Principals Favorably Impressed with After-School Good News Clubs
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) announces the results of a survey of 224 public elementary school principals from 28 states conducted in April 2013. Of the principals surveyed, 87.4% responded that after -school Good News Clubs, Bible clubs sponsored by CEF, have been “a positive experience for their school.” One principal commented, “Some of the students reference the lessons learned and will at least think twice before acting. It has also helped some of our students that do not make friends very easily find a common ground.
52.2% reported noticeably improved behavior on a part of the students who participate in the Good News Clubs. “…the students who are in the Good News Club rarely receive discipline referrals to the office. Undoubtedly, the club has been a successful part in our curbing bullying and classroom disrespect for the children,” another principal said.
“We are particularly grateful that the number of Good News Clubs held in public elementary schools has steadily grown for the last twelve years.” said Mr. Moises Esteves, vice president of USA Ministries for CEF. “This growth is a result of the goodness and blessing of God,” Indeed, the increase is impressive: Less than 17,000 children were enrolled in after-school Good New Clubs in 2001, last year that number was over 156,000.
What accounts for the remarkable increase of children enrolled in the Good News Clubs? The landmark 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case, Good News Club et al. v. Milford Central School has certainly been a catalyst. The justices’ decision in this case confirmed the constitutionality of the Good News Clubs’ meeting in public schools after the school day ended. This decision markedly improved the accessibility of the clubs to public elementary school children. Once available the children started coming. “It’s the biblical curriculum taught by caring volunteers that draws parents and children in,” explained Mr. Esteves. The clubs, which require parental consent to attend, offer a healthy mix of engaging Bible lessons, memory verses, songs and fun-filled games which all emphasize that one’s faith in Jesus Christ is evident through loving others. CEF recently updated and improved the curriculum, music and visuals for this ministry.
“I see again and again that parents and their children are hungry for the love and meaning that the gospel offers. We, at CEF, are passionate about this gospel and sharing its message of hope, love and mercy with children through teaching, praying and caring for them,” offered Mr. Esteves. As the April principal survey proves, not only are the parents pleased with these clubs but so are principals in the public schools who value the results of the moral and ethical teachings of Christianity. “We hear reports on a regular basis of improved behavior of the children and even improved test scores.” said Mr. Esteves. At Hernwood elementary school, in Randallstown, Maryland, Baptist Life Magazine reports in its August 2012 issue, that the suspension rate has dropped from 11.5 percent to 2.5 percent and report card grades are up since the Good News Club started at the school, according to Ms. Cathy Gantz, the school’s principal. “That’s hard data. The Good News Club works,” Gantz said. “The Good News Club has just brought peace to Herndon (sic).”
There are about 4,000 after -school Good News Clubs in the public schools in the United States. CEF has increased its full-time staff to 710 to handle the increased demands of training, screening and equipping more than 25,000 volunteers who lead the clubs. Still, the demand keeps growing. Many principals around the country are asking for Good News Clubs. Thankfully, pastors and congregations across the country are becoming increasingly interested in meeting the spiritually needs of children. Having learned that it is legal for them to be in the public schools after classes, many have agreed to partner with CEF and provide the volunteers to lead a Good News Club in their local school. “We are excited about the momentum that is growing,” said Mr. Esteves, “There are 65,000 public schools in the U.S. What we have accomplished so far is just the beginning.”
Record Breaking Ministry Year Announced
The statistics are just in for the past ministry year and Child Evangelism Fellowship® is praising God! It was a record breaking ministry year. Over 14 million children were reached with the Gospel! This represents a 15.4 percent growth in ministry.
Each of these children heard the Gospel from a CEF worker or volunteer in person, through the Bible correspondence lessons of the Truth Chasers ClubTM or through the CEF website for children, Wonderzone.com®. The statistics do not include the number of children reached through mass media efforts such as mass literature distributions of evangelistic booklets like Meet the King, or TV and radio programs in various countries.
Additionally, four new countries opened for ministry last year and three new countries have opened this year, bringing the total to 183. Good News Clubs worldwide are at an all-time high with 43,186 clubs meeting during the school year. Another record was broken as well—the number of teachers trained was almost 289,000!
CEF President Reese Kauffman said, “‘The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.’ Psalm 126:3.Truly, we are glad today for the millions of children who are hearing the Gospel and for scores who are receiving the Lord Jesus as their Savior. We are praising God for the generous friends and prayer partners of CEF too! Through their prayers and gifts, the ministry is growing and children’s lives are being impacted for eternity.”
