Bus and van workers must be committed to following up on every new contact. A visit to the home to get permission to pick up the child every Sunday and to give an information brochure about the church is an important first step in building a relationship with the parent. Every Saturday, bus/van workers must be committed to making that all-important Saturday morning visit.
By Tim Massengale
The last several years I have witnessed a disturbing trend among our churches. It seems that some have come to the conclusion that Children’s Ministry is not an effective method for church growth, or for that matter, to win souls. I could not disagree more strongly.
Several weeks ago while teaching a church growth seminar, I did what I commonly do to make a particular point. I asked the congregation, “What method brought you into church? Was it the witness and invitation of family, friend, acquaintance, or co-worker? Did someone teach you a home Bible study? Did someone knock on your door? Was it Bus ministry?” I then go down a list of evangelism methods and ask for a show of hands for each. When I reach the last method, I then ask if there are any additional methods that I failed to mention. A hand was raised by a middle-aged lady and she told the following story:
“We lived next door to the Apostolic church in my home town. I started going to Sunday School after they had a ‘Sunday School Fair Day.’ They had decorated the parking lot with balloons and banners. Booths provided various fun games and activities and prizes were awarded. I was eight years old. I asked my mom for permission to go to the ‘church fair’ and she gave me a few coins and I had so much fun. One booth told Bible stories with puppets and I had never heard these stories before. They asked me if I wanted to come to Sunday school every week, and of course, I did. For the two years we lived next to that church I rarely missed a Sunday.
Two years later we moved to the other side of town. I cried when I told my teacher that I would not be coming to Sunday school any more. When she asked me where I was moving to and I told her, she said she would make sure someone picked me up every Sunday. Sure enough, one of the ladies in the church stopped every Sunday morning and brought me to Sunday school.
When I was eleven years old a children’s evangelist came. He dressed as a clown and was so very funny. When he gave the altar call I went up and I received the Holy Ghost. I was so excited! My mom gave me permission to be baptized. I’ll never forget that Sunday Morning. I felt so good and clean!
I then started to attend regular church services. Someone picked me up almost every service. I got involved in the youth group and later, after high school, married a young man in that church. I am the only one in my family that is living for God. You mentioned Bus ministry as an evangelism method. But I am in church today for one reason: My church had a Sunday school and this is the method that brought me to God.”
Of the four most successful methods of evangelism in Apostolic churches today, Sunday school is consistently one of the most successful. It is also a method that most all of our churches utilize. But the question we must ask ourselves is this: Are we effectively utilizing our Sunday schools for evangelism?