Can you think of an opportunity that changed your life? For many teens Christian Youth In Action has been that life-changing opportunity.
Lydia was 14 years old when she picked up a brochure from a ministry she’d barely heard of called Child Evangelism Fellowship. Someone had spoken at her Christian school about CEF and handed out brochures. Unlike many other ministry brochures, this one captured her young imagination, and she knew God wanted her to do this. That summer she attended her very first Christian Youth In Action® training and was hooked.
At Christian Youth In Action® or CYIA™ young people gather from around their state for a camp in June where they are trained to share the Gospel with children through Bible lessons, songs, memory verses, and games. Then they go back to their local area and serve in teams with various summer ministries, primarily the 5-Day Club® program. Teens have the energy to teach several clubs a week during the month of July. This same program is replicated around the world where teens are reaching tens of thousands of children every summer. The cool thing is, kids LOVE teens, AND teens find out how they can be a tremendous influence for good.
In CYIA, Lydia learned how to share the Gospel with kids and took her newfound skills to Duluth, Minnesota to teach 5-Day Clubs. The CYIA staff began building a foundation of truth and skills in her life. Every year Lydia returned to CYIA, she attended new classes and grew in her experience as a teacher and, most importantly, as a Christian. Eventually she became staff, mentoring and building into students just as others had done with her. During the COVID pandemic, she taught clubs online for children.
In the state of Idaho, during the last day of CYIA, teens practiced sharing the Gospel while doing face painting at a local fair. That’s where 11-year-old Bethany and her 9-year-old sister, Miriam, first heard about Jesus dying on the cross to save them from their sin. A few years later Bethany and Miriam attended Christian Youth In Action and learned how to lead 5-Day Clubs. Their determination to share Jesus resulted in 127 children hearing the true Gospel of Jesus in the small communities of northern Idaho.
CYIA prepares young people to clearly share the Good News of Jesus, equips them to be organized leaders, and develops them as teachers. As they are challenged to study, practice, and take on more and more responsibility in clubs, their confidence grows. Many see God work in amazing ways as they invest in the lives of children.
In the summer of 2005 at age 13, Samuel was eager to follow in the footsteps of his older sister Abigail who participated in CYIA for several years prior. As soon as Samuel was old enough, he attended the training held in the north woods of Wisconsin and became a 5-Day Club teacher. For six consecutive years his skills and confidence grew as he received training and taught 5-Day Clubs. “CEF ministry has equipped me and impassioned me,” said Samuel. Not only did he learn to recognize good-quality children’s curriculum but also how to tell stories that were engaging and filled with spiritual truth.
Today the training Samuel received on sharing the Gospel with The Wordless Book forms the basic outline he uses for evangelism. Samuel utilizes his CYIA training and experience in the various aspects of his ministry as a Pastor. So, when he was invited to return to the same camp in the north woods of Wisconsin, this time as the camp pastor, he was thrilled. Remembering CYIA and its significant impact upon his own life intensified his passion to invest in the lives of young people.
Maybe you know some young people who’d be interested in CYIA. A great way to get them started is by hosting a 5-Day Club. Talk with your local CEF ministry (https://chapters.cefonline.com) or learn more about Christian Youth In Action and 5-Day Club at cefonline.com/ministries.
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