TIGARD, Ore., June 29, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Christian Grandparenting Network is announcing its fifth annual Grandparents’ Day of Prayer (GDOP) on September 13, 2015. The purpose of Grandparents Day of Prayer is for grandparents to unite in prayer for their grandchildren and their parents on the designated National Grandparents Day.
Our grandchildren are living in a desperate moral and spiritual climate navigating in a world hostile to truth. Satan has launched an aggressive attack on all fronts using media, technology, education, social influences and political pressures to desensitize and cloud the boundaries of truth and righteousness that hold nations and families together. Perhaps at no other time in our history is a call to prayer more urgently required than it is today for our grandchildren.
The mission of Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN) is to promote effective grandparenting, which is intentional in teaching our children and grandchildren to know and follow Christ wholeheartedly. CGN is encouraging grandparents to get involved in the movement to make National Grandparents Day a Grandparents’ Day of Prayer to intentionally pray for their grandchildren.
Many years ago, Queen Esther stood in the gap for her people, the Jews, when their physical lives were threatened. Today, grandparents can stand in the gap with prayer for their grandchildren and their parents as their spiritual lies are threatened by the enemy.
We are looking for grandparents to make the National Grandparents’ Day on September 13 a Day of Prayer for the next generation who will participate in this event and take the lead to organize an event, calling grandparents to join in prayer on September 13. This event could be in your church, in your home, in a retirement complex, or any meeting location you choose. CGN will provide step-by-step guidelines, resources, and online tools to help you create a successful event that will engage grandparents in prayer for your event.
Grandparents can find how to get involved and find helpful information, endorsements, and promotional materials and free downloads at www.grandparentsdayofprayer.com.
Contact Lillian Penner for additional information
National Prayer Coordinator, Christian Grandparenting Network
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor Faithinspires.Org
Earlier today the U.S. Supreme Court released its ruling that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same sex couples the right to marry. News of the decision had barely crossed “ the wires” when the reaction from all parts of our nations Christian leaders came flooding back across the same news wires, emails to supporters etc. What follows is a small sampling from some of the press releases etc. we have seen.
The Evangelical Church Alliance issued a statement which read in part,
Evangelical Church Alliance (ECA), one of America’s oldest associations of independent Evangelical ministers, missionaries, and military and institutional chaplains, reaffirms the biblical, natural, and millennial-old nature of the definition of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.
The Supreme Court of the United States does not possess the authority, or the expertise, to speak to the nature of Holy Matrimony, which is exclusively within God’s provenance. Jesus explicitly spoke to the divine origin and purpose of marriage when he said, “[A]t the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
The ECA takes seriously the assurance of Associate Justice Kennedy and the four other justices when they write in today’s opinion, “[I]t must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church contributed this to the conversation,
“It is a sad day in our nation when the Supreme Court believes it has the moral right to redefine marriage. Beyond the clear Biblical mandate that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, this decision flies in the face of all of recorded history. The Bible clearly commands us to love others regardless of their spiritual or moral condition, but it does not leave room for us to change the definition of sin. For those in the faith community, this decision doesn’t change what we do or how we do it. We will continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only hope for the world. We will do this in a way that always reflects Christ’s love, but we will not compromise our values or beliefs according to the Scriptures.”
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council said in his statement,
“Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.
“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.
“No court can overturn natural law. Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court.
“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.
“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.
“Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter. The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.
Steve Crampton, Special Counsel to The Thomas Moore Society who wrote the Society’s amicus brief which made up part of the case the Supreme Court ruled on today, responded this way,
“Today’s Supreme Court decision purporting to redefine the institution of marriage will be regarded by many Americans as a grave aberration that obliterates the borderline between the rule of law and policy-making. Natural marriage – the union of one man and one woman – is the foundation for a stable, fruitful civil society. Without it, societies are prone to crumble. The Constitution does not authorize the Court to redefine marriage, nor to rob the people of their right of self-governance – to debate and determine for themselves what laws will govern. This is not justice. It is sheer judicial activism and politics run amok.”
Rev. Anthony Evans, President to the National Black Church Initiative declares,
“The Supreme Court has redefined the concept of marriage in America by declaring everyone has a right to marriage despite their sexual orientation. The church strongly believes the Supreme Court is about to abolish the institution of biblical marriage…..a marriage between a man and a woman.” This is such an extraordinary ruling bound to cause great anguish in bodies of religions all across the world. Demonstrated acts of unconditional love for our gay brothers and sisters must be exhibited to ensure a smooth transition within and among all communities through the midst of this sensitive legal and moral issue.
This is why the National Black Church Initiative is reaching out to our gay brothers and sisters in anticipation of preventing any verbal, physical or emotional acts against the gay community. We strongly believe in the effectualness of prayer and having a venue for open dialogue and communication as the appropriate solutions going forward. Therefore we are calling for and invite the leadership of the gay community to visit our houses of Christian worship as we seek to show ourselves friendly and engage in this great journey of unconditional love.”
“This is a tragic day for America,” said Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, an Ohio-based Christian pro-family group. “By this unjust and unconstitutional decision, the rule of law in America apparently no longer applies. There is no phrase or word in the 14th Amendment that justifies this illegitimate ruling that will create a monumental, unnecessary division in this country by setting a standard supporting sexual deviance.”
