Big Picture

CEF’s new animated series ‘Esther’ is geared ‘for such a time as this’ amid the rise in harmful online content

‘More than ever, children are exposed to immoral content on social media, in advertising and on many internet platforms,’ says Child Evangelism Fellowship Director of Digital Ministries Andrew York

For Immediate Release

January 8, 2024

ST. LOUIS — In the Bible’s Book of Esther, the heroine is encouraged by her cousin Mordecai to risk her life to save her people from an evil plotter. He notes Esther’s position granting her access to the king and asks her, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Child Evangelism Fellowship’s (CEF), the world’s largest children’s ministry, is producing “Esther,” a new animated series, precisely “for such a time as this.”

“More than ever, children are exposed to immoral content on social media, in advertising and on many internet platforms,’ says Child Evangelism Fellowship Director of Digital Ministries Andrew York. ‘“Esther” gives parents the confidence to know that their children are watching wholesome, entertaining programming with a biblical message.”

The first episode of the five-part series,” Once Upon a Time in Persia,” premieres on January 6. The last episode premieres on February 10.

Exposure to unhealthy material online is rampant, according to meeting platform firm Zipdo.

Some of their findings include the following:

  • 27% of children ages 7-17 years old have encountered harmful content online.
  • About 41% of people have experienced at least one negative outcome due to their online presence.
  • 95% of three to four-year-olds access the internet for an average of eight hours per week.

Given the threat, CEF sees the importance of reaching the kids with the Gospel through digital platforms and is serious about making it accessible to kids,” York says.

According to Barna Research, “Not all screen time should be cause for concern; media-engaged children are more likely than others to engage the Bible through some kind of digital technology, whether by app (37% weekly vs. 27% less engaged children), audio (27% weekly vs. 17%) or video (27% weekly vs. 21%). These data point to opportunities for greater engagement among media-engaged kids and media-stressed parents.”

“The Digital Ministries Department develops and uses innovative technology solutions to create and distribute digital content to help Child Evangelism Fellowship evangelize and disciple boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Each Esther video focuses on one of the following five themes:

1: Faith/trust — Children can trust in God because He has a plan.

2: Courage/boldness — God will give children the courage to honor Him. They can have courage as they trust God and His strength to help them do what is right; Courage is overcoming fear by choosing to do what is right even though children are afraid.

3: Prayer — God hears and answers when children pray to Him. Pray to God and trust Him to help.

4: Grace — God gives children the grace to be humble. God gives them grace as he is actively working in their lives.

5: Providence — God works for the good of His people. Children can praise God that He is always at work in their lives.

The series can serve as a companion to the “God Protects His People: The Life of Esther” Good News Club® series from CEF Press.

“This is international in scope. It is aimed at Christian and non-Christian children ages five to 12,” says York. “The Christian children will respond by trusting in God’s providence. Meanwhile, many non-Christian children will encounter their need for salvation, and place their trust in Jesus. At the very least, this series will plant seeds of faith.”

“Esther” is just the latest in CEF’s U-Nite TV Series, which unites kids with the Gospel through streaming animated adventures, songs, missionary stories, and more.

“Parents do not have to settle for less anymore,” York says. “Not when they have a resource like U-Nite TV.”

On U-Nite TV, God’s Word is shared in a fun, engaging way to help children understand and apply biblical truths to their lives. They can stream animated adventures that teach truths from the Bible, music videos to learn and memorize God’s Word, and stories that teach the Gospel. The series is available on Android, iOS, Android TV, and Apple TV.

Child Evangelism Fellowship, which was founded 87 years ago, has been establishing Good News Clubs® in countries around the world for decades. Clubs are thriving worldwide, in countries including Australia, Cambodia, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uganda.

Last year, through CEF’s combined ministries, more than 19.5 million children worldwide heard the Good News. In 2022, more than 439,000 teachers were trained around the world.

For more CEF news, see the ministry’s latest edition of the online magazine Impact.

Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is an international, nonprofit, Christian ministry that has been dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, discipled and established in a local church since 1937. CEF is located in all 50 American states and in most countries around the world, with over 3,500 paid staff and tens of thousands of volunteers around the world. 


To interview a representative from Child Evangelism Fellowship, contact [email protected], Beth Bogucki, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Daniel Moyer, ext. 104.