HOW TO MAKE YOUR SUNDAY SCHOOL MORE EVANGELISTIC
The evangelistic Sunday School involves its workers and members in discovering persons who are not Christians, cultivating them, witnessing to them, and encouraging them to accept full Bible salvation. lt also enrolls and teaches young boys and girls who will later commit their lives to Christ as the Holy Ghost leads them. Such a Sunday School knows that new Christians need the fellowship of a body of believers. The evangelistic Sunday School involves its workers and members in reaching souls for salvation. In its planning, visiting, ministering, and teaching, a Sunday School has a multitude of opportunities to share the plan of salvation with the lost.
COMMUNICATE THE URGENCY OF CONFRONTING PERSONS WITH THE GOSPEL OF
Recognize the Need to Communicate
The Sunday School organization should be at the heart and center of leading persons to an altar of repentance. Every church and Sunday School worker should seek to lead persons to accept and follow
Jesus Christ. The Sunday School ought to be positively evangelistic.
1. People are lost.–A Sunday School is evangelistic only when its workers and members are evangelistic, when they witness through their life and their words. If there are no witnesses, there is no evangelism.
2. The lost can be reached and saved.–When people enroll and participate in Bible study, they are more likely to be saved than when they are not enrolled. Unsaved persons can be reached and won when the Sunday School adopts winning the lost as its primary task. The goal cannot be only Bible education, but Bible salvation.
God wants each person to know him. Each individual is unique and should be the object of a church’s outreach effort. A church must never apologize for attempting to reach great numbers of people, but
it must reach out in a way that reinforces the significance of each individual. Reaching people for Christ is the mission of the church and a primary task of the Sunday School. With increased zeal and commitment, Christians must lovingly and aggressively reach people.
3. The Bible is evangelistic.–The textbook of the Sunday School is the Bible. As a Sunday School worker, you are constantly striving to know better the content and message of the Bible. You also should seek
to sharpen your skills in teaching the Bible and its application to life today.
Although it is crucial to know the Bible and how to teach it, you have yet another major concern – personal evangelism.
Determine the Best Way to Communicate
Growing churches are discovering the need to communicate with their Sunday School workers each week. A short weekly teachers’ meeting is a time for all Sunday School workers to pray and plan for Bible study, outreach, witness, and ministry. The evangelistic direction of the Sunday School can be firmly established in each department and class through this meeting. This urgency is further communicated as the evangelistic needs of members and prospects are assessed and plans made to involve members in witnessing. Most Sunday Schools hold this 25 min. meeting just prior to the Sunday School hour on Sunday morning.
Visitation of unsaved persons must be assigned to specific classes and persons. Lesson preparation should be made for the presentation of the complete plan of Bible salvation. It may be invitation to personal
commitment in the class session or a conference with the teacher at the close of the department/class session.
Prayer also must undergird all of the dedicated efforts of Sunday School workers. What better time for them to pray together than in a weekly Sunday school workers’ meeting?
Once you have communicated through the Sunday School weekly workers’ meeting the urgency of confronting persons with gospel salvation, everything else will begin to take on an evangelistic tone–the Sunday School organization, department periods, class sessions, fellowships, visitations, and the church.
SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH NON-CHRISTIANS AND WITH UNCHURCHED PERSONS
To share the gospel with persons who are not Christians or church members requires taking the following basic actions.
Discovering prospects means finding out who needs to be reached, where contact can be made, what age group is responsible, and why the persons should be reached. The information needed includes the name,
address, phone number, age, and spiritual condition of each prospect.
Examine the church roll to discover church members not enrolled in Sunday School. Record information about visitors to Sunday School, worship services, and other church activities. Conduct a People Search
(a community prospect canvass). Subscribe to newcomer lists from utility companies. Use Enroll-To-Grow. Identify prospects among Vacation Bible School and Backyard Bible Club participants and their families. Look for prospects among fellowship Bible study members and their families. Identify family members from the Cradle Roll who are prospects. Conduct a Baby Hunt to find prospects for Cradle Roll. Identify church bus riders and their families who are prospects. Take an inside referral census. Use referrals from home Bible studies being taught. Use direct mail in prospect discovery. Whatever your method, begin developing a prospect file and start assigning teachers to visit those in their class age group.
Build a Cradle Roll
The Cradle Roll department provides a home ministry to parents of children up to two years of age who are not enrolled in Sunday School. The visitor is a teacher, the classroom is the home; the pupils are the mother and the father.
