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The Church



Scripture: Matthew 28:19–20; 1 Corinthians 12:12–26; Ephesians 4:11–16; Hebrews 10:24–25

Memory verse: Romans 12:5
"So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."


This week use a simple object lesson to illustrate the importance of “little things” in helping complete large tasks.

Display an ordinary torch, preferably one that requires several batteries to operate. Shine the torch around the room. Then open the torch and remove one of the batteries. Turn the torch on again.  Note that each battery is important to operation of the flashlight. When just one of the batteries is missing, the torch will not create light.

After the object lesson, discuss how the batteries are like Christians. The batteries are necessary in order for the torch to be effective. Likewise, God uses all Christians in order to make His Body, the Church, effective in the purpose Jesus gave it.

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “Do you know who arranges for study materials?  Who handles the church offerings and finances for the church?”

Many different jobs have to be done in the work of the church. It is similar to the working of your body. Your heart does the job of pumping your blood while your eyes see and your ears hear. Each part has a different function. (Ask a volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 12:14–18.)

Ask: “Could our pastor clean the church, teach the classes, care for children and preach—all at the same time?” (Allow students to respond.)  Why can he not do all this?

Deacons are Chosen

The Bible tells us what the early Christians did when they saw there was too much work for the disciples to do. The Church was growing rapidly, and the disciples had to care for many people. The Church gave food every day to the widows who did not have anyone to help them. But some people complained that certain widows were not getting as much food as others.

The disciples held a meeting. They explained that they could not continue to preach as much as they should if they had to also take care of the feeding program. They suggested that helpers, called deacons, should be chosen to do some of the work. Then the disciples would not have to do everything themselves.

Seven men were chosen to be deacons. These men were wise, full of the Holy Spirit, and well respected. The word deacon means “servant.” Today our deacons serve the local church by helping the pastor make decisions about the church finances, programs, staff, and other matters in the church.

Other Special Ministries

(Ask a student to read Ephesians 4:11, 12.) These verses describe people whom God has called to be pastors, evangelists, or teachers. God asks us to give these people our special love and respect because they are people He has appointed to help us and others learn about Him.

Can the pastors, evangelists, and teachers do all that needs to be done within a church? No, and even if they could, other Christians should want to help serve the church. God has a job for each one of us to do.

The Church’s Purpose

Ask: “What is the purpose of the Church?” (Allow responses.)

To evangelize—the church should tell people about salvation through Jesus. Then it should teach—help believers grow to be like Jesus. A third purpose of the Church is to worship God.

Why should we attend church? (Read Hebrews 10:25.) The Bible tells us to attend church services faithfully. At church we can learn about God’s Word. Also, being with other Christians in our church encourages us to live for Jesus. We need the support of other believers.

Did you know the Church is more than a building? The Church is made up of all people who are Christians. When we say “go to church,” we are speaking of being with other Christians, rather than a church building itself. People who have accepted Jesus and are living for Him are members of the body of Christ or the Church. (Read the memory verse, repeating it several times with the class.)

Christians gather for services in church buildings because the Bible tells us to meet together. Christians all over the world have found they become stronger spiritually when they worship together as God commanded.

Meeting together is so important to Christians that the early believers gathered together even when they had to risk their lives to do it. They followed secret signs to their meeting places. One of the signs was the ichthus—a symbol of a fish. The letters in the Greek word for fish were also the first letters of the words for Jesus, Christ, God, Son, and Saviour in the Greek language.

Supporting the Church

The Early Church sent out missionaries to teach unsaved people in foreign lands about Jesus. The Church today still sends missionaries to those who have not heard the gospel message.

Ask: “Who helps the missionary travel to another country? How does the missionary get money to buy supplies while he is in a foreign land? Where does the money come from to support our own pastor?” (Allow discussion.)

God has made a way for the expenses of the Church to be met. Christians are told in the Bible to give money to help with the work of the Church. We are instructed to tithe. We are to give to God through the local church our tithe—10 percent of money we receive. The Christian is to be faithful with the money God has helped him earn and to spend it wisely.

Everyone in the body of Christ has something he can do to help the Church grow. What can you do? Maybe God will call you to be a minister or missionary or evangelist. Or maybe God will want you to be a business person and work as a teacher or deacon or in some other way. God has a plan for each of our lives, and His plan is always best for us.

What can you do right now? Everyone can pay tithes, give offerings, and pray. You can also use your time and abilities to benefit others in the Church. Some projects you could do might include helping to keep the church clean, sing in the choir, welcome visitors or visit those who have been absent or cannot come because they are ill.

Another way to work for God is to invite others to our class or to church and tell them about God. He wants everyone to be part of His family.

The Church is a special group made up of people who want to worship God and grow in Him. What a privilege and joy it is to be a part of God’s body of Christ, the Church.

Accepting God’s Word

Some people think that going to church will get them to heaven. Just going to church will never bring forgiveness for our sins. Only Jesus’ blood can wash away the stain of sin. We have to be sorry for our sins, ask Jesus to forgive us, and accept Him as our Saviour and Lord in order to be saved and part of the Church—the body of Jesus. Ask if anyone wants to receive Jesus into his life. Pray with each student who responds.


Electricity and Internet are available throughout the area. Towns along the river road have water towers constructed by the government or built by Japan in exchange for fishing rights off the Senegal coast. Bus service is available, but most market goods are transported by horse- or donkey-drawn carts.

The Tukulor are noted for their livestock, but they are good farmers too. A swath of green is visible along the banks of the river with the primary crops being sugar cane and sorghum. The soil is fertile, and a good water supply is pumped directly from the river or drawn from wells tapping the water level about seven meters below the surface. Irrigation, a key to successful crops, is achieved by channels, spray or buckets.

Every village and town has a mosque with two tall minarets on the front and two short ones at the back. Most of them are well-built concrete buildings and appear to have been constructed with foreign money.

Pray for Tukulor Business People

1. Their business to be a point of contact with believers in Christ Jesus.
2. Business trips to other parts of the country allowing them to see churches blessing the country.
3. Business skills redeemed and put to work advancing the gospel.

Prayer Promise

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you" (John 15:5).


Memory verse: Romans 12:5
"So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

1. The church tells people about salvation through Jesus.
2. The church teaches believers to become like Jesus.
3. The church helps followers of Jesus to worship God.

Pray for Tukulor Business People.

Study 13 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach


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