CEF Family Welcomes Larry and Cindi Bollback
Child Evangelism Fellowship is pleased to announce that Larry Bollback has accepted the call to serve as the director of Global Partnership Ministry at CEF International Headquarters. Larry Bollback was born and raised on the mission field in Brazil. He graduated from a one-year Bible Institute study program at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY. Upon graduation in 1971 from the Bible Institute, Larry transferred to Cedarville University where he graduated with a BA in Theology.
In 1976, Larry and his wife, Cindi, went to Portugal to begin the Word of Life ministry. Word of Life is a youth ministry, ministering to young people though Bible clubs in the local church, camps and a Bible Institute. He founded and directed Word of Life in Portugal and as Word of Life spread across Europe, he simultaneously held the office of vice president of Word of Life Europe (similar ministries in 16 countries across Europe). In 1999, he and his family returned to the United States to work alongside Dr. Joe Jordan, Executive Director of Word of Life Fellowship International as the senior executive vice president until 2007. He also worked four years for Food for the Hungry as their east coast representative making multiple trips to Portuguese-speaking African nations during that time.
In conjunction with Larry's appointment, CEF is also changing the name of its ministry advancement department to Global Partnership Ministry. This change is designed to clearly place the emphasis on ministry as we seek to raise the needed resources by continuing to follow the philosophy of "ask God and tell His people." As Larry leads the team they have identified the following guiding principles:
Generous giving is not based solely on the work of an individual or an organization's efforts, but rather on God's work in the hearts of His people.
Generosity flows from transformed hearts as our ministry partners conform to the image of Christ, who is generous.
Christian resource-raising is not solely about securing transactions or gifts, but rather it is about encouraging spiritual transformation - helping people become givers rich toward God.
We look forward to how the Lord will use Larry and his team to help Child Evangelism Fellowship reach the goal of ministering to 100 million children annually and reaching EVERY CHILD . . . EVERY NATION . . . EVERY DAY!
God is Moving the hearts of Children
God is moving the hearts of children around the world! See how in this issue of the Impact magazine. Whether a long-time friend of CEF or just finding out about this ministry, you will be encouraged through twelve-pages of articles and lots of ministry photos.
To download this FREE issue of Impact Magazine click here.
The next issue will be published in May 2013. To receive the magazine, sign up online at www.cefonline.com/subscribe.
Ten Percent Increase for CEF USA
Child Evangelism Fellowship reports that it ministered to nearly 900,000 children in the United States in 2012. This represents a 10.3 percent increase over 2011. CEF has 15 programs in the United States through which it reaches children with the gospel, including the popular Good News Clubs; 5-Day Clubs; the Truth Chasers Club, a Bible correspondence club; and wonderzone.com, a website specifically for children. “This growth is a result of the goodness and blessing of God,” said Mr. Moises Esteves, vice president of USA Ministries for CEF. “We are particularly grateful that the number of after-school Good News Clubs has steadily grown for the last twelve years.” Indeed, the increase is impressive: Less than 17,000 children were enrolled in AS-GNCs in 2001, last year that number was over 156,000.
What accounts for the remarkable increase of children enrolled in the AS-GNCs? The landmark 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case, Good News Club et al. v. Milford Central School has certainly been a catalyst. The justices’ decision in this case confirmed the constitutionality of the AS-GNCs’ meeting in public schools after the school day ended. This decision markedly improved the accessibility of the clubs to public elementary school children. Once available the children started coming. “It’s the biblical curriculum taught by caring volunteers that draws parents and children in,” explained Mr. Esteves. The clubs, which require parental consent to attend, offer a healthy mix of engaging Bible lessons, memory verses, songs and fun-filled games which all emphasize that one’s faith in Jesus Christ is evident through loving others. CEF recently updated and improved the curriculum, music and visuals for this ministry.
“I see again and again that parents and their children are hungry for the love and meaning that the Gospel offers. We, at CEF, are passionate about this gospel and sharing its message of hope, love and mercy with children through teaching, praying and caring for them,” offered Mr. Esteves. Not only are the parents pleased with these clubs but so are principals and teachers in the public schools who value the results of the moral and ethical teachings of Christianity. “We hear reports on a regular basis of improved behavior of the children and even improved test scores.” said Mr. Esteves. At Hernwood elementary school, in Randallstown, Maryland, Baptist Life Magazine reports in its August 2012 issue, that the suspension rate has dropped from 11.5 percent to 2.5 percent and report card grades are up since the AS-GNC started at the school, according to Ms. Cathy Gantz, the school’s principal. “That’s hard data. The Good News Club works,” Gantz said. “The Good News Club has just brought peace to Herndon (sic).”
