Contact: Melody Bentley, 571-274-6058
WARRENTON, Mo., June 3, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world, announced at its International Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, in May, that it shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with a staggering 15.6 million children around the world in 2013. This is a 46% increase over the 12.1 million children reached in 2011.
Of the 15.6 million children, 831,000 were in the United States; the rest were overseas, proof that this ministry is truly global in focus.
According to Mr. Harry Robinson, vice president for CEF International Ministries, almost all of the 15.6 million children have heard the gospel from a CEF worker or volunteer in person. About one percent heard the gospel through the CEF correspondence club, called the Truth Chasers Club, or through the CEF website, the Wonderzone.com. "It is very important to us to establish a personal, ongoing daily ministry to the children," explains Mr. Moises Esteves, vice president for CEF USA Ministries.
The principle means CEF uses for reaching children in person is its Good News Club ministry. Good News Clubs offer a mix of engaging Bible instruction and good fun for elementary school children who are taught that one's faith in Jesus Christ is evident through loving others. Its emphasis on kindness and good behavior has met with resounding applause from public school principals who are working hard against bullying and other forms of aggression in their schools. CEF receives testimonies regularly about the positive impact GNCs have on schools, like this one from a principal of a public school in Chicago, Illinois: "The Good News Club that you started here has been a resounding success. The children look forward to it and so do the parents. It is the best attended after school activity that we have. The character building aspect of your program has been in keeping with the vision of our school. The students are learning good moral behavior in a fun-filled atmosphere. This has translated into a more positive atmosphere in the school among the students." In the United States, GNCs meet in public schools after the school day is officially over.
In addition to meeting in public schools, the clubs meet once a week in a variety of venues including parks, churches, and backyards. Last year, CEF ran 62,393 GNCs worldwide, a 45% increase over 2012. Mr. Robinson said that CEF does not keep track of the exact number of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that run these clubs but they do keep track of the number of teachers they train. Last year, they trained over 326,107 teachers. Only a portion of the teachers trained each year become involved in CEF ministry. The remainder use their training in a variety of ways including teaching Sunday school classes and teaching their own children or grandchildren.
Motivated by the Great Commission given by Christ, Child Evangelism Fellowship has set an impressive goal for itself: to have an ongoing, daily, personal ministry to children in every country in the world by 2017. It is well on its way. By CEF's count it is in 188 countries and has only 19 to go.
For more information about CEF, visit cefonline.com.