September 19th 2016 No comments yet
When sharing the Good News of our Savior with our community, starting small can have a huge impact—and by “small,” I mean the littlest, youngest among us. According to the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, one third of Frisco’s population is school-aged children—upwards of 50,000 kids and counting. As they grow, these children will determine the shape of our future, here in Frisco and throughout the country.
So how do we reach this precious group in Christ’s name? I talked with Pastoral Leader of Community Care Karen Hawkins, whose answer was this: “We take the Good News straight to them.” She went on to say that kids spend most of their time in school, just as adults spend most of our time at work. Out of this reality, after-school Bible clubs were born.
Good News Clubs, a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship, meet weekly in public schools all across America. For 90 minutes each week, volunteers mentor kids by sharing the Gospel, playing games, telling stories, and praying with them. In the 2015–2016 school year, Stonebriar sponsored five Good News Clubs in Frisco, and we have been asked to start two more this fall. These clubs allow us to establish a relationship with kids and their families before we invite them to our church building. “This is taking the church to them instead of waiting for them to come to us,” Karen said.
Through fun activities and meaningful mentorship, volunteers get to be involved in the lives of these children, creating a safe place for their needs to be expressed—and for Christ to fill them. Praying with the children can give tremendous insight into their hearts and burdens, as prayer requests vary from bring me a puppy and help me with math to cure my mom of cancer and help my dad stop drinking. Knowing these struggles helps us extend grace and understanding to our neighbors.
Stonebriar was able to reach more than 200 kids last year through our Good News Clubs, and the potential keeps rising. I urge you to see that figure as more than just a number; instead, see the faces of the kids in your community. These are the kids who play on your block or who smile at you at the grocery store. This is your chance to know them, to invest in their generation for the glory of God’s name.
And this chance will not last forever. Christian organizations still have the right to host these clubs on public school grounds for now, but as our culture continues to change, we could be shut out in the future. Now is the time to seize this opportunity. One of Karen’s visions is to see a Good News Club on every one of our elementary campuses, forty in total. And for this, we need prayers and volunteers.
“What we need is people who love children to give an hour and a half each week to care for them,” Karen explained. The more volunteers each club has, the more personal attention each child receives, and the more we will be able to branch out into new schools. And adult volunteers are not the only ones who can help this ministry grow. Stonebriar kids can participate after school on their own campuses and invite their friends. This teaches our kids from a young age to share the Good News of our Savior Jesus Christ, right where they are.
As Frisco expands, the challenge of developing close relationships with our neighbors rises, but that does not change Jesus’ command for us to love them as we love ourselves. Investing in the lives of local children is a loving opportunity we must not miss. There are young hearts and minds ready to receive the Gospel at a school near you. Knowing this, how will you respond?
To learn more about how to show the love of Christ to your neighbors, keep up with Stonebriar Community Care on our website, and click here to learn more about volunteering with Stonebriar’s Good News Clubs.
Written by Patricia Krecklow, Staff Editor & Writer. This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of the Stonebriar Connection. To read more Connection articles online, click here, or pick up a copy around our church campus.
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