There are about 4,000 after-school Good News Clubs in the public schools in the United States. CEF has increased its full-time staff to 710 to handle the increased demands of training, screening and equipping more than 25,000 volunteers who lead the clubs. Still, the demand keeps growing. Many principals around the country are asking for AS-GNCs. Thankfully, pastors and congregations across the country are becoming increasingly interested in reaching spiritually needy children. Having learned that it is legal for them to be in the public schools after classes, many have agreed to partner with CEF and provide the volunteers to lead an AS-GNC in their local school. “We are excited about the momentum that is growing,” said Mr. Esteves, “There are 65,000 public schools in the U.S. What we have accomplished so far is just the beginning.”
To locate your local CEF chapter see www.cefonline.com/locations.
Message for A New Year
Here at CEF we have a tradition of focusing on the same powerful passage of Scripture—2 Peter chapter 1—during our first chapel of each new year. Every year it is fresh. God’s Word is “living and active”, may He speak to each of us through this passage as we are compelled to reach the children. Listen to the message.
156th Children's Ministries Institute
In just a few short weeks the 156th USA Children’s Ministries Institute (CMI) will begin (January 23-April 19, 2013). Students attending represent 19 States, China and Canada and range in age from 18-63. Singles, married couples and families with children will make up the student body. Some are attending in order to complete the training necessary to serve full time with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). Some have committed to a year-long ministry with CEF. Others know that God has given them a love for ministry to children but aren’t quite sure where God will lead next. However, all recognize that additional training is necessary to equip them for the task of evangelism and discipleship of children.
The Children’s Ministries Institute provides specialized, practical training in children’s ministries not found in Bible colleges or Christian universities. The classes are set up in a modular format, making it easy for students to take courses as they fit into their schedules and needs for ministry. Some students come for one module and return home to put what they have learned into practice. Others stay for multiple modules. The entire course is 12 weeks in length.
Courses offered relate to the following areas:
Children’s Ministries – Students gain skills in understanding, evangelizing and discipling children through a variety of methods and programs.
Teacher Training – Students learn how to train others to minister to children. Leadership Development – Three modules help cultivate the skills and qualities necessary to administrate a children’s ministry.
Students completing different modules of CMI qualify for certificates, CEU’s and/or a diploma.
For specific details about each course or to apply to CMI, go to www.cefcmi.com.
The Fall Session will be held August 21-November 15, 2013.
If you have a heart for reaching children for Christ and discipling them, if you desire to train others in this ministry or if you are seeking career opportunities in this field, CMI is just what you are looking for!
CEF Recommends Regular Baptist Press Vacation Bible School for 2013
It’s that time of year again – time to think about Vacation Bible School for next summer! VBS is a great way for your church to reach out to children and their families with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. CEF stopped publishing VBS kits several years ago yet people still call us asking about them. There are many kits out there and churches have a lot to consider. We hope you choose a kit that helps you develop a strategy to reach the children outside your church who don't yet know Christ. Investigation Destination: Follow Clues to the King of Kings (RBP's 2013 VBS) can help you achieve this critical objective.
RBP's VBS has sound Bible teaching and a strong emphasis on evangelism, discipleship and missions. RBP is the only publisher that has sought to learn and incorporate our teaching
methods into their kits. RBP even sent their editors to our Children’s Ministries Institute® classes. While RBP doesn't incorporate all our methods into their VBS, we are very pleased that their kit is consistent with our counseling methods and many of our Bible teaching methods. Like CEF outreaches, RBP's Bible lesson is central to each day’s program and children are encouraged to become involved in missions. Just as in our materials here at CEF, the Gospel is clearly presented in each day’s lesson. We recommend this VBS because churches of any denomination can use it to reach more children with the Gospel! It is a thoroughly evangelistic VBS kit for churches, and it is from a publisher whose doctrinal statement aligns with our statement of faith.
With Investigation Destination, students become secret agents sent out on important missions to discover clues about a special person, the King of Kings. Together you will investigate Scriptural eyewitness accounts of the King in action.
Both the KJV & NKJV kits are $89.99. Click here to see all the supplementary resources available: RBP 2013 VBS Products
The RBP VBS catalog is available online at: RBP 2013 VBS Catalog
RBP is taking orders now.
Ordering is easy. You can place your order through the RBP website, by mail, fax or phone. Regular Baptist Press customer service can be reached at 1-800-727-4440. Use the source code VBSCEF when you place your order with RBP.
