For Double Day, our goal was for every child (who possibly
could) to bring one unchurched friend to Bible Zone (our name for
children's Sunday school). We didn't want to focus on who could
bring the most kids -- just one. We didn't give prizes for the
classrooms that had the largest number of kids present. We didn't
even set numerical goals. We wanted to focus on each person
thinking about one person. We did keep a record of who each child
was bringing, which served as an encouragement and motivator to
each classroom to get busy.
Kickoff Rally -- We kicked off our Double Day
with a rally several weeks ahead. The rally was all about
friendship because the sad thing is that many of today's boys and
girls don't have real friends. Nor do they know how to be a friend.
I presented a segment that was titled "Famous Twosomes," which
included Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy, Kermit and Miss Piggy,
Starsky and Hutch, Andy and Barney, Adam and Eve, Bert and Ernie,
Pinky and The Brain, Joshua and Caleb, and Jonathan and David. I
also used the theme Two Are Better Than One, found in Ecclesiastes
4:9-10. I gave the characteristics found in the Bible of making and
being a friend; for example, "A friend loves at all times"
The rally also included great music, worship, and humor. We
tried to present this in a simple, age-appropriate way, free from
church and religious language.
To conclude the rally, we introduced the concept of Double Day,
which gave kids a way to demonstrate what they'd learned about
friendship. Honestly, the children were pumped up at that rally. As
a matter of fact, my leaders were pumped too.
Twin Power -- The novelty of Double Day was
asking each child and guest to dress like twins. This was so
hilarious. I also asked couples who taught together in the
children's ministry to dress as twins that day. We took a picture
of each set of twins and displayed them for all to see.
Over 60 percent of our children brought someone. Do you realize
how successful that is? That's unheard of and almost impossible
with today's busy families. One little boy brought his unchurched
dad to his class. Not only did we see our largest attendance ever
on a Sunday morning, but the beautiful thing was watching children
begin to value others in a more mature way. To become the type of
friend that God wants them to be they had to deal with their
attitudes of selfishness, criticism, and fear.
Follow-Up -- This is often an element that
churches overlook. After doing all the work beforehand and seeing
the numerical results, it seems as if the project is now complete.
However, if we don't make personal contact with each new
child/family who attended, we give the message that we're an
"event" church not a "people" church. This is just the opposite of
what we worked so hard to teach our children leading up to the
Our Bible Zone leaders and volunteers tried to visit as many
homes as possible that Sunday afternoon. Because of the large
number of visitors who attended, we planned a churchwide outreach
night, asking our staff, evangelism teams, families of children,
and church members to help us make visits. In addition, every
visitor received a phone call and postcard the following week.
Plus, we reminded children to each invite their Double Day friend
to other church activities. These visitors also received future
mailings regarding our children's ministry activities.
This high-attendance event had twice the meaning as others we'd
done previously. It was successful numerically and spiritually. Oh,
and did I mention that it was twice the fun and half the work?
Art Murphy is founder and president of Arrow Ministries
(www.arrowministries.com), a national ministry to parents,
churches, and children's ministry leaders. Please keep in mind that
phone numbers, addresses, and prices are subject to