As previously mentioned, the job of the Bus Ministry is to reach the
parents. But it is the responsibility of the Sunday School to reach
the children. The only chance that we have of reaching the souls of
our children who’s parents do not come to church is during the Sunday
School hour. What will happen if we don’t? It should be obvious. Look
around and see how many children continue to come to Sunday School and
on the Bus Ministry beyond thirteen years of age. Within most of our
churches, you could probably count them on one hand.
When a child reaches their teenage years and have still not made a
decision to live for the Lord, it becomes increasingly more difficult
to reach them. It is no longer “cool” to go to Sunday School or ride
the bus. Now they are “grown-up” and “grown-ups” don’t go to Sunday
School – “just look at mom and dad,” they say. The opportunity to give
their heart to the Lord and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost
needs to be offered and made available on a regular basis while they
are still young. This is the concept of the monthly Holy Ghost Sunday.
The idea of a monthly Holy Ghost Sunday came as the result of one
teacher’s frustration at the traditional “Baptist” method of having a
Sunday School class: pre-session time, followed by worship, followed
by the lesson, followed by the craft, followed by the snack, followed
by going home. . . . Hopefully the lesson was a good one and touched
their heart. But something was lost during “craft” time, and after the
“snack” the feeling totally died. The children went home with the
knowledge in their head, but no real touch in their heart. This should
So this teacher decided to switch things around a bit. He put his
lesson quarterly aside. He prayed and fasted that week for a Bible
lesson from God. He felt the Lord impress a simple Bible story to his
heart. That next Sunday, he skipped his pre-session time and had a
quick craft. Then he went directly into an extended time of worship
and singing. After this, he taught his lesson under a burden of the
Holy Ghost. It was a short lesson and at the end he gave a simple
altar call. Several received the Holy Ghost that Sunday morning. He
followed the same pattern the next week and several more received the
Holy Ghost. This want on for several weeks. All told, over fifty
children received the Holy Ghost in that one Sunday School (it spread
to other classes too). They had, in essence, a Sunday School Revival –
but without an evangelist.
He realized, of course, that this could not go on indefinitely. After
a while the altar call becomes “old hat.” But it could be done very
effectively once a month – and effective it is! The concept is simple,
the results are consistent. The following outline will help you start
your own “Monthly Holy Ghost Sunday” in your Sunday School.
1. Explain the simple concept to your teachers much like it was
explained above. Somehow we must reach our unsaved-parent children
before they drop out of our Sunday Schools. Then too, our saints
children often times are “left out” in our normal services. The
message is over their heads. This approach brings salvation down to
2. Set aside one Sunday each month as a “Holy Ghost Sunday”. This is
usually the first or last Sunday in each month. Let your teachers know
plenty of time ahead when it will begin. This concept applies only to
primary ages and up. Cradle roll, nursery, and beginners are, of
course, not included because of their young age.
3. The Sunday before “Holy Ghost Sunday,” meet with your teachers and
take up prayer and fasting pledge times. Have them spend the week
before Holy Ghost Sunday in spiritual renewal. They should pray for
each student daily, calling each by name. Try to have someone fasting
on each day of that week.
4. The teacher should set their lesson quarterly aside for that week.
This is very important. The lesson they teach should be a lesson that
they feel God inspire to their hearts. They should build their own
illustrations and lesson visuals (they should have sufficient teacher
training to allow them to do this). This lesson they need to “feel,”
not get out of a book.
5. Stress that this lesson should not be long. Fifteen to twenty
minutes is maximum, depending upon the age level. The younger the
children, the shorter the lesson must be. Plenty of time should be
left at the end for altar call and prayer. This is their main purpose
in teaching that lesson, to give an altar call. Note – it may be
needful to teach your teachers the “do’s and don’ts” of praying with
children in the classroom. Care must be given to not allow zeal to
6. Realize that not every class will have results every month. But
over the long run, the results will come in.
7. When a child receives the Holy Ghost, and their parents are not in
church, the Pastor, Teacher, or Sunday School Superintendent MUST go
home with that child to explain to the parents what has happened. This
is an excellent time to witness to that family and to get a Home Bible
8. Explain to the parents the importance of baptism for their child.
If they refuse or don’t understand, encourage a Home Bible Study. Let
them know that “little Johnny needs to have a spiritual example in his
parents.” If there is any interest for God at all in the parents
heart, they will be stirred by their child’s decision and accept a
9. In a few cases, the parents have become angry and pulled their
children out of the Sunday School. Although this is unfortunate, it is
better to have that happen than to be guilty of never providing the
child with the opportunity for salvation. Rest assured that the child
will never forget what he or she received. If the Lord tarries, they
will often come back when they are older. No other form of religion
will ever satisfy!
10. This concept is also adaptable to a Children’s Church program. If
an altar call is given every Sunday in Children’s Church, it soon
looses its impact and the children learn to “turn it off.” The Monthly
Holy Ghost Sunday has proven to be effective in “breaking out of the
rut.” The other three or four Sundays are devoted to Bible instruction
A well known Christian educator states, “Evangelism is the chief work of
the Sunday School. In fact, Christian Education cannot be Christian
unless it is evangelistic. To fail our primary reason for existence.”
Often we are prone to teach the Word of God and forget the purpose for
which we are teaching it: to bring the students to the knowledge of
salvation (first), and then to train them in spiritual growth (second).
James told us to be “doers” and not “hearers only.” If we are not
careful, we can bring children to Sunday School in our buses and vans
and teach them a lesson out of a book, and forget that a soul sits
before us without God.
God help us! We must bring the altar back into our classrooms! A once-
per-month “Holy Ghost” Sunday will do exactly that.
(The above material was prepared and published by Tim Massengale from
Total Church Growth. You can order the complete 2 volumne set from
Pentecostal Publishing House.)