We were in the heat of the attendance contest in the youth group. I had the seniors. We came up with a plan. God used it!
You know that school campuses are made up of “cliques”—athletes, musicians, twirlers, beauty queens, socialites, college-preps, gangs, etc. Since athletes often have big egos around sports season time we decided to use it for good. We decided to have an “honor the athlete day” and invite every football team in the area. With minimal work, they came. Here is how to host your own athlete’s day:
Mail a letter 2–3 weeks in advance to the coach of every junior high and senior high school in your area. (We sent 44 letters.)
Enclose a letter to each of the coach’s chosen top 2–4 players. (This makes it easy for the coach to invite his players.)
At the service, have your teens welcoming all guests.
Recognize each athlete who attends, shake his hand, and give a small trophy and New Testament to each player.
Have a photographer constantly taking pictures. Take group pictures after the service.
Have each team sign a football (or basketball, baseball, etc. depending on their sport).
We did all this in our 10:00 Sunday school hour with our entire youth group attending to make it a big thing. While we usually averaged 100–130 teens, on that Sunday we had 261 attending. A few parents even came. They all heard the Gospel, and at least seventeen of them publicly accepted Christ.
It took very little labor and a little expense, but there were eternal dividends. We didn’t knock on one door or make one phone call. We just mailed 44 letters.
This idea could be used for any entity within the public school: choir, band, honor students, cheerleaders, etc. Parents love it! We honored their children for doing right. There was no deception. It was simply an honor ceremony with a Gospel invitation done at church. They heard the Gospel, and it endeared them to the local church.
This article is taken from the book Called or Crazy by Mike Ray.