Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Good News Club


Good News Club
image courtesy photobucket.com

On May 18th of this year, CEF celebrated 75 years of reaching children for Jesus world wide. The Good News Club and Release Time Christian Education are two of the most popular forms of ministry. The goal is to claim a city for Jesus by reaching the children.

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.

As a young child I attended a good news club just down the street from us. There Bible stories were told, songs about Jesus and living for God were learned as well as Scripture memory verses. Prizes were given and at the end of the class usually a candy or cookie was enjoyed for paying attention.

The Wordless Book is still popular today when a small book with no words, just colored pages tells the Gospel story. The cover is green representing everlasting life and growing in Christ. Black represents our hearts full of sin. Red reminds us of the blood of Jesus that can wash away our sin, White as snow is our heart after we receive Jesus. The color Gold represents the city in heaven that we now have the privilege to go one of these days.

I was thinking back to when my own children were attending a Good News Club located just around the corner from us. A Christian family had opened their home for the Bible Club, and faithfully each week Mrs Drinkle and a helper would share the love of Jesus with a group of neighbourhood kids including my children.

One day my youngest daughter Judie had gone to the Bible club with her friend from school. My two older children for some reason had not attended that day, but were at home with me in the kitchen.  Suddenly Judie rushed in very excited as she burst out the good news. “Mama, today I gave my heart to Jesus at Good News Club. Mrs. Drinkle gave me a little book and wrote my name with the date in it so I can remember when Jesus came into my heart."  We rejoiced together and I was so happy for Judie.

What happened next was unexpected, as her sister Becky said, “I don’t think I have ever done that.” Her big brother Steven came over to her, and looking into her face said, “Then you had better do it now.” Together we prayed the sinner’s prayer and that day, Heaven registered two new names in the Lambs book of life.

I am so thankful for Good News Club and for faithful teachers like Mrs. Drinkle!  Some plant, some sow and others reap but it is God who gives the increase.

Child Evangelism Fellowship welcomes volunteer teachers, and they also have dedicated missionaries who minister full time. Martha Wright our friend of many years became one of the CEF missionaries. She represents our family as she ministers daily for the children in the State of Maryland.

Volunteers are needed and full time workers need support. Interested? Contact CEF.
http://www.cefonline.com/


This post has been shared at God Bumps and God Incidences.


10 comments:

  1. Our church is very involved in these groups. I'm so pleased and blessed with what they do and how they reach out to so many. Nice to see your blessings through it.

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  2. I never heard of the Good News Club, but what an awesome thing for children! How precious how your daughter's got saved!

    Very precious!

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  3. Awesome story. What a treasure the volunteers will have in heaven. There is nothing better than showing children the way to heaven...

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  4. I used to run a club called the Challenger Club... one little boy trusted the Lord and died the following week in a car crash. I was heart broken but know 'Kenneth is in Heaven' with the Lord. It was amazing as God led me to use the Tanglewood story (Child Evangelism Fellowship) material and this particular series spoke about an accident and a child dying and going to be with the Lord. I really did not want to teach it to the children but the Holy Spirit gave me no peace until I did... I will share this story more fully some time on one of you "Tell Me a Story" link ups. It is another amazing true story.

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    1. Oh I look forward to this story! It is so amazing when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!

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  5. This is wonderful! It sounds sort of like Vacation Bible School, except maybe in a more intimate setting, like a person's yard? Very cool, Hazel.

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    1. Good News clubs are weekly meetings for children usually held in a home. Release time Education is also weekly classes, sometines held at or near the school where children are released one hour early to attend the class. Bible lessons are taught along with songs and scripture memorization.

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  6. (Not sure if my first comment went through, sorry if this is a duplicate.)

    This sounds like a wonderful program. Maybe a bit like Vacation Bible School, except in more intimate settings, perhaps? Thank you for sharing.

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  7. There's a very dark side to the Good News Club, which I attended too for years in the 1980s. It reduces the "gospel" to a formula (the Wordless Book), with an obsessive focus on obedience, sin, and punishment. Even very young children are made to feel ashamed about their basic nature and to accept the idea that they deserve death(!) and hell(!) for who they are. I challenge believers to take a closer look at CEF's materials. I am becoming very active in bringing attention to this topic, as seen in this mini-documentary on the topic. http://youtu.be/dNwPj6RsMFg (and which is just the beginning). The message, and CEF's delivery of it, is psychologically and emotionally abusive by secular standards. With Good News Clubs in 3500+ public elementary schools, is CEF and its workers ready to defend itself against the scrutiny that will soon come? Is there any chance of empathy for the child affected, and for reflection and change?

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    1. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but when we believe on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we shall be saved or born again. Our own righteousness is as dirty rags, but Jesus gives us His robe of His righteousness to wear (spiritually.) Yes, we are to obey the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us, and to live for Jesus, loving others as we love ourselves. The dark side is when children or anyone turns away from Jesus and does not accept him as Lord. Conviction of sin does leave a person in a depressed state until they kneel at the feet of Jesus and accept his forgiveness.

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