July has shot by like a rocket (and I’ve definitely been feeling the heat of the boosters! 😅). I’ve been doing a whole lot, as usual. That’s one reason this post is so late (sorry!). But even though things get overwhelming quick, I’m grateful to God for the opportunities he’s given me.
One such opportunity is CYIA. What’s that? First, let me explain what CEF is.
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is a worldwide organization, in nearly every country of the world. Its mission is to spread the Gospel to every child in the world. Their vision has been to do this through the youth (teenagers) of the world. They recruit young people to reach even younger people.
One such means of recruiting youth to reach children is CYIA—Christian Youth in Action. It is an intense, eleven-ten day training, where us youth (ages 12-18, generally) learn how to share the gospel with kids (ages 5-12, generally) through 5-Day-Clubs, specifically.
What are 5-Day-Clubs, though? They are clubs, or gatherings, of kids, once every day, Monday through Friday. We teach the Gospel through games, missionary stories, Bible lessons, and more.
So those are the main activities I’ve been doing this summer! If you’re still confused, comment. 🙃
CYIA Has Had a Big Impact on My Life
It’s strengthened me mentally, physically, spiritually, and more. I’ve become bolder in public speaking, I’ve grown a stronger love for children, and I’ve gotten better at memorization.
But those are only a few things! From building friendships to learning how to avoid drama, and beyond, the lessons and skills I’ve acquired are truly something only God can give me.
I’ve also learned so much more about the importance of children’s ministry.
Friends, Children’s Ministry is SO Important!
Here Are Some Reasons Why.
1. They are the next generation. So are we teens. The more who know the truth of the world and the love of Jesus, the better. The more we teens are challenged in many things, the stronger we become if we persevere.
2. Jesus had a special connection with children. He said, “let the little children come to me.” Who knows how many of those children he had just met, when he was teaching somewhere in the Middle East? He accepted every one of them.
When others rejected them, even the disciples of Jesus, he went and talked with them, taught them in ways only the Creator of all beings could do. We can’t connect with children quite like Jesus can, but we can try, can’t we?
3. They’re unwritten stories. As a writer, I think about peoples’ lives as stories often. I sometimes try to imagine them as people with backstories, fears, desires, and goals, similar to the characters I fantasize about in my mind.
Most children’s lives are just beginning. They could either have a villain’s backstory that forms them to be unforgiving cold people. . . or we could help give them the right kind of childhood, however we can. From asking how their day was to playing tag with them.
Childhood is vital to the growth and chapters of someone’s life story.
4. The Bible talks about how only a child’s heart can enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Mathew 19:14, NIV.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” -Matthew 18:3-5, NIV.
So what do these verses mean? That only kids can enter Heaven? No, of course not! It could take me a whole post to explain these (read more about kids and Heaven in last week’s post!), but the point is. . . little children have some things that most older people do not. Free imagination, simple trust, such as that.
Children have a special place in most people’s hearts, but especially in Jesus’. They must be reached.
So. . . What Can You Do?
Kids need the Good News—the Gospel—and like Jesus once said, the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. Most people reading this are probably youth: young people, hopefully with a love of Jesus.
Thus, I encourage you to find a way to serve Jesus and spread the News through children’s ministry. Here are two ways:
1. Research your local CYIA! Get in touch, text, or call the leaders. I guarantee you—if this blog is available to you, so is a CEF group. At https://www.cefonline.com/, you can find the information you need for where you’re at. It takes just a little research.
2. See how you can get involved in children’s ministry in your church. I’ve served only a few times in Sunday school. It’s not for everyone. However, I’m not going to say that it’s not for me—though as of now I’m in the church’s tech team (composed of only youth 😉) and a regular volunteer wherever. See what you can do!
But do more than just preach at kids—though we kinda do that with 5 Day Clubs, we get very involved with the kids. Try getting involved in the lives of the kids in your church, neighborhood, or apartment! Then step by step, share the Gospel.
Have a good, God-filled rest of the week! See you in August.