Why a Children’s Series?
In many parts of the country, there are complaints of declining interest in Gospel meetings, with few, if any, unsaved attending even special campaigns. As a result, a number of assemblies have all but discontinued any attempt to reach souls with the story of the Saviour’s love. With them, evangelistic efforts are a thing of the past and the Sunday night Gospel meeting has been turned into a ministry meeting.
Apathy on the part of the unsaved, however, does not excuse us from fulfilling the Lord’s command in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” When Paul and Barnabas found the Jews unreceptive to the Word (Acts 13:46), they turned to the Gentiles who had an ear for the Gospel. Let us follow this example and seek out those who will gladly receive His Word.
Nor need we look far, because today in most places there are boys and girls who may easily be persuaded to attend children’s meetings. When the Lord sent us “to every creature”, He meant the young as well as the old. In fact, His warning to the disciples was, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones… these little ones which believe in Me” (Matt. 18:10,6).
If the grown-ups have no ear for the Word, let us direct our attention to the young, remembering that the child of today is the adult of tomorrow. Let us seek to win them for Christ in the days of their youth, before the evil days come and the years draw nigh, when they shall say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Eccl. 12:1).
The Need of the Children
There are many children right around us who have never heard the plain Gospel story. Some have parents who are indifferent to religious matters and so do not send their youngsters to Sunday School. Others go to places where the teaching is “modernistic”, or they are associated with one of the satanic cults which belittle the Person and work of Christ.
Recently, we had a special campaign in an area that was being populated by new immigrants from Europe. The Lord had brought the mission-field right to our door! When these children were contacted, they were eager to come to a place where folk took an interest in them. They had a surprisingly good knowledge of English, in spite of their being so short a time in the country, and their keen minds were receptive to the Scripture lessons. Who would deny these precious little ones the Christ-commanded privilege of hearing the Gospel?
Because children are easily impressed, we should seek to make impressions for God upon the tender hearts. They should be saturated with Gospel truth; this may best be accomplished by regular night-afternight repetition of the lessons and verses. Six hours a week is better than only one hour on Sunday. The devil uses so much of the week to store their minds with evil.
Nor let us belittle the possibility of a child being brought to Christ. Remember His reference to “these little ones which believe in Me.” Every boy or girl that is truly converted is not only a soul saved from Hell, but with proper shepherding and teaching will also be a life saved from sin for useful service for the Master.
The Growth of the Sunday School.
In most cases, the majority of those who come to the meetings during the week either go elsewhere on Sunday, or have no Sunday School affiliation. If these children are shown kindly interest, they may quite readily be encouraged to become regular scholars in the Sunday School. If nothing else, a series for children is an effective way of advertising the fact that the Assembly has Sunday School.
Moreover, children who have been coming to the Sunday School will gain added enthusiasm through a rousing series and will thereby be restrained from needlessly absenting themselves or straying to another Sunday School. Children enjoy activity and dislike being associated with a place that appears to be lifeless. They can certainly be kept interested through a special campaign.
The Testimony of the Assembly
Experience has shown that parents gain confidence in an assembly that shows a sincere interest in their children. Often their appreciation will lead them to attend the Parent’s Night at the close of the series. After this first contact with the Christians, strangers feel less apprehensive about a second visit. An effective follow-up campaign may result in these folk becoming regular attenders at Gospel meetings and later becoming true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In some cases, contact is made with born-again believers who have been affiliated with other groups. As they learn the truth of God through subsequent visits, they may be led by the Holy Spirit to identify themselves with those gathered in Christian simplicity in the Name of the Lord alone.
A successful children’s series thus acts as a tonic to the assembly, and more so if spirits have been low because of declining interest among the adults and a lack of blessing in the preaching of the gospel.
Need any further arguments be presented to impress upon us the importance of a special gospel effort with the children? Let us unitedly join the ranks of those who “brought young children to Him … and He blessed them” (Mark 10:13, 16).
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Suggestion of the Month
The building and maintaining of Sunday school attendance requires a steady effort by many people working together along various lines of approach. The first step in a comprehensive program is the establishment of a complete, up-to-date Cradle Roll, with accurate listing of names, addresses, birth-dates, etc. The over-all program for the entire Sunday school should be co-ordinated by the superintendent. Every teacher should keep tab of babies expected by the families of his or her pupils. Visitation prior to, and following, the new arrival cannot fail to build good relations between the family and the Sunday school. Special packets with literature and record forms for carrying out such programs are now available from some publishers. More information will be supplied on request.