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

    Some people will not enter a church, but because their children want to hunt for eggs and take a picture with the Easter bunny they are willing to make an exception. The kids enjoy the eggs and Easter bunny and then the entire family hears the true purpose of Easter through the Gospel.

  5. debbie jett says:

    I have worked in Children’s Ministry for 30+ years. I have went through questions on this matter for years. We used to have Egg Hunts on Easter Sunday morning and yes there were distractions on the resurrection and the cross. Even though I proclaimed the gospel of Jesus resurrection. Then I just quit having them all together, making a stand. Prayer and more prayer verses guilt if I had another. Then I started having them the weekend (Sat) before Easter taking the distraction away from Easter mornings Resurrection Day. This worked out great, an answer to prayer.
    For several reasons. 1. We made it a Communiity Egg Hunt. 2. We grew from 100 at the Egg Hunt to 900 in four years time. 3, Almost our whole church gets involved and we have 100 volunteers, and we are not a large church (225).
    4, Unity in the body.5. We have seen lost souls come to the Lord. 6. We proclaim the gospel before all who come, before we have the Egg Hunt. Parents, youth, grandparents, kids and families. 7. We’ve had those who came to the Lord, join our church and become workers within our church and even at the Egg Hunt. 8. We also have the opportunity to invite them back for our Sunday Easter Service. I understand personal convictions and I would not dispute your’s.
    As for our Community it works and as long as we see the fruit of our labor we will continue proclaiming the gospel as the Lord leads

  6. Jan hill says:

    We have a spring egg hunt at church on the Sunday or Wednesday closest to the first day of spring. We say “why are we hunting eggs today instead of at Easter…well, there were no eggs or bunnies or chicks at the empty tomb. What was there…angels, soldiers, Jesus, etc. We celebrate that God made 4 seasons at our spring egg hunt, and that spring is when birds lay eggs and baby chicks and bunnies are born”

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