By Dr. David W. Hamrick
Thanks to each of you who volunteer your valuable time and share your God-given abilities to teach in the most important education program on earth – Bible School. As a Bible teacher you are challenged to be a part of a most important ministry of the church. The responsibility of this great work is as great as the task itself.
The total quality of teaching in the Bible School is the sum of the qualities of each teacher, and the church is blest with a highly capable staff who offer their very best year after year.
Since newcomers are pouring into our country from all over the globe, 2017 looks to be a great year for congregations who emphasize outreach. It is our mission as God’s people to share the gospel with as many people as we can and opportunities abound. Every sincere Christian wants his/her church to be the kind of church that God expects, i.e., SOUL CONSCIOUS. Bible School teachers can play an important role in accomplishing evangelistic goals for 2017.
Unfortunately, this incredible resource is overlooked when we plan for church growth. Most every church hosts an annual Vacation Bible School. There is a massive influx of visiting children. We welcome them, enjoy their presence and then, at the conclusion of VBS, we say, “Hope to see you next year”. Why do we do that? Wouldn’t it be better to see them next week? Wouldn’t it be better to see them every week? While working with a church in Tennessee we did just that. We implemented some of the outreach efforts of VBS year round. The number of bible studies and baptisms increased dramatically.
EACH BIBLE SCHOOL TEACHER AND ASSISTANT SHOULD IMPLEMENT THE FOLLOWING STEPS TO MAKE YOUR EDUCATION PROGRAM THE BEST IT CAN BE!
STEP ONE: Set a goal (as a class) for the number of visitors in your class each week. Include the students in this “discussion”.
STEP TWO: Emphasize regularly to your students how important it is to help lead others to Christ.
STEP THREE: Reward students for bringing visitors to Bible class. (You can provide “brought one” buttons or stickers for each). You may also want to put a poster on the wall with recognition to those who brought visitors. Be creative.
STEP FOUR: Have your assistant (must have assistant) help make visitors feel welcomed and fill out a visitor information sheet for each visitor. Younger students may need some help filling out the form (This information will be used to follow up on the family). Make sure to get as much contact information as needed. This information is also used to invite the family to every church event. Birthday cards signed by each student will be mailed to the visitor(s) each year as a means to stay in touch.
STEP FIVE: Turn in your visitor information sheets to the “church growth guy”. This person needs to be well organized and responsible. They are responsible to make sure that each teacher/assistant is doing their part.
STEP SIX: The church growth guy will (1) make sure that the information is filed and (2) that someone from the church (preferably the class teacher) visits each of the visiting students at home that week (important). Thank the parents for allowing their child to come to class and invite them to visit as well. Offer information about the church (a nice/attractive packet is a good idea) and look for opportunities to develop a relationship with them.
Follow up visits will be made and the office will send out a letter to the family acknowledging their visit along with a copy of the KIDZONE publication (was our newsletter for youth).
WARNING: This approach to outreach has resulted in rapid church growth. You need to be prepared for such. We had to rent a portable building for additional classroom space as the number of students continued to increase. Eventually the church built a new and bigger facility.
Dr. Hamrick, is President of World Bible Institute and the author of Waking the Sleeping Giant, a book filled with church growth strategies and concepts. He conducts Church Growth Seminars based on that book for churches who desire a fresh approach to church growth. If you would like to host a Church Growth Seminar, please click here to schedule.