The recent poll results by ShahidiHub Africa showed that 64% of pastors/church leaders think that children of ages 0-11 years have not been given adequate attention through online and offline platforms during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
As a Sunday school teacher, this is worrisome because during this age bracket (0-11) children are open to learn about God, Bible, faith, and about the gospel.
While this can be attributed to the fact that children have no access to online platforms, children ministries can respond by using inexpensive mediums of sending gospel messages to children, through their parents. I propose the use of the WhatsApp cast model and SMS. Teachers can prepare and share gospel messages to parents and children’s caregivers and share it with their children.
WhatsApp cast is a recorded audio, word and visual illustrated files shared to users on WhatsApp platform and short messenger service (SMS). These services are easily accessible and inexpensive to use. It further allows teachers to send a word or audio file directly to their contacts. Each contact receives a personal message.
How to Start Whatsapp Cast
Know your audience in this case children ages 0-11 years– Segment children according to age and determine the content of your message that is age appropriate. Prepare age appropriate scripture verse activities that are simple, practical and fun. You can consider theme lessons for teaching a series of Bible lessons e.g. lesson series on God’s attributes or ten Commandments etc.
Organize your content– Make a list of what your cast will be about. This is important to keep you on track and help you avoid duplicating your topics.
Record and share your content– You have two options: record directly on WhatsApp or record the audio separately and then upload to WhatsApp.
Build your audience– Send the WhatsApp Cast, first to those in your contacts and then encourage the recipients to share the message with individuals in their contacts. Invite feedback to help you improve your content.
Pray for the outpouring of the Spirit to guide you to choose your topics and execute the plan.
Given the widespread use of the Whatsapp, this alternative can greatly help churches reach out to the children at their homes. The Whatsapp feature is easy-to-use, accessible, and affordable to many, even during this period.
“…children ministries can respond by using inexpensive mediums of sending gospel messages to children. I propose the use of the WhatsApp cast model and SMS. Teachers can prepare and share gospel messages to parents and children’s caregivers and share it with their children.”
Mercy K. Maina, M. A. Biblical Studies;
Part Time Lecturer: Kabarak University, Teaching Bible Courses. Service: Sunday School Teacher CITAM Karen;; Interest: Bridging Teaching Skill Gaps among Sunday School Teachers