LOOKING FOR something extra for your elementary school student to do after school this year? The Good News Club may be the answer!
The Good News Club, a program of the nondenominational ministry Tennessee Valley Chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), exists to bring the gospel of Christ to children and establish them in a local church. The director, Pastor Chris Noland (who also serves as pastor of First Baptist Decherd), explained the program:
“Good News Club is an after-school Bible club, meeting primarily in public elementary schools. Children are invited to come to the club, but they must obtain parental permission to participate. At the beginning of the school year, we send out a registration form at participating schools, and children can register and be a part of those clubs. The clubs consist of a Bible lesson, music, and games. Sometimes there’s a mission story with the whole focus on telling boys and girls about Jesus. The weekly meetings, usually held at school, last about an hour and a half and run from September to April.”
Trained volunteers from area churches lead the club, using the CEF curriculum. All volunteers are required to be interviewed, screened, and trained.
Last year, the Tennessee Valley chapter had 13 Good News Clubs in schools across its six-county region. At least 15 clubs, possibly more, are expected this fall in schools throughout the area, including Lincoln, Franklin, Coffee, Giles, Bedford, and Moore Counties. Franklin County currently has a Good News Club at Decherd, Cowan, Broadview, and Rock Creek Elementary Schools.
Good News Club is one of the many ministries of CEF. Another ministry of CEF is 5-Day Clubs, a summertime program held in community centers, parks, and anywhere children may gather. With a higher-energy format, the programs run for five consecutive days, one to two hours each day. There are games, music, Bible lessons, and sometimes mission stories. Christian youth trained by CEF’s Christian Youth in Action program lead the 5-Day Club meetings.
Camp Good News, held at Camp Rain in Decherd, is an annual camp for children ages 8 to 14. Good News Club students are invited and encouraged to attend. The cost is nominal, and children needing financial assistance are not turned away.
Another CEF resource is the Children’s Ministry Institute which offers in-depth training for children’s ministry workers. Teaching Children Effectively, an accredited continuing education credit class, is one of the courses offered locally through the Tennessee Valley chapter. The class is held two nights a week for six weeks.
Finally, you’ll find CEF wherever you find children. Special events like face painting or booths at carnivals or fairs are more places you’ll encounter CEF volunteers.
The Tennessee Valley chapter of CEF welcomes volunteers and church partners. A heart for reaching children for Christ is the main requirement – everything else will come through the training CEF provides.
Noland said, “We feel if a child accepts Christ, and then we work to disciple them and get them established in a local church, we can change the world. We are working to raise an entire generation that’s going to make a difference in the world.” GN