Going back-to-school can bring happy thoughts of brand-new pencils, fresh crisp notebooks, three-ring binders, new pens, never-used crayons with perfect tips, markers that all work without a dry or lost one in the bunch, and a nice new lunch box ready for all the delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that will be lovingly prepared day in and day out. Oh, and the organization—this year is going to be the year everything stays organized! Ahhh, back-to-school. But more than just new supplies and new clothes, returning to school can mean new opportunities to share Jesus with others.
Students who love God have a wonderful charm and God not only can use them, but He wants to use them to bless others. Here are two ways we’ve used going back-to-school as an opportunity to share Jesus with others.
Giving Bible studies! Excuse me? Did you say giving Bible studies? Yes, your school kids can give Bible Studies! In schools we have been a part of, our students have done a wonderful job giving Bible studies! The kids have a way of disarming the people and make them more willing to listen. Here is how it worked:
The teachers and pastor joined together to teach the students how to give a Bible study. We went over the Bible study together in the classroom before we went out to share it with others, and you can bet the kids were focused on those studies because they knew they were the ones that had to teach it! We found people who were “friends” of the church but not members. These are people who were friends or relatives of church members, people who attended supper club or other church events. They were safe people we knew would enjoy the kids but maybe had not taken studies yet or dropped out of studies. As the Bible Labs coordinator, I called ahead and made the arrangements, explaining that our kids needed someone to practice giving Bible Studies to. Everyone was happy to help and enjoyed a visit from the kids once a week.
We divided into teams of two or three students with an adult helper (teacher, pastor, pastor’s wife, volunteer, etc.) and with a prayer we went out to the homes and the kids shared God’s word with the people! We even had one after school study so that the families with foster kids could be home to hear Gods word.
Then something began to happen! The kids started inviting their Bible Studies to their school programs and concerts and to other church events. The people we were studying with wanted to support the kids so they would attend many events for the kids. Christmas programs, Education Sabbath, graduation, even their baptisms. It gave them an opportunity to become familiar with the church and its members. The kids were so excited to see them that they would always greet them and talk with them, giving our guests top-notch hospitality.
This was an awesome experience for everyone involved and we would love to see it happening in all our church schools! Such opportunities allow children to form lasting relationships with adults in the church as well as learn valuable lessons sharing God’s word with others. Who knows, it could be the spark that ignites the fire in someone’s life young and old!
Literature Evangelism was another way we used Bible Labs to get kids involved in sharing Gods word, plus it helped raise money for a school worthy student fund. Some schools have already discovered this exciting introduction to the summer YouthRush program, but many have never considered helping our grade-schoolers go out and offer books door to door for a donation.
We divided into teams again in three or four students with an adult volunteer. Each student memorized a short canvas for one or two of the books. Then, with prayer, we hit the streets of our towns. Most people were very kind and listened politely while each child said their part about the books they were sharing. It gave the kids confidence to speak to people they didn’t know and provided a comradery amongst their group to help each other. There was always a celebration when someone bought books! But even if they just gave donations for the worthy student fund or simply weren’t interested, our kids prayed with them and left them a Happiness Digest (Steps to Christ).
While kids are told about God and how much He loves them, too often they don’t have an opportunity to experience God using them personally! They can come to believe that they have to wait until they are older to be used by God for anything important. Sometimes they wait too long, and they lose the desire to be part of His work. Bible Labs provides a fantastic opportunity to give kids real-life experience working with Jesus. This could be just what they need to truly know that God is real and cares about them—and, by God’s grace, will be a lesson that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Now that’s a back-to-school experience worth being a part of!