By Aaron Ziebarth, Executive Director. Earlier this week I had the privilege to visit two of our Released Time programs. I always enjoy seeing the commitment and dedication of the volunteers. The children know that the listeners love them and they are very excited to be there.
The first program I visited was celebrating because they are reaching twice the number as last year! The second program was rejoicing that two more students signed up to attend!
Our desire is to reach more and more children with the Gospel. This is what God has called us to do through the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), and it is His heart’s desire (Luke 19:10).
Here are 7 helpful ways to reach more children:
1. Pray regularly for the children who do not attend to begin attending. This is spiritual work. The evil one doesn’t want children to hear the gospel — this is best addressed through prayer. Pray with other volunteers, pray with children, and pray as families.
2. Encourage children to invite their friends (it usually takes more than one ask). There are a variety of reasons that children don’t attend: They don’t know about it, they are unsure about it, no one asked them, and the list goes on. We know the number 1 reason they attend is because someone asked them.
3. Give Released Time brochures (permission forms) to students often — then they can give them directly to their friends. This makes it easy to complete and return. You can find a printable form here. You can also encourage children to register online here.
4. Please understand that children can give Released Time brochures to children on school facilities (there is no government restriction). We always encourage children not to disrupt classroom activities when they give these to their friends.
5. Released Time classes may consider giving an incentive or a certificate to every student who invites another child. Another idea may be to have a special celebration after a certain amount of new students join.
6. Spread the word about Released Time on Facebook. Although not everyone is using this tool, it is a great way to share how children are being impacted. Many parents will see this and may consider signing their children up as well. You can also follow Joy El’s Facebook Page for timely updates.
7. Pay careful attention to discouraging comments that may be shared by school teachers. I have heard that teachers sometimes discourage students from attending Released Time. Legally teachers can’t promote or discourage Released Time. For more information Click Here
Can you imagine what your community would be like if more children were impacted by the Gospel?