To all of you who are involved in children’s ministry and specifically, Good News Club, I want to thank you for giving your time and talents to teaching kids about the amazing gift that Jesus has offered to us and influencing them week after week to love Jesus every day of their lives.  I’ve been involved in children’s ministry for many years.  This is my eighth year to be involved with Good News Club and I have tried different ideas to make our club the best that it can be.  As my club has grown it has been so much fun to watch God move in the lives of our kids.  My hope is that the following ideas will inspire you to make your own club or ministry irresistible to the kids in your area!  So get ready, get set, go make your ministry irresistible!

COUNTDOWN TO CLUB

PRAY.  Pray for your club time, team and kids.  Can’t remember all their names?  Try keeping a copy of the attendance list in your Bible.  Remember to also pray for the principle, teachers and staff at your school!  I like to choose a Bible verse for the year that the team and I pray over our club from the first meeting to the last.  Try it and watch our amazing God move!

SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE.  Request a table for Good News Club among the other tables, like Boy/Girl Scouts.  Decorate your table with a colorful tablecloth, display board about club, registration forms and pens, and candy like Dum Dum suckers or Smarties.  Bring your smile!  Stand at the table to greet your kids and answer questions.  Remember:  Club is awesome!  Be friendly and excited about your club!

KICK OFF PARTY.  Invite kids to the school field or nearby park to play kickball together before club meetings begin.  Divide into two teams, choose team names and kick that ball!  Kids can bring their own water bottles and a snack to share together before or after a fun game of kickball.  A leader might even bring popsicles for a special treat after your game!  Use this time of fun to build relationships with the kids!  Challenge the kids to invite their friends to club!  Have the leaders do a skit for the kids showing them how to invite their friends to club.  Then hand out lots of registration forms!

CLUB TIME

“4:00 NEWS WITH FRANKLIN.”  Encourage kids to love Jesus and live for Him.  Consider adding a quick newscast during snack time where a leader interviews a child.  Give the child questions the week before so they can prepare.  Ask about how/when the child decided to become a Christian, what activities they like to do, what opportunities they have had to share Jesus with others at school, home or in their neighborhood, with their soccer team or dance class, and what they are doing now to get to know Jesus more today.  Kids want to make a difference and they believe they can change the world.  Just imagine your kids making a difference at your school because they know Jesus!

“BIRTHDAY BLESSING.”  Birthdays are important to kids so make that important at club.  Snack time or closing time is the perfect time to give value to your special birthday kids.  Invite the birthday child to come up to the front as you share a quick thing or two that you have seen in that child that is super cool, like how well they get along with the kids or maybe the time that you saw them choose their Bible verse prize to give to their brother or how awesome they are at working in their Wonder Book each week.  Have bookmarks signed by the team ready to give to the birthday child at the end of club, and maybe a candy, too!  Make their day extra special by mailing them a postcard that they will receive at home on their birthday!

BIBLE LESSON IMPACT.  Tattoo your kids!  No, not real tattoos, but you can imprint your lessons about God on your kids all week long.  Our CEF lessons are awesome!  Practice presenting.  Add object lessons.  Bring them to life with costumes and props.  Is there rain?  Surprise the kids with spray bottle mist!  We had Nerf spears flying across the room at David during our angry, jealous Saul lesson!  And remember to have your own time with God.  You were never meant to serve Him alone and you can’t give away what you don’t have!

BIBLE VERSE, WONDER BOOK, AND NEW FRIENDS PRIZES!  What do your kids want?  Silly bands?  Skittles?  Pencils?  Target gift cards?  When kids hide God’s Word in their hearts now, God will remind them of those verses later when they’re older. Teach the kids how to study God’s Word today and they’ll remember truth as they grow.  Don’t let your kids keep club a secret.  Invite friends!

GOOD NEWS CLUB LIBRARY.  Elementary kids love to read!  Provide Christian books for them to borrow.  Just imagine your fourth grade boy reading a Bill Myers “My Life As” book in his classroom!  Or your second grade girl reading a Beverly Lewis “The Cul-De-Sac Kids” book!

