Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why and How We Do Good News Club

Tuesday afternoon I walked out of the band room at the elementary school, Bible in hand.  My husband sat on the floor in the hallway with four children.  "Why did you want to visit with me?"  he asked.
"To know more about God," one said. 
"To ask God to forgive me," said another. 
It was a dream come true!

(For an update on Good News Club, click here: What Good News Club Means to Me: 12 Years In).

For years we drove a 15-passenger van full of children to and from our children's program at church, but it was in a different community than our own.  For some children it interfered with bedtime, some parents didn't know us personally, and many times we simply ran out of room.
We prayed, asked questions and looked into options--leaving our local church to join one closer to our community, working with area churches to begin a children's program--none of them seemed right.

We had a burden to share with children the truth of Jesus' life, death and resurrection because we know it's the only answer that makes sense of life. Jesus is the only way to have a right relationship with God (John 14:6). And children are so ready to hear and receive truth!

After three years of praying and seeking, we contacted the state missionary for Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) and asked how to start a Good News Club in our public schools. Individuals were ready to help, we just needed to know how.

What is Good News Club?  According to Child Evangelism Fellowship, "Good News Club® is a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship® in which trained teachers meet with groups of children in schools, homes, community centers, churches, apartment complexes, just about anywhere the children can easily and safely meet with their parent's permission. Each week the teacher presents an exciting Bible lesson using colorful materials from CEF Press®. This action-packed time also includes songs, Scripture memory, a missions story and review games or other activities focused on the lesson's theme."

One of the children's Bibles marked with memory verse slips.
You may be familiar with the wordless book or the gospel colors--gold, black, white, red and green.  Those are trademarks of CEF from decades ago, and they're still here. 

Beth Lamb, our state director, sent a letter to the superintendent of schools and made her aware of our desire.  In the United States, a 2002 ruling of the Supreme Court states that any school which allows outside clubs and entities to use its facilities is required to allow a Bible club as well.  It would be discrimination not to.

Beth offered training in our local church, helped us choose materials, gave us sample forms and invitations and sent us on our way.

We meet in band room once a week for an hour and half immediately after school.  Our club is for all children ages 5-12--kindergarten through 6th grade--and it works! 

Six years later, we have 30-50 children joining us.  God has blessed and is blessing His Word.  If you are involved in a club of your own or have questions, I'd love to hear from you.  It's a hassle to leave a comment on a blog, but you could greatly encourage someone else with your idea or question. 

But Jesus called them to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:16)

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!  And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  (John 4:34-36)

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