Teaching Scripture: An alternative to door-to-door evangelism?

Australia is a post-Christian country. Given that something like 4 per cent of our community is Christian (in the biblical sense), we have a massive task in front of us: we need to find new ways to make contact with the 96 per cent and share the gospel with them.

Scripture teaching in public schools has, for a number of years, provided us with an opportunity to present the claims of Jesus to children. It is a valuable work, but pouring too many resources into it can distract from the more difficult task of adult evangelism.

However, Scripture teaching can provide opportunities for adult evangelism. Through visiting the parents of children I teach, God has opened a door for the gospel. I can’t claim credit for thinking up the idea, but I have found it very effective. This is how it works.

After telling my class that I’d like to visit their parents, I ask them to write their names and addresses in their books. For the sake of courtesy, I see the principal and explain that I’d like to visit parents with the intention of getting to know them and letting them know what I teach their children. I leave my phone number in case he has any complaints. I’ve had none.

Having put aside an evening or afternoon each week, I visit unannounced. After introducing myself as their children’s Scripture teacher (they usually think I’m there to complain about their little angel’s behaviour!), I explain why I’ve come. In this regard, I’ve been fairly blunt (but gentle), stating that I’d like to get to know them, talk about what I teach their children and about their own relationship with God. By this point, they’ve usually invited me in. (If it’s inconvenient for them to talk then, I suggest that I’ll call back later.)

From here on, it’s plain sailing. I’m genuinely interested in their job, family, pets and beehives, and talk about this for a while. If we haven’t got around to Christian things, I ask if I can explain what Christians believe, and present Two Ways To Live (with drawings). Generally I do not ask people to make a commitment to Jesus at this time, but rather I invite them to do a series of follow-up Bible studies (I use Step by Step to Knowing God by Narelle Gatenby).

Although I’ve never met these people before, I think they respond to these visits because I share a relationship with them through their child. These visits also provide opportunities for training in evangelism (you could take along another Scripture teacher or Sunday School teacher, etc.). Why not give it a try?

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