Sidewalk Sunday School
This information is used with permission from David Cushworth of Sidewalk Sunday School International. It’s purpose is to acquaint you with SSS background that should help you discover if this is the type of children’s ministry needed in your community. Details for finding more information on SSS from David is included at the end of the document.
ABOUT SIDEWALK SUNDAY SCHOOL…
Developed on the streets of the ghetto in New York City, SIDEWALK SUNDAY SCHOOL is an exciting evangelistic program, designed to bring the message of the Gospel in a way that will be relevant to those who listen. Aimed at tomorrow’s generation, the program focuses on reaching children between the ages of 6 and 12, by going to where they live and ministering to them in their environment.
It is fun-filled, exciting and yet, hard hitting. Church is seen to for what it should be — not dull, not irrelevant, but concerned with reaching out to people where they are. It is evangelism at its best for, through the children, families are reached, communities impacted, and cities won.
Operating in over 500 locations world-wide, these principles work. The program is not built on any one personality but on principles that are found in the Bible.
Going to the same location at the same time, week after week, and followed up by active visitation, relationships are built with the children and lives are changed. The neighborhood doesn’t matter, rich or poor, inner-city, suburbs, or rural areas, the program very simply works!
Not only does the program work on the streets & parks, but also within the local church. We offer facilities for training church workers, developing a dynamic children’s church program, as well as helping churches and ministries world-wide catch and implement a vision for reaching the next generation.
Here are a few key tips…
1. IT’S NOT CHURCH! Remember that you are not running a church service but an outreach program. Avoid the use of religious terminology — it will be like a foreign language to them. Use everyday language and keep it simple.
2. YOU’RE THE GUEST. You are the intruder into their world and are there by their invitation. Their acceptance of you is their invitation to you. If you’re not welcome, then they won’t come. Act like the guest. You are there to sell them something they don’t know they want.
3. MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE AT AND IN A WAY THEY UNDERSTAND. Before you can supply an answer to their problem, you have to know what they are facing. Be real, have no pretensions, understand their world, and communicate to them in words and ways they can easily relate to. Avoid religious words, clichés and actions. Use your own testimony and experiences.
4. MEET EVERYDAY ISSUES HEAD ON. Your message needs to address issues that they face in everyday life and provide an answer. Avoiding issues does not help. Talk about drugs, school, peer pressure, sex, violence, obedience, crime. If you don’t know about something, then find out.
5. BRING EVERYTHING BACK TO JESUS. Provide the alternative by bringing the focus back to Jesus. Do NOT use terms that are religious, like saved, born again, Spirit-filled. They do not have any meaning to them, but instead talk about having Jesus in your life, praying daily for Him to help, reading your Bible. Use simple words to convey simple principles.
Much more detailed info, such as how-to’s, question and answer, SSS resources, instructions for organization, structure, set-up, lessons, follow-up, etc., is available at the Sidewalk Sunday School web site, vvww.sidewalksundayschool.org
Our goal is this — to bring the message of hope to today’s generation and to train & equip others to do the same.
From: SidewalkSundaySchool.org web site. February 2011.
The above article, “Sidewalk Sunday School” was written by David Cushworth. The article was excerpted from www.SidewalkSundaySchool.org.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”