‘We can’t wait until they’re teens and hope they’ll hear us. We must teach them while they’re young. If we don’t do it, the world will,’ says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves
For Immediate Release
November 14, 2023
ST. LOUIS — Christian parents want to teach their children about Jesus — that’s their job as parents — but parents often don’t have the tools to do that easily. That’s where Child Evangelism Fellowship’s devotionals come in. These materials are meant to be used by children both individually and with an adult or older child.
In a 2022 article from Barna, extensive research on Christian trends shows how spiritual education at very young ages is so desperately needed. “Whatever a child believes by age 13 is in most cases what he will die believing,” Barna says. “In other words, by the age of 13, your spiritual identity is largely set in place.”
“There is only one small window of time. We can’t wait until they’re teens and hope they’ll hear us. We must teach them while they’re young. If we don’t do it, the world will,” Esteves says. “And the world is by no means in their corner.”
CEF’s Wonder Devotional Books were designed to help children develop a lifelong habit of enjoying God’s Word and applying it to their lives. They, or discipleship in “digestible nuggets,” contain nearly 1,500 devotions to cover more than four years of daily devotions. Each Wonder Devotional Book has been broken down into smaller 60-Day Wonder Books to make it easier for children to keep it with their Bible. CEF’s Good News Club® includes a Wonder Time segment where children are encouraged to spend time with God daily.
The Every Day with God series begins each book with a note to parents giving them tips on how to make the most out of that day’s devotional. In His Word, God commands parents to teach the good news of the Gospel to the coming generation. Psalm 78:4 – 7 says:
“We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might and the wonders that he has done. He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”
“This gives parents teachable moments as they set the example for their children in spending time with God every single day,” says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves. “CEF’s devotionals are designed to be fun and enlightening for all ages.”
Cathy Peek, a CEF staff member in Georgia, has had parents come ask her for a devotional book of their own — they had been using their child’s book. “This is not just educational, but it is the needed transformation time with God through His Word,” said Cathy. “A parent’s enthusiastic attitude about spending time with God will help a child learn to eagerly spend time with Him.”
Sharing with the Class
Miss Joann, CEF volunteer in Washington Park, Illinois, presented the children in her Good News Club® with their own copies of the 60 Day Wonder Devotional Book. She explained how to use the book and walked them through the process of having a personal quiet time. One of the children, Kenan, who attends the Good News Club® was so excited to receive a devotional booklet of his very own, that at school the next day he showed his first-grade teacher his devotional book. His teacher was so impressed by the book that she decided to read some of the devotionals to the children in her class, Miss Joann says. She even asked Kenan to bring the book back so that she could share more with the class.
Bonding grandmother and granddaughter
Six-year-old Valeria attends the Good News Club®, where she received the Lord Jesus as her Savior, prays for her family, and shares her family’s prayer requests with the members of her club. Valeria is often cared for by her grandmother Maria, who because of Valeria’s testimony of faith, accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior. Valeria has now encouraged her grandmother to trust in the Lord and accept Him during difficult times. Maria shared, “I have learned to have a devotional life, thanks to my granddaughter. One day Valeria brought home a Wonder Devotional Book from club and from that day, Valeria began to have daily devotions. Since Valeria still can’t read, she always asks me to read the Bible and The Wonder Devotional Book for her so we can do our devotional together.”
Child Evangelism Fellowship, which was founded 86 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.