Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Good News Club--12 Years In

I have been asked to share what Good News Club has meant for myself, our school and community.
After praying and waiting for 3 years, I discovered Beth Lamb, our Child Evangelism Missionary, who helped me contact local administrators and get things rolling. That was 12 years ago. Since then, I can’t tell you how many children we’ve ministered to or how many salvation decisions have been made. I wish I could, but that’s a couple computer’s worth of material that’s been lost or misplaced (!).
What I do know is that the gospel has been presented and children have responded. We promote Good News Club at our annual Children’s Festival and reach a couple of hundred children and parents each fall. We have chosen to teach an Old Testament series every fall and a New Testament series each spring.

The majority of the people in our community are Hispanic, but the gospel, through Good News Club, transcends race, culture, language, age, and church affiliation. We sing, “Yo Tengo Un Amigo Que Me Ama.” We send home information, Wonderbooks and Bibles in both Spanish and English. We pray for brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents and pets. We know Jesus was sent to die for our sin and rose again; that His Spirit lives in and through us and we are united in Christ. We teach and model what it means to tell others and share the good news of God’s love through Jesus.

One of the joys of being at school is overhearing children in the hall ask one another or their teachers, “What’s Good News Club?” Just being there and putting up our sign each week gives others the opportunity to share the Good News—our clubbers, parents, even teachers and staff!

Now that we have been part of Good News Club for twelve years, our “clubbers” are graduating high school. The gospel has united us. We greet children and parents at school and community events, ask how they’re doing and how we can pray. Some are attending college. One is a professional boxer. We have been invited to quinceaneras and street dances with a mariachi band.

We have walked children home, met their grandmas and pets, shared stories, laughter and tears.
If we had time, I would tell you about the children we've watched grow up before our eyes, the girl who left class and how it gave me an opportunity to share the gospel with her mom. I would tell you about the child who said, “That sounds too good to be true!” or the questions, “What color will we be in Heaven? Like green? Or pink? Or blue?” and “Did Jesus have a grandpa?”

We are active volunteers in other areas of our school district and our own children attend the public schools. Like Jesus, we feel public ministry is vital to transparency and discipleship. In John 18:20 He said, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.”

We have a reputation and relationship with the students, parents and community. We don’t expect to see all the results until we get to Heaven, but we are blessed by the opportunity to share Christ, build relationships, plant and harvest as God allows. One way He has done that is through Good News Club and we are blessed.

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:8-21)

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