Reaching Kids in the Cities
Thousands and millions of children live in large cities and this is often the forgotten group. There are many who may be homeless, lonely, from divorced homes, or abused. They all need the good news of the Gospel that Jesus loves them and that He offers them salvation. Hence, we need to reach out to children in the cities.
Much research in recent years has also shown that the largest group who accept the gospel is the group below thirteen years of age. George Barna identifies 32% of the children who accept Jesus as their personal friend are those below thirteen years old. Thus, the Children's Ministries Department is joining hands with the Seventh-day Adventist Church's five-year-emphasis in Mission to the Cities on sharing Jesus' love and the hope of His soon return with the millions of children who need to know the love of Jesus. We need to reach Kids for Jesus!
- To create greater awareness among church leaders, children's leaders, members and parents about the need to present the good news of salvation to children.
- To share creative and innovative strategies to evangelize children in the cities.
- To develop and provide resources to help children’s leaders and teachers involve the churches in evangelizing children in the cities.
Jesus loves cities because He loves people and cities are where most people live. The Gospels describe Jesus’ relentless passion to reach people living in the cities of His day.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, “the harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few, therefore pray the Lord of harvest to send laborers into His harvest.” (Matt 9:35-38)
Underlying Jesus’ evangelistic strategy to reach the multitudes was caring compassion. What He taught He lived. Christ’s method was simply meeting needs in the Father’s name and sharing the Father’s love and truth in a broken, hurting first century world. (MH 143) His first Century strategy has not changed in the 21stCentury.
The Holy Spirit moved repeatedly upon Ellen G White’s mind regarding the need to develop broad, visionary plans to reach the teeming multitudes living in the cities. Here are two of her most significant statements regarding our work in the cities.
“There is no change in the messages that God has sent in the past. The work in the cities is the essential work for this time. When the cities are worked as God would have them, the result will be the setting in operation of a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed.”— Medical Missionary, 304
KEYS TO EVANGELIZING CHILDREN IN THE CITIES
- Setting a consistent example of Godliness
- Developing good relationships with children
- Know the names of children
- Give a smile to every child
- Spend time with children outside of programs
- Listen to them when they share their problems
- Loving children unconditionally
- Getting acquainted with their parents
- Visit the children’s homes
- Get their permission when taking children out
- Contact them regularly
- Taking an interest in the lives of children
- Encouraging Possible Signs of Conversion
- Speak to them about taking Bible studies
- Answer their questions about God and the Bible
- Prepare them for baptism
SUGGESTED EVANGELISTIC PROGRAMS
- Vacation Bible School
- Sidewalk Children's Program
- Bag Pack Evangelism
- Craft Camp
- Door-to-door Prayer Partners
- Health EXPO
- Sports Day
- Basketball Camp
- Stewardship EXPO
- Distribute Michael Ask Why (children’s Great controversy)
- Tiny Tots Playgroups
- CELEBRATIONS! Healthy Inside Out
- Children's Prayer Calendar and Journal
- Bible Adventures for Young Readers
- Bible Studies for Teens
- Stewardsville Children's Church
- Investigation Station VBS
- God Loves Me 28 Ways