Child Evangelism Fellowship Songs Available on 4Soils Bible Heroes Apps
Child Evangelism Fellowship and 4Soils are teaming up to provide bliblical content for children on the Ipad/Iphone. CEF and 4Soils recently agreed to include several well recognized songs used in Good News Clubs in the “Bible Heroes” series from 4Soils. Children will be able to sing along with the app, karaoke style, to reinforce key learnings. The first song to be incorporated into the “Bible Heroes” app is “God’s Power” which teaches God’s sovereignty, omnipotence and love.
Despite the 750+ thousand (and growing daily) apps on the Apple App Store, few faithfully portrayed biblical content for kids. But kids aged 3-14 are impressionable (up to 80% of all people become Christian during this age) and many parents of faith believe that planting God’s love and Word in their children’s hearts is the most important thing they can do for them. Since US kids are already using digital media an average of 43 minutes a day, 4Soils and CEF feel it is important for children to have access to solid, Biblically accurate content on the iPad/iPhone.
“4Soils is excited to enter into this arrangement with CEF, as we have a common mission to ‘tell the greatest story ever told’ to children around the world. Music is a powerful medium for teaching the Word of God and we are thrilled that we are able to use tried and true songs from CEF to help us achieve this mission using a digital platform,” commented Lusi Chien, CEO of 4Soils.
“CEF is interested in finding better ways to effectively evangelize and disciple children around the world in this digital age. We understand that children are consuming content via mobile platforms like the iPad and iPhone more and more. Through this agreement with 4Soils, children will be able to learn great truths about God and His Word as they sing-a-long with well-known CEF songs on their mobile devices. I have had a long-standing relationship with the senior leadership of 4Soils and look forward to how God will use this relationship going forward,” said Tom Levanos, Executive Director of Operations of CEF.
4Soils brings Biblically centered delightful digital experiences for children. 4Soils’ mission is 'To tell the greatest story ever told' on mobile devices like iPad and iPhone. All elements of the stories are carefully and faithfully written to accurately reflect the facts in the Bible and includes interactive games, coloring, songs, Bible verses to reinforce the core lessons. 4Soils’ name comes from the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13, and the four types of soils. Our sincere hope is that the Word of God falls on the good soil of childrens' hearts. "The seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the Word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23)
Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization that is dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, discipled and established in a local church. CEF has many different ministries for children, including the Good News Club®, the 5-Day Club® and the Truth Chasers Club™(formerly CEF Mailbox Club). In 2011, CEF’s international ministry reached more than 12.1 million children.
For more information, please contact:
School Reverses Decision - Allows Bible
In September 2011, 11-year-old Nico was hit and killed by a speeding driver while walking to his neighborhood school. The sadness of the tragedy was compounded by the fact the Nico’s family did not know who Jesus was, even though a Good News Club met in a home just two houses from Nico’s.
Milestone Reached by Child Evangelism Fellowship
Today, December 11, 2012, a milestone was reached by the Truth Chasers Club, the popular Bible club through the mail sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world. The six millionth lesson was sent to a club member from CEF International Headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri. Established February 1, 1999, the Truth Chasers Club had almost 49,000 active members in the United States this past year.
CEF recently designed eight new series of Bible lessons for the club, each targeting a specific age group of children. The lessons are colorful, engaging and thoughtful and have been very well received by club members. Mr. David Howe, the director of the Truth Chasers Club, reports that there is a higher return rate for these new lessons. “Children are enthusiastic about the lessons because they are bright, attractive and have pictures of children they can identify with,” he explained. “The lessons are also engaging because they include activities along with reading and studying.”
With almost 49,000 active students, one might imagine that the lessons they complete and send back would be checked electronically for accuracy. In fact, the lessons are checked by an army of volunteers at the Discipleship Center at CEF International Headquarters. Last year approximately 600 volunteers came from all over the United States to assist—some for a week at a time, some for months. CEF has an RV park on its grounds to accommodate the many retired couples who come for an extended period of time. Mrs. Ashley Alden, USA ministry manager for CEF, explained that the volunteers ensure that each club member’s lesson gets personalized attention. When volunteers check a lesson, they pray for the child and write a note of encouragement—called a “huggie note”—on the lesson. The checked lesson and the next new lesson are then sent out to the club member.
Club members often include prayer requests with their returned lessons and these requests are faithfully prayed for by the volunteer when the lesson is checked. Birthday cards are sent to club members whose lessons are received around their birthday. Prizes and certificates are sent when milestones—such as the completion of a series—are reached, Children between the ages of seven and seventeen who complete two series receive a Bible with their name engraved on the cover. “[The Truth Chasers Club] is a great tool for helping children get in the habit of studying the Bible daily,” according to Mr. Howe.
Children interested in joining the Truth Chasers Club and receiving their first lesson can sign up at www.truthchasersclub.com.