Bring a Friend to Jesus
Participants: Two narrators and six to 10 children from primary, junior, and teen classes. While participants do not have to memorize their parts, they should know them well enough to be able to present the ideas clearly without reading. The participants may read their parts, but they should be familiar with the material so they can present it with confidence and clarity.
Props: Arrange six to 10 chairs in a semi-circle on one side of the platform. Place a Bible on every second seat. Ask two children to sit in the semicircle awaiting more friends and pretend to talk. One of these children will be the small group leader. It does not have to be the eldest child. The children in the circle of chairs never speak aloud. Everything is done in pantomime.
Narrator 1: The South American Division has more than 2 million Adventists. And more people are joining the church every day. One of the secrets to this rapid growth is small-group meetings.
A small group is just what the name says. Church members form small groups that meet outside the church—most often in homes—to study the Bible. Church members are encouraged to become part of a small group to study the Bible together, share prayer requests, and invite friends to join them. Small groups help introduce new friends to Christ, strengthen believers, and enlarge the circle of friends. When the group grows to more than a certain number, they divide into two groups and continue to grow.
While many of these groups are made up of adults, children also enjoy attending their own small groups. Let’s watch and see how small groups work and how they grow. [Two boys step onstage and pretend to play basketball, jumping to make baskets and bouncing a ball. They turn and walk leisurely toward center stage.]
Boy 1: Thanks for the help in math today. I’ve got to run! [Takes one step toward the circle of chairs.]
Boy 2: My pleasure. Hey, where are you going? I was hoping we could hang out this afternoon.
Boy 1: I have a meeting with some other kids. We sing, sometimes play a game, and we talk about the Bible. It’s fun, and I learn a lot of stuff. Hey, would you like to come with me?
Boy 2: Well, I wanted to play a video game, but that’s not much fun alone. [slight pause] Yeah, sure. I can come. Mom won’t be home for a while yet.
[The two boys walk over to the chairs, greet the two children already there and pretend to chat for a moment before sitting quietly. Two girls step onto stage carrying schoolbooks and slowly stroll toward an older teen who pretends to work in the background. Meanwhile a single boy and a single girl make their way from different places to the circle of chairs, greet the seated children, and sit down.]
Girl 1: I’m sorry I can’t go to with you this week. My parents said my aunt is coming, and they want me to spend time with her.
Girl 2: That’s OK. Maybe next week. [pause] Hey I have a small-group meeting in a few minutes. Would you like to come? Some of the kids from school come, and some are kids from my church. It’s fun, and we learn stuff about the Bible. invite their friends to join them for friendship and Bible study.
Girl 1: I’d have to ask my mom. Can you wait just a minute?
Girl 2: Sure, but hurry. [Girl 1 hurries to teenager, pretends to ask her permission to go to meeting. “Mother” nods her head and takes her schoolbooks. Girl returns to her friend.]
Girl 1: She said I can go with you, but I need to be home by dinnertime.
Girl 2: OK! Let’s hurry. [Girls hurry to circle of chairs, meet and greet everyone, and sit down. Group leader says something, and other children bow their heads to pray.]
Narrator 2: In some South American countries the children have leadership materials to help make leading a small group easier. The materials include a Bible story that teaches a specific lesson plus discussion questions and activities to help the other children focus on the story and remember its lessons. These lesson study guides contain enough material for an entire year.
But in areas in which these leadership materials aren’t available, children must use something else. Sometimes they use a children’s Bible study lesson series or make up their own lesson plans using their Sabbath School lessons or by simply finding a Bible story and writing questions to ask the other children. This works, but it’s much more difficult for children to hold the interest of the other children and to prepare a new lesson every week.
Adventist children around the world are giving their Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today to help develop leadership training materials for the Spanish-speaking children of South America so they can lead small groups more effectively and eventually lead these children to accept Jesus as their Savior.
Narrator 1: These small groups are responsible for raising up churches in every part of the South American Division. Some groups meet in rented stores, garages, and even in a funeral home. The groups want to share their newfound love for God with others, but it’s difficult inviting them to a garage—or a funeral home—to worship. They need simple chapels in which to worship and grow. Part of today’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help provide houses of worship to several congregations in west-central Brazil and northern Peru. Most already have land, but they lack the funding to complete even the simplest building. Thank you for sharing so that others can find Christ.
Narrator 2: Educating our young people is always a high priority. Part of today’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help provide classrooms for a 12-grade school in Chiclayo [cheek-LAI-oh], Peru, and a worship hall for Central Brazil Adventist Academy, a boarding school outside the capital city of Brazil. The children are excited to be involved in telling others about Christ, but they don’t have a church in which to worship.
Let’s give a big offering today so that the Adventist believers in South America can continue to lead many people to Jesus.
Next quarter the South Pacific Division will be featured. Special projects include clinics in isolated regions of Papua New Guinea, audio Bible devices (MP3 players) for the nonliterate people of the islands of the South Pacific, and 15,000 Bibles. The children’s special project will help provide Bible study lessons for children of the South Pacific islands who have no Sabbath School lessons or Bibles.
Second quarter’s focus will be on the East-Central Africa Division.