Good News Club
What is a Good News Club?
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.
As with all CEF ministries, the purpose of Good News Club is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.
Can we really teach the Bible in public schools?
Yes! The Gospel has been taught freely in public schools all over the world for some time. Now children in the U.S. have that opportunity, too! In 2001 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Good News Clubs v. Milford Central School that Good News Clubs can meet in public schools in the United States after school hours on the same terms as other community groups. Children attend Good News Club only with their parents' permission.
What is taught in Good News Club?
Each week an exciting Bible lesson using colorful materials from CEF Press is presented. This action-packed time also includes songs, Scripture memory, a missions story and review games or other activities focused on the lesson's theme.
Each club includes a clear presentation of the Gospel and an opportunity for children to trust the Lord Jesus as Savior. Every club also includes strong discipleship training to build character and strengthen moral and spiritual growth. All children are encouraged to attend a local church.
Who teaches a Good News Club?
Christians who are concerned for boys and girls work together volunteering their time and energy to teach Good News Club. They are trained by Child Evangelism Fellowship to have a club that is exciting and informative so that children will want to keep coming. Teachers are asked to sign the CEF Statement of Faith and agree to abide by the policies of the organization. Adults working with the program are screened according to our child protection policy.
In the United States there is a movement among churches to adopt a public school Good News Club. Read more.
How can I get involved?
There are several opportunities to be involved with a Good News Club. You can pray for the children and teachers in the club. Become a club teacher or helper by contacting your local chapter and asking about training and opportunities. Read more.
God Works in the Hearts of Little Ones
Have you ever wondered if all the time and effort that is put into Good News Club® ministry really makes a difference? CEF of Georgia knows it does! A recent lesson, “David, A Man after God’s Heart” has had profound influence on one little boy’s heart. Consider the story of one Good News Club team and Tommy*.
As our Good News Club team was setting up, the teacher whose room we use each week made a significant comment. “You’re making a difference in the lives of these children, especially the one who sits here.” She pointed to one particular chair. I turned to the other volunteers in the room and whispered, “Did you hear that?” They nodded in shock, holding back the high fives. We all knew the little boy she was talking about. Tommy was a little boy who we all sensed needed some extra love.
I wanted to hear more so I asked, “What ways have you seen a difference?” She replied, “Some of the kids in my class are coming to your club. When they started school, they were disrespectful to me, and had a bad attitude, especially this one.” She again pointed to that same chair. “Now they are respectful and have become really nice students.”
Our team was hanging on every word. When that teacher walked out of her room, we were praising God for this good news.
A verse in this Good News Club series is Psalm 119:72, “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” The words and attitude previously coming from Tommy’s mouth were not honoring to God or the teacher, but Tommy soon realized that he didn’t have to have a bad attitude. He learned that with God’s help, he could have a pure heart and right attitude—that was worth more than anything!
Tommy came forward for counseling and received Christ as his Savior at Good News Club! I asked him if he had ever heard before that Jesus loved him and died on the cross to pay for his sins and he said, “No.” This is unbelievable that little children in this country have never heard about Jesus Christ. With tears in my eyes, I listened to Tommy pray to receive Christ as his Savior.
Over 80% of families do not attend church. Where does a child have a chance to hear about Jesus Christ? Likely it would not be at home, or school, and certainly not from cartoons, television shows or popular music. Good News Club is one of the greatest mission opportunities to impact the spiritual lives of unchurched children. God’s Word makes a difference in the lives of girls and boys, and the testimony fromTommy’s public school teacher is proof.
Thank God for churches sharing the good news with children through Good News Club—children that would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear that their sins could be forgiven because of Jesus Christ.
Thank you to CEF of Georgia for sharing this testimony.
*Child's name changed for protection.
2001 Supreme Court Ruling
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
Good News Club v. Milford Central School District
June 11, 2001
It is legal to allow Good News Club® to meet in school facilities.
On June 11, 2001, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that Child Evangelism Fellowship® could have access to public school facilities to conduct Good News Clubs. The decision stated that Bible clubs such as the Good News Club must be given the same access to school facilities accorded any other non-school-related outside group.
In Good News Club v. Milford Central School District, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a public school which allows use of its facilities to secular groups may not discriminate against religious groups. The Good News Club case involved an adult-initiated and adult-led after-school religious club sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2001 confirms equal access to public schools. In the decision the Court ruled:
Free speech rights had been violated because of our religious viewpoint.
Restrictions must not discriminate against speech based on viewpoint.
Permitting Good News Club to meet on school premises does not violate the Establishment clause.
The danger that children would believe the school to be endorsing religion is no greater than the danger that they would perceive hostility towards religion if the club were excluded from this public forum.
See page 147 of the following PDF document from the Supreme Court of the United States http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/boundvolumes/533bv.pdf
In 2013 over 160,000 school children attended an after-school Good News Club conducted in over 3,200 public schools.
How Can I Get Involved?
How can I get involved?
Many churches have caught this vision and have partnered with CEF to adopt a school as their mission field. They pray for the children, recruit teachers and seek ways to promote the club to the elementary children in the school. Once their team is assembled, CEF comes alongside to provide the training and materials to make the club a success.
You and your church can partner with us! Please see our location finder to find a contact in your area. You may also call 1-800-300-4033 and talk with a USA Ministries staff member for more information.
What can Good News Club Do For My Neighborhood?
A Good News Club can identify a home in the neighborhood that is safe for a child to go to in times of trouble. It brings the teaching of biblical morality to his neighborhood. It connects the child and his family to others where they live developing a good community spirit. When you teach God's Word to children in your neighborhood, your neighbors learn what you believe. Community centers and housing complexes are also great places for a club.
Don't Make Them Wait!
It was the week after Christmas break in a Georgia elementary school. While making the morning announcements, the principal reminded the children there would be no Good News Club that day…it would resume the next week.
When the announcement was over, Austin shot out of his desk and cried out, “Call her back and tell her we have to have Good News Club TODAY!! It has to be today!! I've waited too long!!”