Journey to the Cross, Group's Family Outreach for Easter

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Overview: Journey to the Cross is a powerfully moving, multisensory family event that guides people along the path that Jesus walked during his last days on Earth. Activities focused on Jesus’ love and forgiveness demonstrate the real meaning of Easter: our risen Christ’s victory over death! Designed specifically for parents and their children to experience together, this even teaches about the life-changing message of the cross in a way that everyone can understand and no one will forget.
Format: Families arrive at a decorated entry area where they begin to go back in time to Jesus’ days on Earth. They are welcomed and registered. Each family then does a self-guided walk through five hands-on interactive stations where they have the opportunity to explore the last week of Jesus’ life . Following the stations, they enter the Journey Lounge where they have the chance to converse with people from your church, have a snack, and learn about what your church offers.
Kit: The kit includes a poster pack, 9 station signs, specific activities posters, a sample family devotion book, a director’s guide, set-up leader’s guide, outreach leaders guide, experience (station) leader’s guide, a sample zipper pull, a sample set of Journey collector cards, a publicity CD-ROM, and 5 station sound effect CD’s.
Stations-at-a-Glance: Each station has a theme, an experience, and a message. The station themes are Jesus Is Coming, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus shows us what God is like, Jesus suffered for us, Jesus came back to Life.
Stations: Each person take s a card and follows the instructions. These stations are self-led. There are 5 stations in addition to the Journey Lounge. Each station needs to be self contained for the true effect.
Outreach/Missions: There is a section of the outreach guide with multiple ideas for follow-up as well as the family devotions booklet. This booklet can be given to each family that visits to take home and continue their journey together. The family devotion book is very well done an gives parents great multisensory experiences to try very simply in the home. Most of the outreach could take place in the Journey Lounge, but the guide suggests that outreach begins as they drive into the parking lot, ” your Parking Patrol Team directs traffic so parking is quick and easy for guests. Even if you think your church is too small for this, you’ll wow guests from the beginning! And that’s the first step to successful follow-up — a great experience!”

Music:
There is a sound effects CD included for each station. I wish there were a CD for the Journey Lounge and the Entry.
Personal Thoughts: As usual, Group has a great program that covers it all from beginning to end. I would love to see more guidance given to the station leaders. I also feel that it could be intimidating for new people to lead themselves. Possibly “led” stations would be good, having the experienced leader read the card to the group and guide them through the experience more directly. Of course, the way Group has designed it, it can be done either way. I would also like to see more guide information for the Journey Lounge. This is a crucial part of the outreach and I feel it deserves more attention in the guides, maybe it could be included as a sixth station. All in all, this is a great forward idea to get the church motivated and energized and reaching outside its walls. What a great way to honor Easter and celebrate what Jesus has done for us!
The kit is available at Group.com for $59.00. Family devotional booklets are sold in packs of 10 for $9.99. Zipper pulls are $6.95 for 5 and Journey Collector card packs are sold 50 sets for $19.99. You can also buy this material from Amazon.


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