Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 4 Page 6 April 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles
Priscilla's Page

Finding A Lost Child

By Barbara Hanna

The mother frantically explained her son was lost, and it would soon be dark. Could Joe and I help with the search? Of Course! We dropped everything, drove to their house and joined the search.

What would we have sacrificed to find her son? Time was no object. If money would have helped, it would have been eagerly offered.

This mother's agony was very real to me. As I hugged my dear friend, I could feel her overwhelming fear. Was he hurt? Had he been kidnapped? Would she ever see her son again?

The boy was found riding his bicycle in the country. The path he had chosen was longer than expected and it grew dark before he realized the danger.

Every day children are involved in tragedies. We may shed tears for a child who has been kidnapped, murdered, abused or neglected. How often do we shed tears for the countless children who are not learning about Jesus?

Are you thinking, "I would do something to reach them if I could. But what can I do?" There is something you can do. It will take less time each week than I spent looking for the lost boy. The cost is minimal. It can be undertaken by one individual or as a church project.

Send It

If they won't come to you--go to them! No, it isn't practical to go into each child's home. But Bible teaching can go into their homes via the Post Office.

A couple of years ago, I started sending my reproducible Bible lessons to children who couldn't be in my Bible class. Two girls visited class when they came to see their grandparents. They obviously loved Bible class, but their parents never took them.

A boy's parents fell away and they moved to a distant state. A girl's parents fell away. She came to class for a short time, then her parents discouraged her. One girl came to VBS. Two of my day care children moved away (they had gone with me to VBS). The list grew.

At times I wondered if I was wasting my time and postage. Then I received a heart-warming letter from the two girls. Two mothers sent stamps because their children loved the lessons so much. Just recently a mother told me her son has all the lessons I've sent him in a folder in his room.

We may not know the results of our efforts for many years. In some causes, we may not discover the outcome until we arrive in heaven!

Pray

Pray about this project. Ask God to give you wisdom in knowing how to best reach out to the children you know. Implore God to let you be a tool in His service. Thank God for the opportunity to work in the kingdom.

Remember, ". . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). After you write out the list of children (the next step), pray for each child by name. Continue to do so as you send them Bible lessons.

Make A List

Make a list of every child you know who is not attending Bible class. The list could include:
  1. Grandchildren who don't live close enough to go with you to class.
  2. Former students who have moved away.
  3. Neighborhood children who would love to go to class, but can't due to parental neglect (those who won't make sure they are up and ready to go) or scheduling conflict (such as activities on Wednesday night).
  4. Nieces and nephews whose parents don't take them to Bible class.
  5. Children of unfaithful members.
  6. Children who visit VBS or Bible class.

Church Involvement

After you've formulated a list of students, talk to the elders. Tell them what you are planning to do and ask if they would like to involve others in the congregation. One person might be assigned to each age group so only one type of lessons would be duplicated by that person. If the elders aren't interested, begin sending the lessons to those on your own list. When the response is positive, thank God for the opportunity to help reach other children for Christ.

Don't be discouraged if the elders aren't interested at first. After you have sent lessons to the children on your list you may be able to show the elders some encouraging letters or tell them about comments made by the parents. The great worth of this project will become apparent.

Suggested Selection Criteria

  1. Lessons should be written by a member(s) of the Lord's church.
  2. They should include the printed lesson portion and at least one written activity. Since you won't be grading the lessons, be sure the Scriptures are offered so students may look for the answers in the Bible.
  3. Lessons should be reproducible or printed on individual sheets. Do not plan to duplicate copyrighted sources unless they are reproducible. To do so is against the law.
  4. Be sure the plan of salvation is covered thoroughly (preferably more than once).
  5. Children should be taught how to worship God in spirit and truth.
  6. The establishment of the church and God's plan for church organization should be covered.
  7. In short, ask yourself, "Will the children who study this curriculum learn how to recognize the church of the New Testament?"

While writing my own lesson books, these priorities have been important to me as I work to ground students in God's Truth. Reproducible Work Sheets #2-8 for grades 1-4 meet all of the above criterion. Anyone wanting to reproduce my three lesson books for fifth and sixth graders to send to children may contact me for permission, since these books are not normally reproducible. (Hanna Publications, P.O. Box 278, Eudora, KS 66025-0278; phone: (785) 542-3180; or e-mail: HannaPubli@aol.com.)

Send The Lessons!

If possible, type the addresses so they may be duplicated onto address labels. There is excellent computer software available which would allow you to easily change addresses when children move, etc. Your congregation may already be using such software (for example, to send out a church bulletin).

When you mail the first lesson, send an introductory letter telling what you plan to do. Do not ask the children to let you know if they want to receive the lessons. They may not have the means to contact you. Even if you send a SASE, some may not reply even though they would study the lessons. Do tell them they may let you know if they wish to have their names removed from the list.

Preschool siblings may also become involved if you duplicate a coloring page for them and enclose it with the lessons you are sending to big brother or sister. In a few years, the younger child may become your new student.

Tell Others

Christ loved little children. His words may be our theme, "Suffer [allow] the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14).

Tell other Christians how you are reaching out to children. Members often lament that they aren't good at teaching people, so they can't help with evangelism. There are very few members who could not help with this project if they were so inclined. Christ's command to "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) can be fulfilled to a much greater degree by reaching out to children. Those who are not old enough to be converted yet will be prepared and properly taught when the times is right.

Feel free to reprint this article and share it via the church bulletin, e-mail, letters or any other form of transmission. Be sure to include the source.

Watchmen

We are all to be "watchmen" over people's souls. It is our duty to teach them, and there is no better age to begin than when their hearts are young and tender! Ezekiel told of the watchman's duty to "blow the trumpet, and warn the people" (Ezekiel 33:3). If they listen to the Bible teaching we provide, their souls will be saved. If they are never converted, at least we will have fulfilled our Christian obligation to teach.

Heed Ezekiel's warning: "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand" (Ezekiel 33:6).

There are few who would not eagerly search for a lost child. Will you seek to teach a child, so he won't grow into a lost adult, and an eternally lost soul?

[Editor's Note: A besetting sin of otherwise faithful Christians is inactivity and lack of involvement in Christian service. Biblical portraits of judgment include Divine rebuke and eternal sorrow for lost opportunities to demonstrate Christianity toward lost humanity (Matthew 25:14-30). "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Every Christian can do something, and that "something" equates to responsibility!]


Copyright 1999, conditions of use
Gospel Gazette Online
Louis Rushmore, Editor
4325 Southeast Drive
Steubenville, Ohio 43953-3353
rushmore@gospelgazette.com http://www.gospelgazette.com/ webmaster@gospelgazette.com