5 Ways to Inspire Your Kids
to Invite a Friend to Church
(without being "WEIRD!")
Perry had been attending the same church for years, but she had never really connected with anyone there. She was always hesitant to invite her friends, because she didn't want it to seem like she was pressuring them into coming to church. She knew that her friends were busy people, and that they probably didn't have a lot of time for things like that.
We've all been there. We feel like we need to invite our friends to church, but we're not quite sure how to go about it without sounding weird.
Well, never fear!
When it comes to encouraging children to invite their friends to church, Sunday school teachers have a unique opportunity. Teaching the importance of faith and fellowship can help set the stage for kids to want to share their church experience with others. Here are some specific ways Sunday school teachers can encourage their students to invite their friends to church:
1. Talk about why inviting friends to church is essential.
One way to encourage kids to invite their friends to church is to talk about why it's important in the first place. Explain that when we invite others to come and experience church with us, we have the opportunity to share God's love with them. We can show them what a difference faith can make in our lives, and hopefully, it will inspire them to seek a relationship with God for themselves.
"Speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind."
I Thessalonians 5:11, MSG
2. Emphasize the fun aspects of the church.
For many kids, the church is a fun and enjoyable place to be. There's singing, learning Bible stories, and spending time with friends. Help kids see that inviting their friends to church can be a way to show them how much fun they can have at Sunday school. So, when they come, not only will they be able to learn more about God, but they'll also get to experience all the great things the church you are a part of has to offer.
In case you don't think the church is fun, below are some activities that happen in a church that your students might not be aware of:
- Music: Some elementary Sunday school groups have a small worship band or choir leading the congregation in musical worship for their age group. This is usually when kids can feel very close to God, and the music is often upbeat and exciting.
- Drama: Sunday schools sometimes put on skits or short dramas that creatively teach a Bible lesson. This can be a fun way to learn more about God and the stories in the Bible.
- Games: Some Sunday school classes will often have game nights or other activities where people can come and have fun together. This is an excellent opportunity for kids to invite their friends to church and show
- There are many more, of course, but you get the idea.
3. Make it easy for kids to invite their friends.
If you want kids to invite their friends to church, make it easy for them to do so. Provide invitations that they can hand out, or even have a special "Invite Your Friend to Church Day" where kids can bring their friends along to experience church for themselves.
Don't pressure them, of course! Instead, let them see that inviting friends to church can be a fun and easy way to show them how much God loves them.
So what are a couple of things you can encourage your students to say to their friends to enable them to want to come with them to Sunday school?
Here are a couple of examples:
- "Hey, do you want to come to church with me on Sunday? We sing really fun songs and learn cool Bible stories."
- "I would love it if you came to church with me this Sunday! It's just such a great place to hang out with friends, and I know you would enjoy it."
- "I go to this great church, and I think you would like it too. It's open and accepting of everyone."
Whatever the reason, ensure your students know that inviting their friends to church is a fun way to show them how much they care!
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus.
John 1:40-41, MSG
Here is a sweet message using wonderful drawings of this passage in John and a most inspiring prayer.
4. Encourage kids to pray for their friends.
Praying for their friends is truly important because, as we all know, sometimes people need a little extra help from God to see the value in the church. But when we pray, we can trust that God is at work, even if we can't see the results of our prayers right away.
Prayer is a powerful tool, and it's one that children can use to invite their friends to church. Teach kids to pray for their friends BY NAME, asking God to open their hearts and minds to the gospel's message.
5. Help kids follow up with their friends after church.
Inviting a friend to church is only the first step – it's just as important to follow up afterwards. Help kids connect with their friends after church and ask them how their experience was. This can be an excellent opportunity to answer any questions and help them take their next steps in faith.
Why ARE faith and fellowship important in the first place? Well, let's take a look at some of the benefits:
When we have faith in something, it gives us a sense of purpose and direction in life. It helps us to make meaning out of the chaos and confusion that so often surrounds us. And when we share our faith with others, it allows us to build relationships with them based on something more profound and lasting than just the superficial stuff of everyday life.
Fellowship is also critical because it allows us to experience the love of God in a very tangible way. When we come together with other believers, we can encourage and support one another in our faith journey. We can also share our burdens and know that we are not alone in this life.
So, as you can see, faith and fellowship are both important things. And when children are taught the importance of these things at an early age, it can lay a foundation for a lifetime of spiritual growth and maturity. And YOU, Sunday school teachers, play a vital role in this fellowship which encourages their young faith.
Perry finally had an idea. What if she invited her friend Jack to a special event at the Sunday school instead of the main service? That way, he could come and check out the Sunday school without feeling obligated to stay. And if he liked it, he could come back another time!
Perry put her plan into action, asked her friend Jack through a text message, and soon enough, Jack was coming to special events at the church and talking about how much fun he had - to his friends at school! He wasn't quite ready to start attending services yet, but Perry was happy that Jack was at least starting to explore his faith. And that was the best start!
Even though there are many reasons and ways to invite friends to church, by following some of these tips, Sunday school teachers can play a vital role in encouraging kids to invite their friends. Teaching the importance of faith and fellowship can help set the stage for kids to want to share their church experience with others. So, go out and make the most of your opportunity to encourage kids to invite their friends to church! It might just be the best thing you ever do.
So there you have it! Five simple tips for your students to invite their friends to church without being weird. Just being genuine, kind, and respectful in their invitations, and I guarantee their friends will want to join them at Sunday school somehow. And who knows? They may even start bringing their friends with them! Thanks for reading, and God bless.