A well-organized team of helpers, working heartily, energetically and harmoniously, augers well for the success of a children’s series. In this article we propose to outline some of the duties which should be detailed in advance of the opening of the series.
One feature of a children’s series is that, where the number of helpers is very limited, the meetings may still be carried on, with some adjustment or curtailment. It is a definite advantage, however, to have all available help in your campaign.
Assuming that you have conducted an advertising campaign to publicize your meetings, the next point to be considered is the matter of getting the children to your hall. Strangers will be more inclined to let their children come to your series if transportation is provided, especially when the weather is cold or the evening is dark. It is possible to reach new housing areas by this means and contact those who have not previously attended your Sunday School.
Usually it is sufficient to have certain specified stops, where the children may congregate, such as school gates, or convenient corners. When doing so, however, be sure that your cars are at the spot ahead of time.
It is advisable to have the light burning inside the car so the children may see the driver and other friends in the car before they venture to step inside.
It is advantageous to have one or two brethren in charge of transportation to be sure that cars are on hand to pick up children as needed. The Christians may then contact these brethren to see whether extra cars are needed, or where the children should be met.
If possible, keep a record of all the children who come to your meetings, with their addresses and ages, for future follow-up work. If the child is permitted to write his own name on the card there is less danger of getting an incorrect name or number. Younger children, obviously, must be given assistance in this, but older children with them will spell the names for you. Accuracy in these records should be stressed because of subsequent visitation work.
After the children are registered, be sure that they are ushered promptly to a seat. Those engaged in this work should be pleasant with the children but firm in maintaining order from the first, or the children may get out of hand and noisy or rowdy.
The children being seated, the meeting is now ready to commence. This is an important time and the song-leader is a key figure in the success of effort. He should have a pleasant, friendly manner that commands the attention of the children and at the same time sets them at ease.
The song-leader should be able to pitch the hymns to the right key and to carry the tune with a strong, clear voice. The singing should be lively and bright, but the hymns or choruses chosen should be those which convey a definite Gospel message. It is better not to teach the children words which apply only to one who is a Christian. Frothy, meaningless choruses which have a catchy tune, but no spiritual message should be given no place at all in your service.
In the opinion of the writer, the song-leader should not be changed from night to night. The children get to know the leader after a night or two and are therefore better able to respond when he directs them.
The song-leader should choose his own hymns and choruses, though an occasional favourite from the audience may be included. Of recent years there has been a strong emphasis on new choruses. Why not try reverting to some of those good old-fashioned hymns of the faith? They have been used of the Lord in leading many souls to Christ.
Unlocking the door may appear to be a very minor role, but it seems advisable to include a short item on this topic because it contributes in part toward successful meetings.
The doorman should be on hand in good time so the children will not be kept outdoors too long. Neighbours will resent noisy youngsters congregating around your hall awaiting admittance. Also, thoughtful parents will dislike their children being forced to remain outside too long, especially on dark, cold or rainy nights. Children should be instructed not to come too far in advance of the hour of meeting.
When the doorman lets the boys and girls enter the hall, he should insist that they do so in an orderly fashion, standing in line, or sitting quietly until attendance is registered. He may permit them to talk in a low voice, providing they do not get out of hand.
Not everyone is fitted for speaking to children; it is a gift from the Risen Head of the Church. This ability may develop through teaching a small group in a Sunday School class. In a special series, however, the speaker should be one who has the faculty for winning the children to himself, of holding their attention while he speaks and of making the message simple and plain so the young hearts may take it in.
It is not necessary to build too large a structure in one lesson. A single point taught by a Bible text and illustrated by story or object-lesson will become a nail fastened in a sure place. Be sure the point is hammered home well! Subsequent nights allow for adding precept upon precept until the children have learned the lessons concerning sin and salvation.
Every member of the assembly can become an active worker in your children’s campaign by becoming a prayer partner. In fact, this is vitally important to the success of the campaign. We are workers together with Him and prayer keeps the campaign in touch with Heaven.
Let us ever remember that it is God, and He alone, who gives the increase. Without His presence and blessing no children’s series will be truly successful.