BIBLES TO BORROW.  This is the perfect time for kids to gain a love for reading the Bible!  The NIV Bible is written at a 7th grade reading level so provide children’s Bibles for the kids.  The Action Bible from David C. Cook, the Hands-On Bible from Tyndale, and the NIrV Adventure Bible from ZonderKidz will fascinate your kids and draw them closer to God!

BIBLE JOURNAL.  Send a club journal home along with the Bible to Borrow or just the journal itself for children to share what they’ve learned in the Bible that week.  As kids read God’s Word they can write a note about what they learned, draw a picture or even create a poem or comic strip.  It’s their choice!  Consider having multiple journals so leaders can positively respond to entries during the week while kids take home a different journal.  At the end of the year, see how much your kids have learned from God’s Word!

ICE CREAM PARTY.  I scream.  You scream.  We all scream for ice cream!  And kids will bring their friends to club when you celebrate all the amazing things that your club learned about God as you finish a series of Bible lessons!  Bring lots of RediWhip and sprinkles!

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH.  Kids love jokes and riddles so occasionally share some laughs during snack time.  Kids’ magazines are great resources for kids’ jokes.  Your kids may even surprise you with some funny jokes of their own!

EXTRA!  EXTRA!

“FIFTH GRADE FUN.”  Your older kids are the key to your club.  If your oldest kids are excited and engaged in club, the other kids will be too.  While the younger kids like repetitive activities, you can keep those older kids guessing a bit.  Your older kids need to feel important so give them jobs at club and a special activity just for them.  Contact parents and plan a fun time for the oldest kids, their families and your leaders.  Shhh…Keep it a secret from the kids!  In the weeks leading up to the special day, provide clues and see which fifth grader can guess the activity first!  Maybe you’ll meet after school at Dairy Queen for ice cream cones.  Or play laser tag.  How about sledding at a nearby park?

CHRISTMAS PARTY.  We talk about Christmas and Easter all year long in Good News Club so celebrate big at Christmas time.  Our Christmas tradition is for the fifth graders to decorate a giant brownie for Jesus’ birthday cake.  When the fifth graders have the cake ready we all sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and then share the delicious brownie cake!

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!  It’s always difficult to send our fifth graders away to middle school so we send them off with a small gift and prayer at our last club.  Tweens would like a Christian music CD (think TobyMac, Stellar Kart, BarlowGirl, Hawk Nelson), a picture from club with messages from the Good News Club team, a glow stick with a reminder to shine for Jesus in middle school or a pack of Extra gum to remind them that they are Extra special to God!

KIDS LOVE MAIL.  You know you love to get a real letter in the mail, too!  How about sending a postcard to a child when you see them doing something awesome at club?  Maybe Joey was a good friend to a new kid today or perhaps you saw Maddie choose her Bible verse prize and give it to her little brother.  When Billy misses club, a postcard in the mail will let him know you noticed he was gone.  And don’t forget a birthday postcard on that special day!  Money Saver:  Purchase plain 4×6 cards and make you own postcards.  Or skip the postage altogether and make friendly phone calls to your kids!

SHARE THE JOY.  You know you appreciate the teachers and staff at your school so show them by bringing in occasional treats to their lunch room.  Or show your attitude of gratitude with a simple bowl of candy in the office from your club.  Let them know they are a “Treasure” to your school with Nestle’s Treasure candies.  Or that they are “a great ‘Riesen’ to celebrate” with a dish of Riesen caramels.  One year our club day fell on May Day so our club made May Baskets and delivered them to all of our teachers!  Or  maybe your school collects Box Tops.  You should have seen the look on our secretary’s face when I gave her a bag full of Box Tops for her school when I didn’t even have a child enrolled there!  We are so grateful for the use of our room for club so children can learn of the love of Jesus, so let’s be sure to bless our school!

Now you’re ready and you’re set.  Will you go?

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here am I.  Send me!'” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV).

Blessings to you all as you go out and share the love of Jesus with kids!  -Lori

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