Tell the World has been the broad vision for 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 that every child needs to hear the good news of Jesus and His love and to be given an opportunity to accept Him. 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.
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, and reach out to serve others, they will grow as disciples of Jesus.
So the challenge for us is to Tell a Child at home, at school, on the streets, or in organized programs and help them Reach Up, Reach Out, and Reach Across. Jesus wants 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.
How can we accomplish this initiative?
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, the Sabbath School lesson and praying by setting good examples themselves. For the younger children, parents can read Bible stories together with them and pray together daily. For the older children, be sure they have their own Bibles and Sabbath School lessons, and also provide them with the children’s version of Ellen G. White’s books to read. Take time to interact with them about what they have studied and ask them questions on how they can apply what they have read in their lives.
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:
- Bible Adventures; Bible studies of the 28 fundamental beliefs, by Charles Mills. (2012)
- 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 & Linda Koh
- God Loves Me 28 Ways Radio Spots, by Je Clement (2012).
- Making Jesus my Best Friend, from Review and Herald.
- Michael Ask Why (children’s Great Controversy), by Sally Dillon.
- Prayer Calendar, by Karen Holford. (2012)
- 777 Prayer Fellowship Cards, from 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 peoples to fellowship, and makes a difference daily in the community.
- Become involved in the mission of the church.
- Become involved in community projects.
- Become involved in witnessing and soul winning.
It is important that children’s leaders, teachers, and parents 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 challenge each child to witness and win one friend 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. Each child is challenged to reach out to at least one person for Jesus this quinquennium.
Children with the special gift of preaching can be trained to preach and hold evangelistic meetings. They participate in winning other children through public evangelism and visitation. Children who have the love 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 non-Christian children in the community. Resources that can be used are:
- CELEBRATIONS! Healthy Inside Out! by Shawna Vyhmeister (2012).
- Healthy Inside & Out Radio Spots (26), by Charles Mills (2012).
III. REACH ACROSS the barriers that threaten to divide us as a family, endeavoring to disciple, nurture, and involve every individual in the life and mission of the church.
- Improve retention of members
- Nurture members
- Increase the percentage of young people involved in the work of the church
- Increase the percentage of young people retained within 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 a follower 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 each 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, from NAD Children’s Ministries.
• Footprints for Parents (Kids in Discipleship), by Don MacLafferty.
• Footprints for Kids, by Don MacLafferty.
• God Loves Me 28 Ways Radio Spots, by Je Clement (2012).
• The Creation Case DVD, by Richard Aguilera (2012).
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!