TELL THE WORLD INITIATIVE
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20.
Tell a Child, Tell the World (2005-2010)
Tell the World has been the broad vision, a bold challenge undertaken by the Seventh-day Adventist Church this past quinquennium, 2005-2010. The ultimate goal of Tell the World is to provide every person on earth with the chance to know Jesus Christ.
For the Children’s Ministries Department, our slogan for this initiative is Tell a Child, Tell the World. This means telling every child about the wonderful love of Jesus and that He wants them to accept His love so as to experience the joy of salvation. The gospel message is offered not only to adults, but also to children. We believe that when you tell one child about the good news, pretty soon the child’s friends, family, school, and community will know about the good news. He or she can’t wait to share.
So the challenge for us is to Tell a Child at home, at school, on the streets, or in organized programs. Jesus needs us to be busy at this task of making disciples of all children regardless of race, language, socioeconomic status, or religion. There is work for us to do.
Tell a Child, Tell the World:
Reach Up, Reach Out, Reach Across
For this quinquennium 2010-2015, the Tell the World initiative has expanded to increase other aspects of spiritual growth in the life of the members through Reach Up, Reach Out, Reach Across. We believe that if all children are helped to Reach Up to God in daily prayer and study of God’s Word, Reach Out to witness for Jesus and serve others, and Reach Across to others in fellowship, they will grow as disciples of Jesus. We want every child to be a disciple of Jesus.
I. REACH UP to God through Bible study, prayer and reading of the Spirit of Prophecy writings results in revival and faithfulness; returning a faithful tithe and supporting local and mission offerings; and being involved in the witness of the church.
Teachers and parents can encourage children to spend time in studying the Bible, their Sabbath School lesson and praying by first setting good examples themselves. For the younger children, parents can read Bible stories together with them and pray together daily. For the older children, provide them with their own Bibles and Sabbath School lessons, and also provide them with the children’s version of Ellen G. White’s books to read (Michael Ask Why; Step by).
Children’s leaders can also nurture this personal devotional lifestyle through the organization of stewardship camps, mission camps, and other activities to involve children in growing their love for Jesus. Children also need further Bible studies beyond the GraceLink Sabbath School lessons. Weekly Bible studies can be organized in the form of small groups at church or it can be done by parents with their children in the home, or as a program at church. Resources that can be used are:
Christ Wise Discipleship Guide, by Troy Fitzgerald.
Day by Day with Jesus Bible Reading Guide—GC Children’s Ministries.
God Loves Me 28 Ways—by Charles Mills and Linda Koh (2005).
Bible Adventures for Young Readers—by Charles Mills (2013).
Making Jesus my Best Friend—Review and Herald Publishing Association.
Michael Ask Why (children’s Great Controversy)—by Sally Dillon.
Prayer Calendar and Journal—by Karen Holford & Linda Koh (2014).
777 Prayer Cards—GC Children’s Ministries.
Step by Step (children’s Steps to Christ)—by Jerry Thomas.
What We Believe—by Jerry Thomas.
II. REACH OUT to others as a friendly church that puts Christ’s mission first, invites all children to fellowship, and makes a difference daily in the community.
Children’s leaders, teachers, and parents can involve children in service to others in the community so they can put what they have learned into practice. Organizing monthly or regular service projects to get children involved in helping the poor, encouraging and comforting the needy and elderly provide them the opportunity to develop love, concern, and compassion for those around them. Leaders can collaborate with ADRA for a special community project that children can participate.
Reaching out also includes challenging each child to witness and win their friends to Jesus. This involves teaching children how to share Jesus with their friends and family members, using simple devices like the Wordless Book, Flipper Flapper, Salvation Bag, and Sharing Jesus Bookmarks can yield good results. Challenge each child to reach out to at least one friend for Jesus.
Children with the special gifts of preaching can be trained to preach and hold evangelistic meetings. They can participate in winning other children through public evangelism and visitation. Children who have the gift for intercessory prayer can be trained to be prayer warriors or leaders in leading children’s prayer groups at camp meetings, children’s programs, and evangelistic meetings.
Besides teaching our children to reach out to witness for Jesus, we also need to reach children in the community. Organizing community programs like Health EXPO for kids, radio and television programs on health can be effective avenues to reach them. Resources that can be helpful are:
CELEBRATIONS! Healthy Inside Out!—Shawna Vyhmeister and Sonia Cana (2014).
Healthy Inside & Out Radio Spots (26)— by Charles Mills (2013).
Jesus in My Heart Radio Spots (26)—by Charles Mills (2013).
Stewardville Children’s Church – by AdventSource (2014)
The Investigative Station VBS – Review & Herald
III. REACH ACROSS the barriers that threaten to divide us as a family and endeavoring to disciple, nurture, and involve every child in the life and mission of the church.
It is God’s plan that parents be the primary teachers of their children (Deuteronomy 6). The church should not take over this important responsibility, but instead provide opportunity and training to equip parents on how they can be more effective spiritual leaders at home. Parents need to recognize that sending children off to Sabbath School or Adventurers Club once a week is not sufficient. They need to walk and talk and pray alongside their children as they disciple them to be followers of Jesus. The church can set up “Kids in Discipleship” program to teach parents to disciple their children.
Children and teens will stay in the church if we involve them in the life of the faith community. Leaders and teachers need to work with pastors in the churches to involve them in the worship service, assisting with singing, testimony sharing, teaching, and preaching. Older children can help with running the PA system, or be greeters on Sabbath morning. Celebrate Children’s Sabbath so that children are given an opportunity to use their gifts and talents for Jesus. Provide resources using media to nurture the children. Resources that can be used are:
• Children’s Sabbath package—NAD Children’s Ministries.
• Footprints for Parents (Kids in Discipleship)—by Don MacLafferty.
• Footprints for Kids—Don MacLafferty.
• The Creation Case DVD—by Richard Aguilera (2014).
There is much we need to do to help our children Reach Up to God on a daily basis, Reach Out to others, and Reach Across to disciple and nurture them into strong followers of Jesus. But with the power of the Holy Spirit we can succeed. Together we can Tell a Child, Tell the World: Reach Up, Reach Out, Reach Across! Make every child a disciple of Jesus.