Recently, I asked my Sunday morning Bible study class to indulge me in a short illustration. I asked four volunteers to come forward and stand shoulder to shoulder. I then asked three to step forward while the fourth remained in place. I explained that of all the people that join a church, three out of four do so because someone they know and trust invited them. Seventy-five percent of church members joined through an existing member. This is not speaking to the work of the Holy Spirit, who creates faith in the dead sinner through the Gospel of salvation of Jesus Christ. Rather, people predominantly join after being invited by a friend. We know this is true of adults, why not children as well?
Sunday School Lesson Ideas
Consider these Bible passages as the foundation for Sunday School lessons on sharing the faith.
Luke 24:1--12: Jesus appears to the women. Point out that Jesus appeared to the women. They shared the news with the disciples. In other words, God called more than just the Twelve to share the Gospel.
John 1:29--34: John the Baptist heralds Christ. Stress that John was unusual, wearing camel’s hair and eating locusts. The Lord can use anyone to share the Gospel.
Acts 4:1--12: Peter and John speak to the Council. Through the Holy Spirit, Peter and John had the courage to share the message of Jesus with others.
Acts 17:22--32: Paul speaks to those gathered at the Areopagus. Using us, God changes the hearts of unbelievers. Some who heard Paul were willing to hear more.
The following Bible passages related to faith sharing would make excellent memory verses.
Mark 13:10: And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
2 Timothy 1:8: Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.
John 15:16: You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Mark 16:15: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
2 Timothy 4:2: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Matthew 5:14--15: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Here are few outreach ideas that work well for adults and can be adapted for Sunday School students as well.
If your church has T-shirts or other apparel, encourage you students to wear this clothing as often as possible. Clothing, pens, coolers, and the like are excellent tools for promoting your ministry. What’s more, they are low impact. In other words, even the shyest Christian in the world can wear a T-shirt promoting the church without ever saying a word.
A second idea is quarterly event cards. At the beginning of each year, the church should have some idea of all the events that will take place over the following twelve months, such as: concerts, pot-lucks, plays, Christmas programs, special worship services, and the like. Each quarter of the year, produce a simple card that lists the events for the next three months. Distribute these to your students and encourage them to share the cards with friends, neighbors, classmates, and so on. If you have a special Christmas party or other special event within your Sunday School class, create simple invitations using business or note cards. These are simple tools that facilitate inviting others to church and Sunday School events.
Music is an important tool for teaching the importance of sharing the faith. Consult CPH’s All God’s People Sing for specific songs. There is a section in the index entitled “Witnessing/Missions/Evangelism.” All the songs in there are good, but here are a few suggestions: Go Tell It On the Mountain, I Love to Tell the Story, Lift High the Cross, Pass it On, They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.
Finally, consider these craft ideas as part of your lessons.
Faith Sharing Calendar: Picture an Advent calendar; however, instead of opening a window each day to reveal an image of Christmas, each window reveals a friend or family member whom the student may invite. Prior to beginning the craft, have each student compose a list of the people in their life whom they could invite. To get them started, create a list of your own. This list could include friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, classmates, and others. The goal is to be specific, to list people by name.
Be My Valentine Guest at Church: As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s common for kids to exchange cards or invitations to parties. Help the students create cards in the same Valentine’s Day style, except these cards are for worship, Sunday School, or other church events. The invitation could even include Bible passages that highlight God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.
Young people can be wonderfully effective witnesses to the Good News of Christ. Blessings on your efforts to equip them!