It is important to prepare your church to welcome visitors. Many of the articles and tools we provide deal with the preparation of your building and the people in the building. But the most important “welcoming” activity that we can ever undertake is welcoming people into the family of God.
Over the summer there are often “special” activities in churches, like Bible schools, sports, drama and music camps. The ultimate goal of any of these activities should be “to introduce” a child to the gift of salvation. The ultimate welcoming opportunity is “leading a Child to Christ” and into the family of God.
It is typical that in preparing for a summer ministry many volunteers spend many hours decorating the building, preparing crafts, training leaders, etc. My question is: “How much time is spent in spiritual preparation?” Please accept my challenge this year for your program.
The “ONE TO ONE” CHALLENGE!
For each one hour of time that is spent in preparing the physical building and the curriculum for your summer program, spend at least one hour in prayer for the children who will be coming and the teachers who will lead them. Every person in your congregation is able to pray and prayer is the most significant preparation that can be done.
One part of the tool this month is a handout that can be presented to the members of your congregation to enlist their help in this vital spiritual preparation. There is a large number 1 which leaves room for the leaders to add some specific prayer requests for the children and leaders. Challenge your members to take a handout if they are willing to spend at least ONE hour in prayer for the children and teachers before the summer program.
The other part of the tool this month is a handout that was presented to a Bible school teachers training at my home church in Kalamazoo, MI in 2005. Feel free to pass out the handout to all the leaders of all the summer (and year round) programs that you sponsor. It is best if you are able to have one of your leaders present the material to the group as well. My experience has shown that people are often uncomfortable with the thought of asking children for a commitment…AND it should not be done routinely or in a manner so that “personal decisions” are replaced by “expected” responses. But some children are ready to make a personal decision for Christ and every teacher or leader is able to lead a child to Christ. Be sure to identify one leader as the support person for any teacher or leader who is unsure of him/herself.
God is a God who hears prayer and who responds to our obedience. What a blessing it will be when you are able to welcome children into the family of God! God is faithful!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 New international Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
1 to 1 Challenge resources