In past columns, I have strongly emphasized four key evangelism ministries: (1) bringing guests to church and combining that with a comprehensive visitor follow-up ministry, (2) a thriving Home Bible Study ministry, (3) training and promoting saints for personal witnessing (which includes utilizing the CCC ministry), and (4) dynamic Sunday school growth. These four have resulted in more converts in Apostolic churches than any other.
This month I want to focus upon Sunday school growth. Statistics tell us that most kids make the decision to serve God during childhood (Prov. 22:16). So for Sunday school evangelism success, consider the following:
First, parents care about their children. They want them to have a great Bible education experience when they place them in your classes. So teachers should be well-trained and classrooms need to be engaging and child-friendly. Unique, exciting teaching methods (puppets, dramatic songs, role playing, etc.) should be the norm rather than the exception.
Second, bus, van and car ministries should be utilized. The unsaved bus children can be brought to salvation and the parents can be befriended by a loving, caring bus/van worker that reaches for their soul as well. A ministry called “Parentreach” has seen excellent results.
Third, unsaved parents should be encouraged to attend by offering a number of “special days” during the year that encourages attendance. Easter, Pentecost Sunday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Friend Day, Trunk-or-Treat, Thanksgiving Sunday, Christmas programs – the list could go on. Provide many reasons for unsaved parents to attend.
Fourth, children whose parents do not attend should have regular opportunities to receive the Holy Ghost: Children’s Church, Super Church, and Monthly Holy Ghost Sunday are all variations on the same theme – have a youth-oriented service at least monthly that is aimed at allowing the bus/van children to pray. Sunday school kids who are saved become Apostolic youth and later young married Apostolic couples. Ensure that bus kids transition into your youth group and attend regular services.
Fifth, ensure that all bus/van kids have the opportunity and means to attend your district’s summer youth camps. Take up offerings, solicit local businesses, have fundraisers – do whatever it takes to make this financially possible. There is no better place for kids to be saved than at summer youth camp.
Finally, have an annual children’s crusade with a reputable children’s evangelist. Run the buses each evening. Push all the bus parents to come. Put the time and energy into making this annual event the very best it can be.
For even more growth insights, request the Sunday School Growth file from AIS. $5 plus postage. 1-800-800-0247.