Gospel Outreach Methods
Outreach is in response to Jesus' command to go and preach the Gospel to all the world. While recognising that a teacher's primary responsibility is to teach and make disciples out of the children, it is also necessary to grow each Sunday School as much as possible.
Firstly the teachers must "In-Reach" to their class. This consists of reaching out to the children and by showing love and concern for each boy and girl. If we do this and endeavour to get down to their level and talk with them, they will feel secure and want to come to the Sunday School. Put this together with attractive programmes and you will have a good draw card for new children.
Secondly, as the saying goes, "Sheep must have lambs". That is, the children need to actively outreach to their friends. This should be encouraged by having competitions for new children and by setting up special outreach programmes to draw in their friends. They also need to realise that they must work for the Lord by sharing love with others and telling them what the Jesus has done in their lives. The following sections detail some ways in which Outreach can be done in creative ways.
1. Street Search:
Walk or drive round the church neighbourhood during the Sunday School hour and invite any children that you see to visit your Sunday School. An invitation handout is a useful contact point that can reach their parents as well.
2. Church Survey:
Survey the members in your church for children that they may know of who live in the church vicinity that do not go to Sunday School. This can include children of friends and relatives. Ask them to provide written information where possible. This could be done by means of a small questionnaire. Use this information as the basis of developing a visitation programme. And then start visiting!
3. Posters and Banners:
Approach the local cafe or supermarket and ask permission to put up a poster to advertise special activities in your Sunday School. They normally grant permission very readily. An advertisement can also be placed in your local newspaper for special events. Make a large banner and stick it up in a prominent position outside your church whenever you have special activities. Make sure it states that all are welcome and has the starting time and date(s) of your activity!
Visiting the children in the Sunday School is an excellent way of finding brothers, sisters, relatives and friends who do not attend your Sunday School. In addition, visits by a teacher are an excellent way to develop relationships with their children. In this way you get know the children, their homes, circumstances, friends and problems on an individual basis. When you know something about their hobbies, toys, bedrooms and so on, it's easy to talk to them and relate your lessons to their lives.
The Lord can use this to help you pray specifically for them and bring them to the point of Salvation. This is doubly important, as a truly Saved child is the best Visitor, Evangelist, Preacher and Missionary you can find! One child in our Church became a real little missionary and brought nearly one hundred children over a period of a year to our children's club!
The training of teachers should include "How to visit" and "What to say and not to say" as a representative of the church. Counselling training and "How to lead a child to Christ" is also recommended.
Prepare a whole bunch of cheerful and colourful invitations. These are useful as handouts on Outreach drives and also to give to the children to invite their friends. A Gospel Tract can often be printed on the reverse side as a witnessing tool. They should contain exciting details of your Sunday School, it's activities, address, dates or day, and starting and finishing times. Make them look exciting to match your super programmes!
6. Special Programmes:
Children love to sing and perform in plays (well mostly anyway!). Try Musical Evenings, Puppet Shows, Plays, Musicals, Outreach or Evangelistic Drives or Campaigns. If you need music, use the church teenagers to lead the singing with guitars. Present this to the church and you are guaranteed to draw in all the parents as well as their friends and relatives! Make a great outreach drive and advertise it as widely as possible and get everybody excited about the project.
7. Special Speakers:
Try to get a special speaker, for example a missionary visitor, someone who can tell stories well, a well known personality or a singer. A special meeting can then be advertised to draw in parents and children from the Church neighbourhood.
8. Puppet Shows:
Puppet Shows are a great attraction to children. Use them to draw children like a magnet in parks! Puppets stages can easily be set up under trees, in an open lot or in someone's front garden. This is an excellent way to teach children the Gospel by means of small plays, dialogues and stories.
9. Mini Courses:
These can be short courses lasting 4 to 5 weeks and can help to create interest. They "break the ice" and expose outsiders to your children and Sunday School. They do not have to be on a Sunday as any day or night will do. One could run Mini Courses in Handicrafts, Play Acting, Singing, playing Musical Instruments, Bible Themes etc. All of these will present an opportunity for sharing the Gospel.
10. Holiday Clubs:
Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) or holiday clubs can be run during one of the school holiday periods and are a good draw card for bored children! They generally run for about a week and last for 1 hour to the entire day on a daily basis. They require a number of volunteers to help and organise the various activities. VBS materials and curriculums are obtainable from most Christian Bookstores.
Alternately, you can design and plan your own around a particular theme such as "Soldiers for Christ". They normally take the form of a Club with outreach activities, songs, competitions, craft projects, games, stories, refreshments and prizes. They can be run at the Church or in someone's home.
In conclusion, children need to be reached, and so are you willing to reach them?
Copyright © Sharon Children's Ministries