Lesson #5: Aim high and do the best you can with the
resources God makes available, but make the gospel of Christ your
In Dinah Muttai’s church in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday morning is
directed mostly toward adults. Those churches with children’s
classes, more than likely hold classes under a tree. In Dinah’s
church, children attend special age-appropriate instruction and
then rush home to care for their family’s animals so their parents
can come to church. Teachers have few curriculum resources and
usually have to create their Iessons. Sometimes an entire group of
teachers shares a singIe dog-eared book of Iessons.
The church offers midweek clubs and a vacation Bible school for
the children. The Kenyan tradition of respectful attention to
elders motivates children to listen and learn, and teachers are
determined to make the most of the resources they have rather than
bewail the lack of helpful material. Dinah says, “Our main concern
in Kenya and Africa as a whole is to reach children with the
gospel, not so much of what kind of facilities, materials,
teachers, the latest styles of teaching, or how much is the budget.
We want to reach children with what we have — not what we don’t
Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
Dinah is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her
goal is to return to her homeland and reach the children of Kenya
and all of Africa with the gospel of Christ.
The high moral values learned at Hengky Chiok’s church prompt
many unbelieving parents to send their children for instruction.
Church members transport children who must be driven to Sunday
school. In a branch church, Sunday school on Sunday proved to be
unworkable, so Sunday school is now held on Saturday.
Lesson #6: Raise the status and expectations of the
Hengky’s Sunday schooI of 400 chiIdren has exacting requirements
for teachers. Each teacher candidate must train for approximately
40 hours in simple hermeneutics, methods, doctrine, and child
psychology. Candidates are also required to observe experienced
teachers at work and can expect to be observed in their first few
months. Any teacher who misses the weekly training meeting is
prohibited from teaching the following Sunday.
“This is a commitment we ask from our teachers when they express
their desire to teach,” says Hengky. “This kind of commitment,
especially with the busyness of this world, helps them to be
committed to children’s ministry.”
Lesson #7: Minister to the children by ministering to
Paul and Jenny Johnson, who currently serve as missionaries in
San Juan del Rio, Mexico, work primarily with children and their
families. The Johnsons report in their newsletter that open-air
presentations with puppets have resulted in requests for home Bible
studies. Their church’s children’s program includes not only a
weekly Awana club for the children but also parenting workshops to
develop strong families within the church.
“Mexico is not just a ‘mission field,’ ” write the Johnsons.
“The Lord is converting Mexico into a ‘missions force’!” The
Johnsons have seen several Mexican nationals focusing on mobilizing
Bible churches to fulfill the Great Commission in Mexico.
Lesson #8: Challenge and mobilize young people to
develop a lifestyle of ministry and service to
Dorothy Rempel is a missionary in Costa Rica who has ministered
to children and their families for more than 30 years. Dorothy
reports that her group’s major outreach to children is through
vacation Bible school. They train teenagers and send them out in
teams all over Costa Rica. This year, teenagers came from Nicaragua
and Panama to be part of the effort. Last year, more than 4,000
chiIdren attended 60 vacation Bible schools. Interested children
received free correspondence courses as follow-up. Many of the
teenagers have returned to minister five to eight consecutive
summers. Some have even gone on to Bible college and are serving
the Lord in other mission fields.