Bringing People to Jesus
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Bringing People to Jesus
By Dr. Carol J Miller
Print copies of an invitation to Sunday school and Church to give to each child at the end of this lesson. Here is a sample invitation that you can use:
YOU ARE INVITED!
St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church
123 Main Street
You are invited to come to Sunday school and Church with ___________________________ (inviter’s name)
On Sunday, (date) _____________ (time) __________
My family and I will be happy to pick you up at__________ a.m. and bring you home by_______
I will call you this week. You may also call me. My phone number is _____________
I hope you will come!
The story from the Bible today tells about the time when Jesus was just starting to teach the people that God loves them and wants to be their friend. Not many people knew who Jesus was. Some people found out about Jesus because they happened to hear him give a speech. Or Jesus would sometimes walk around with a group of people who wanted to hear what he had to say and they would start walking around with him too. Sometimes Jesus would walk around teaching his followers––the disciples––and other people would hear and listen in. Many of the people who heard Jesus, decided to become his disciples.
That’s the way many teachers taught grown-ups in ancient times: the teacher would go to the center of town and start teaching. His disciples would be with him and other people would become interested and join in, or the disciples would invite others to come and listen. I wonder what that must have looked like.
Let’s try it. I’ll be the teacher and I’ll start walking around up here in the front. Two of you can be my disciples and walk with me
[Choose two children. Walk around the front of the sanctuary talking about who Jesus is while the two children follow. Stop and have the two children each find another child and invite him/her to come and hear their teacher talk about Jesus. Walk around and have the four children each choose another child (if there are enough children). Walk around just for a minute and then have everyone sit back down].
Say to the children: “Did you see what happened when two children picked two more to invite and then those four children picked four more? What happened to the size of the group? It got bigger, didn’t it?” More and more people got to hear about Jesus and they met other people who were learning about Jesus.
That’s the way most people heard about Jesus in ancient times: someone else told them about Jesus and brought them to see Jesus. In today’s story, John the Baptizer––Jesus’ cousin––sees Jesus walking toward him. John calls out to the people that Jesus is coming.
Today it is still important for Christians to invite people to come and find out about Jesus. It is still the way that most people get to know Jesus. When we invite friends to come to our church, we are inviting them to find out about Jesus. We don’t tell them that they have to think exactly what we think about Jesus. We don’t tell them what to think; we bring them to church so they can hear about God in Sunday School and in Church and in Children’s Church, and make their own decisions about what to think. They begin to know Jesus for themselves. We don’t tell them what they have to think; we just bring them to Jesus. That’s all; that’s enough.
Maybe you know a friend at school, or a cousin, or someone else who does not have a church that they go to. You can be like to disciples in Jesus day––you can invite them to come and see Jesus. Wouldn’t it be great if you invited someone to come to Sunday school and church with you and they did and they found Jesus, too? Our teachers don’t walk around while we follow them, but they still teach about God and about what Jesus said and did!
I have an invitation here for each one of you. The invitation is for you to give to someone you know who does not have a church. Take the invitation and talk to your parents about who you might invite. Then give that person the invitation, fill in the date, and tell them you will come to pick them up if they would like that. You will sit with them in Sunday school and Church. You might just change their lives by helping them to know Jesus.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan