To catch the many Americans who will be going to see Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, churches are weaving the net diligently. Numerous resources to supplement the movie such as tracts and Bible study curriculums have already being offered by various ministries such as campus ministries and presented on the internet. The Assemblies of God Sunday School Department joins the nation’s revival has recently launched their own outreach Web page as well.
Although sharing the Gospel with others is not something new for the A/G department but the movie has created an evangelism atmosphere that will bring in new believers.
"The initial impact of this movie has been stunning -- people are talking about Jesus everywhere," says Sharon Ellard, Sunday School promotions coordinator. "Of course, its impact will be felt again once it's released for home video. This media phenomenon opens a window of opportunity to connect those who want to know more about Jesus with the local church."
Among the free resources offered on the Web page, a new booklet produced by the national Sunday School Department called, "Learning to Live the LIFE", is also featured alongside articles and outreach ideas.
"The opening pages of the LIFE booklet, talk about Jesus and His love for people,” said Ellard.
However, just as the movie brings people the resources, the resources encourage people who want to learn more about Jesus to come to Sunday School.
"One of the best places to learn about Jesus is in the small group setting of Sunday School,” asserts Ellard.
There are topics Sunday School can better address than other departments in the church.
"The movie has generated a great deal of interest in Christ and many questions," Ellard continues. "However, a worship service setting typically isn't intended to field and respond to questions, but a Sunday School setting is designed for interaction."
Eventually, the invitation to come to Sunday School is only to help people build a firm relationship with God through the church.
"According to researcher and author Thom Rainer, nearly seven out of ten formerly unchurched people choose to become active in Sunday School," Ellard says. "Rainer's research also concluded that new Christians who immediately became active in Sunday School were five times more likely to remain in the church five years later than those who were active in worship services alone."
The A/G Commission on Evangelism has also created a booklet specifically for reaching those who have seen "The Passion." A link to the site
To view the Sunday School Department's new "The Passion" Web page, see