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7 Strategies for Church School Evangelism
by Dan Martella

One of the most fruitful sources for church growth can be found right in our local church schools. Our schools are filled with kids from Adventist families, seeker families, and families that just want to give their children the finest education on the planet. Our teachers are on the frontlines of Adventist education evangelism, and we pastors are important partners in the venture. Let me share with you a seven-fold church school evangelism strategy that really works —

1.   School Worships – Every summer sit down with your teachers and map out a calendar for the coming year. Write into your schedule Back-to-School nights, Home and School meetings, science fairs, Christmas programs, Investitures, and school worships. Make your school worships an extended series of evangelistic meetings for kids. Simply cycle through the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church – all at a kid’s level. Engage your kids in the Christ-centered, life-transformational Bible truths of this church through stories, props, games, and interactives.

2.   Eat and Play –  Once or twice a month brown bag it with your school kids. Eating together provides an opportunity for easy one-on-one and small group conversations. Playing together on the field provides an opportunity for the kids to have fun with you playing ball, building forts, and crawling over the playground equipment. Eating and playing with your school kids will put jumper cables on everything else you do with them. They will more readily embrace you, your worship talks, and opportunities to be in your baptismal classes.

3.   Signs of the Times – At the beginning of each year, gift each non-Adventist family in your school with a Signs of the Times subscription. Write each family to let them know that the monthly magazine is on its way and that you are glad to have their kids in your school. The monthly Signs will introduce your families to vital Bible truths and equip them with important tools for effective family living.

4.   Prayer Partners – Take the names of every school family to your church and enlist volunteers to pray for these families each day. Their prayers will leverage God’s blessings on these families in a powerful way.

5.   Baptismal Classes – Provide a baptismal class during the second semester of each school year. Identify students most interested in baptism through an appeal made during one of your regular school worship times. Follow up with a call to each of the parents to secure their approval. Never leave parents feeling that you are proselytizing their kids behind their backs. Let them know that you will explore the major teachings of the Bible, encourage a growing relationship with Jesus, and in the end let each child, in consultation with their parents, make a decision whether or not this is the time to be baptized.

6.   Attend School Events – School events – PTA Meetings, dinners, fairs, track and field days, etc. – not only give you additional opportunities to interact with your kids, they even more importantly give you opportunities to meet and engage in conversation with their parents. Developing trust-filled relationships is essential to effective church school evangelism.

7.   Special Worship Services – Periodically, offer special Sabbath worship services to which you can invite your school families. Invite the kids and their parents to read the Scripture lesson, offer the congregational prayer, perform a skit, or sing together for the special music. Share a Christ-centered message filled with hope and practical encouragement. Keep your guests around by serving them a delicious fellowship dinner.

This is the game-plan that fuels our local church school evangelism. I encourage you to try it in your own church school. With this well-integrated evangelistic strategy you will consistently see students and parents making decisions for Christ, joining the church through baptism, and finding their place in God’s service.