Today, I have a guest blogger, Robert Heath from Kids In Christ USA. He’s going to talk to us about How to Start A Bible Club.
Kids In Christ USA Ministry
Kids for Christ USA is a concept by students in public schools are being reached with the gospel. We work with parents and students who wish to plant before or after school Bible clubs in the Public Schools using the guidelines of the Federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment of the Constitution.
I/We work to empower these parents/students with everything they need to be successful. For some that is just advice, for others we connect them with ministry teams in they’re area, in some cases we provide the required liability insurance. We have over 67 schools across the U.S.A. that we work or have worked with. The goal of KFCUSA and myself is to be the ultimate resource for parents/students who sponsor Bible clubs.
Robert Heath, Kids for Christ USA www.kfcusa.org
How To Start A Bible Club
The following is an exerpt for Robert Heath’s book explaning how to start a Bible Club in a public school.
Student or Parent Sponsors:
Now, I guess the next thing to discuss is “Your approach” when it comes time to talk to Mr. or Mrs. Principal.club must be student sponsored and student initiated. However, at the elementary level, there is no legal precedent as yet, so most schools will allow a “parent sponsor” to assist a student sponsor to organize the program. The reason is simple: it’s just common sense that most elementary age children lack the organizational skills needed to operate a program like this. I was warned by the ACLJ in the beginning of this ministry that if I did what I said I wanted to do, I would probably be involved in setting those legal precedents at the elementary level. I used to think that a precedent was needed at this age, but I no longer think that. What I mean is that since it has been declared that it is a First Amendment right for students, then I am not sure that it is a worthwhile fight to graft elementary schools into the Equal Access Act.
In order for Kids for Christ USA, (KFCUSA) Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) or your best friend to help you with a program in an elementary, junior high or high school, a student or parent sponsor is needed. I remember the first day of Kids for Christ at my son’s school. What I did was (and still is) both challenging and incredibly rewarding. I remember walking out of that school saying to God, “You know, Lord, that was incredible! I could do that for the rest of my life.” Knowing that you had a hand in reaching lost souls in your child’s school is a wonderful feeling. I have no words to describe the awesome blessing of this simple act of service. You are the frontline person in your child’s school. Even if we (or some other group) assist you, you are still the liaison between the school and that group. The goal I had when I started Kids for Christ USA was to instill confidence in students and parent sponsors across the country. You are not alone! For starters, Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” He also referred to the Holy Spirit as the comforter: Whom he was sending. So you have God’s promise to be there for you. You also have access to groups like KFCUSA and CEF who can be a resource for you to use in whatever capacity you need.
As you have just read, the laws regarding Bible Clubs are written with the junior high and high school students in mind. That is because those students and their families fought this battle that has already paved the way for us.
Now let’s get to that approach I mentioned at the beginning of this section.
If you were a shy kid who never acted out in class and was never sent to the principal’s office, then this trip can be a bit unnerving. In fact, take it from me: IT WILL BE unnerving. Just remember the Word says that you will have understanding.” and like I was actually looking into the eyes of The President. I tried to speak, but no sound would come out of my lips. Then, when something did come out of my mouth, I sounded like Porky the Pi, Pi, Pi, Hog. (Please don’t make me explain the joke.)
Remember this (but You are an American Citizen. As such, you own that building.
Just for the record, if you do have a problem, then contact Kid’s for Christ USA immediately. Our web site, e-mail address, and phone number is listed in the back of this book. You can also call CEF. For legal help, you can also call upon The Alliance defense fund or the ACLJ. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any problems; we will be happy to help guide you through the process. In fact, I recommend that you program our phone number into your cell phone speed dial before you walk into that office. (Well, you can if you wish to; I was partly joking right here. More than likely you won’t need to call us.)
It seems silly to say this, but the first order of business, even before you go to see the principal, is actually preparation. The most successful groups I have had the pleasure of working with coordinated a group of moms before they ever visited the Principal. Talk about a confidence builder! The lead Mom knew before she ever visited the Principal that she had several other moms who were standing by her. They broke down a list of responsibilities among themselves. When they did get the go ahead from the school, they were ready. I advise you to go as prepared as possible, both naturally and spiritually. And remember, the most important confidence builder is caused by taking some time to be alone with God before you head off to the school.
Connect With Moms In Touch
Another great resource is “Moms in Touch” prayer groups. This National organization functions very similar to how KFCUSA functions. They break down from National all the way down to the school level. Talk about powerful; a group of moms who meet weekly for the sole purpose of praying and serving the school their child attends! As you prepare your Club, connect with the regional offices of Moms in Touch. If they have a group in your school, I recommend that you connect with them and even join them. Wherever KFCUSA goes, we have noticed that the Clubs that have student or parent sponsors who took the time to connect with the local Moms in Touch group ends up with a Bible Club that THRIVES!
Meeting with the Principal
I know we haven’t talked about teacher observers yet, but I would try to have at least an idea about who you want to have as your teacher observer before you visit the Principal. When you go, some of the items you need to remember to request are:
• A room in which to hold your meetings.
• A day and time for your meetings. (We have found it best to allow the Principal to choose the day.) This can be before or after school.
• A start time, roughly 50-60 minutes before school begins or 10-15 minutes after it ends. (This time frame is especially important if you intend to serve snacks.)
• If you wish to offer snacks, be sure to discuss that with the Principal. I advise you to be “up front” with the Principal from the start. In fact, get permission for everything you can think of during your initial meeting. Go ahead and ask to sponsor “See You at the Pole” in September. Ask permission to give candy as prizes, reward incentives … whatever you think of, ask to do it … now.
The schools are no place to operate with the mentality of “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” Even though I think there is a place for that, the schools are not that place. That mentality is just asking for trouble in this type of program. Never assume permission. Ask for it!
• Also, it’s always a good idea to offer to fill out any appropriate forms or complete any other necessary documentation. That way, you show that you want to do things “right.