ST. PETERSBURG — The goal of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is to assist community churches in the establishment of Good News Clubs in local public schools. Good News Clubs were developed by CEF, a non-profit organization, as a non-denominational afterschool program that would teach biblical concepts and principles to children in kindergarten through the fifth grade.
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Good News Clubs in the landmark case of Good News Clubs vs. Milford Central School in New York. This decision gave them the same rights as other community groups such as the Boys & Girls Scouts to hold meetings at local public schools after hours.
“Child Evangelism Fellowship is a Bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to teach boys and girls the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” stated CEF Suncoast Chapter Director Julia Rogers.
Their mission is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living. CEF now claims over 77,000 Good News Clubs worldwide in over 185 countries with 25 clubs established in Pinellas County Schools.
Rogers is continuing in her quest to enlist more churches to adopt schools so that more clubs can be established.
CEF provides two free two and a half-hour training sessions to church volunteers to help them set up their club. After that, the church volunteers are in charge of their own program and will be responsible for reaching out to secure a partnership with a local school.
Churches will be instructed on the start-up requirements of the clubs, team building, coaching, review of the curriculum and how to schedule activities. The volunteers will learn to use a variety of tools to help students learn and grow with the Bible, including reading Bible stories, memory verses, songs, colorful Bible flashcards and interactive CDs and DVDs.
“Most importantly the volunteers are taught how to teach,” she explained.
To emphasize that there are diverse ways to communicate the lesson to a child, she explained how interactive hand movements and dance can elevate a spiritual song and bring about a totally new meaning to children.
There is a nominal fee for the student materials available from CEF. Good News Clubs meet once a week for approximately 60-90 minutes at the local school.
Rogers is enthusiastic about all of the other programs offered through CEF including the teen program called Christian Youth in Action. This program is held in the summer for one week at Johnson University in Kissimmee to teach evangelism missionary to teens.
In turn, the teens will then teach the younger members during the 5 Day Club, which is a summer ministry program for elementary school kids.
Rogers said she has had a lifelong involvement with evangelism and ministries and was led to the Lord by her late mother at the age of three. However, after the devastation of losing her husband Darrin, who was the director of the Suncoast Chapter of CEF for more than 10 years, to cancer, did she decided to take the reins as director.
“The Lord told me to pick up the torch from my husband; we were a team,” she recounted sadly.
Rogers encourages local churches to set up more Good News Clubs, because through her experience, a lot of children do not know about God.
“Good News Clubs can help children believe that they are greater than their circumstances,” she said. “Because of God in their life, they are overcomers.”
For more information or questions, please call (727) 526-9588, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.