The purpose of Cradle Roll is to reach children and families through personal contacts and ministering. Discover prospects for the Cradle Roll through a Baby Hunt.
Form New Classes and Departments
Over 70 percent of the U.S. population is adult. At least 70 percent of your prospect file should be filled with names of adults. The prospect filing system provides a permanent record of prospect information and makes this information available in assigning responsibility for making contacts.
Use the TEAMREACH concept to start new Adult Sunday School classes. The teacher, an outreach leader, and two or more group leaders make up the team and should be appointed by the Pastor. Together this team plans the outreach efforts of the class. First, the team must visit, invite, and enroll prospects for the class. lt is not unusual for the new class, using TEAMREACH, to experience a high average attendance-
some as much as 100 percent.
Your church could conduct S.S. Growth Week each spring to determine the new classes and departments needed and to study how to organize every class for effective witnessing. Make this a regular planning
session for your Sunday School workers, teachers, and department leaders.
Organize for Growth
Examine and evaluate the way people are grouped in your Sunday School to achieve a growth potential. Count the number of current Sunday School workers. Divide this number into the Sunday School enrollment. A figure of eight or below is favorable to growth. One above eight is not. Begin recruiting and training new workers if needed.
Training Workers in Witnessing Skills
Conduct a Sunday School Evangelism Workshop, to train workers in how to make home visits to unsaved Sunday School prospects and members and how to share their testimony. An end result of the workshop is an established visitation program that calls for individuals to visit at any time the need arises and for regularly planned visitation at least weekly.
TEACH THE BIBLE FROM AN EVANGELISTIC VIEWPOINT
The Bible is taught with the hope that persons, under the leadership of the Spirit, may be led to respond to God with ever growing faith, love, and obedience. One is not educated into a positive response to God, but Bible study is an invaluable aid in leading one to be saved.
The foundation of good Sunday School curriculum is the Bible the inspired record of God’s revelation. The textbook of the Sunday School is the Bible.
Lay Solid Foundations
Although the preschooler cannot understand the biblical principle of repentance, he can be taught basic teachings that lay solid foundational concepts for an acceptance of God’s love and way.
Children’s workers need to remember that the Bible does not give two ways to become a Christian-one way for children and another for adults. Children, as with adults, must be convicted of sin before becoming Christians. A child can be easily manipulated to “pray for the Holy Ghost. But unless the Spirit convicts of sin and moves him, he is not saved.
The Sunday school worker witnesses through solid Bible teaching, by responding to children who are seekers, and by personally becoming involved with parents who are lost or unchurched. No area of life is
more important than that of a true salvation experience.
Books such as “Knowing Your Pupil” contains an in-depth study of the biblical foundations for teaching children. It includes information on skills to help children use the Bible, the role of the teacher, the role of the learner, the learning environment, and how to make adaptations to fit your needs.
Made an Aggressive Witness
Youth who have not yet repented and received the Holy Ghost need to be approached directly. Workers with youth should challenge the boundless energies and curious minds of youth with the gospel message. It is important to help youth encounter God and to lead them to discover and follow his will for their lives.
Leading youth to full Bible salvation should be a major purpose of Sunday School for youth and teenagers. Youth is an important time of searching and questioning. Christian youth and Youth workers can spark a sincere interest by sharing their own personal testmonies.
Imagine using every single moment of a Bible-study session to teach youth a major Bible truth that will change their lives! Youth Sunday School teachers are evangelistic when they help members and prospects
respond to Jesus Christ in a personal commitment to walk daily with Him.
Provide Opportunity for Salvation
In a recent survey of three thousand Sunday School workers, three percent said that lost people were enrolled in their classes. The need for reaching the lost through the Sunday School cannot be overstated.
The book “Outreach Evangelism Through the Sunday School,” by R. Othal Feather, describes an effective way of analyzing prospects, identifying their particular needs, and deciding on the most logical person or persons to make a witnessing visit. This can be purchased at your local Bible book store.
Your Sunday School literature teachers manual for youth and adults includes lessons that provide teachers with many opportunitits to present the claims of Christ and offer an invitation to pray. Many lessons have a built-in appeal to seek the Lord; So, as appropriate, an invitation to kneel and pray right in the class session or a conference with the teacher at the close of the class should be presented to the lost.
Your Sunday School can be evangelistic. It must become so to reach the lost. Always encourage all Sunday School members to attend the worship service and pray for the lost to be saved.
(The above material was prepared by Tom Lee.)
Christian Information Network.