Contact: Melody Bentley, 571-274-6058
WARRENTON, Mo., Aug. 2, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world, has announced that it has shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with a staggering 12.1 million children around the world in 2011. This is an 11% increase over the 10.9 million children reached in 2010 and marks the 12th consecutive year of growth for the ministry's outreach.
Photo: Good News Club Meeting in Georgia
According to Mr. Tom Levanos, CEF executive director of operations, the 12.1 million is the number of children who have heard the gospel from a CEF worker or volunteer in person, through the CEF correspondence club, called the Truth Chasers Club, or through the CEF website, the Wonderzone.com. It does not include the number of children who have been reached through mass media efforts which are numerous: CEF has conducted mass literature distributions in Europe and currently in Africa and the United States, of millions of copies of Meet the King, a succinct explanation of the gospel for children; other interesting media outreaches include a TV show in Denmark called "GPS" and a satellite ministry in South Africa which reaches the entire African continent. While it is unknown exactly how many children are reached through CEF's mass media efforts, Mr. Levanos conservatively estimates the number at about six million.
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 42,312 GNCs worldwide, 28% increase over 2010. Mr. Levanos said that CEF does not keep track of the exact number of the tens of thousands of volunteers that run these clubs but they do keep track of the number of teachers they train. For each of the past eight years, they have trained over 250,000 teachers.
Generally 15% 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. Recently, a ministry in Ireland that partners with CEF offered to print a modified curriculum for free for these teachers. "The hope is that the literature provided by the ministry in Ireland will equip the 85% remaining to more effectively minister to children through their churches or other opportunities." said Mr. Levanos. "This is a very promising development for us in our effort to reach out to as many children as possible around the world."
For more information about CEF, visit cefonline.com, or visit the Apple App Store or the Android Market and search "child evangelism fellowship" for a free app.