The opinion’s legitimacy is also in question for the refusal of Justices Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves, despite their public participation in same sex “marriages” in the past.
States have been regulating marriage law for over a century, so the majority ruling defies the precedent of states’ rights, including the lawful votes of over 51 million American voters who cast ballots in favor of man/woman marriage in state constitutional amendments, Harvey also said.
“This unsupportable ruling will open the door to the violation of religious convictions and to civil disobedience if necessary by people of faith,” added Harvey. “Despite the bone tossed to people of faith by Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion, Americans can no longer trust this court or trust that such First Amendment freedoms will be sustained.”
This next comment is part of a statement issued by the Georgia Baptist Convention,
“ The Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) is disappointed and saddened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on state bans against same sex marriage. The ruling contradicts the longstanding tradition of, and historical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Even more essential, it contradicts the biblical definition of marriage.
As Justice Kennedy pointed out in arguments, the long-standing belief that marriage is between a man and a woman is “millennia, plus time.” As Christians, our belief is that marriage is ordained by God in the scriptures at the beginning, and only between a man and a woman. Government didn’t create marriage, and therefore shouldn’t change the definition of marriage, nor force it upon those who do not wish to participate in it.
Scripture tells us in the book of Matthew, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” “Throughout the scriptures it is very clear what God’s idea and purpose of marriage is,” said Dr. J. Robert White, executive director, Georgia Baptist Convention. “We support the biblical view of marriage on moral religious grounds, but also for the value and impact traditional marriage has on the family, stability and society as a whole.”
Institute for Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley commented:
“As in other infamous politicized rulings, the Supreme Court has chosen fashion over law. There are no winners, and the biggest losers are children in America who are the chief victims of the breakdown of marriage and family.
“As The Church has for 42 years rallied ongoing resistance to the court’s Roe vs. Wade invention of a right to unrestricted abortion, so now The Church must resist the court’s attempt to claim authority over the definition of marriage.
“The coming decades offer the opportunity for Christians and other traditionalists to help revive marriage and family as increasing numbers of Americans suffer the consequences of radical secularist assaults on both.
“Now is not the time for despair, retreat or anger. The court’s arrogance should be mocked, and The Church should declare that, in a free society, appointed judges don’t have power over what is eternally rooted in creation.”
Brian S. Brown president of the National Organization for Marriage said in part,
Though expected, today’s decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.
Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.
The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today’s ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.”
From the Episcopal Church which was meeting in its General Convention at the time of the ruling, two of its leaders came out in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision,
First by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori,
“I rejoice that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the love of two people to be recognized by all the states of this union, and that the court has recognized that it is this enduring, humble love that extends beyond the grave that is to be treasured by society wherever it exists,” she said. “Our society will be enriched by the public recognition of such enduring faithful love in families headed by two men or two women as well as by a woman and a man. The children of this land will be stronger when they grow up in families that cannot be unmade by prejudice or discrimination. May love endure and flourish wherever it is to be found.”
To which House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings added,
“As we Christians are known to say from time to time: ‘Alleluia’.”
“I am elated that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. In March I had the great privilege of signing on to an amicus brief urging the justices to make the decision they announced today, and I am deeply grateful that they have granted a fundamental human right to people whom had been denied it for so long.”
Jennings said she supports marriage equality “not in spite of my faith but because of it.”
“In more than 35 years of ordained ministry, I have known many faithful, committed same-sex couples whose love gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love and whose joy in one another testified to the goodness of God’s creation,” she said. “I have also learned through simple, everyday experience that same-sex couples make vital contributions to our common life, and I rejoice at the security today’s ruling affords them.”
I am sure this will by no means be the end of the reaction from Christian groups and leaders. It is highly likely that we will be adding more to this article in the coming days.- Pastor Crutchfield
Groups to Display 1000 Flowers at the United States Capitol Building and Hold Prayer Vigil to Remember Pastor Saeed’s 1000th Day of Imprisonment
“That Christians of any ethnic group have been slain while praying — not overseas but right here in our nation–should drive us all to our knees.” — Preston Parrish, CEO, Corporate Chaplains of America.
— Last night’s scene: a seemingly regular Wednesday night service in a historic church…believers huddled…Bibles opened…voices raised to God in prayer…then, a hate-filled shooter opens fire…nine unsuspecting people die.
“That Christians of any ethnic group have been slain while meeting for prayer — not overseas but right here in our nation– should drive us all to our knees,” says Preston Parrish, CEO, Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA).
“While reports indicate that the man committing these atrocities was fixated on the race of his victims – which is despicable – this incident underscores the growing spirit of hatred across our land, toward followers of Christ in particular. Now is the time to stand against it and we can do so by praying especially for South Carolina in the wake of this latest bloodshed.”
CCA, which has chaplains serving in a nearly a thousand workplaces across America is calling for “an army of Prayer Advocates for South Carolina,” Parrish says.
“Never has the need been greater for us to band together as Prayer Advocates for our nation, our communities, our churches, and our workplaces. We are asking thousands of people to join with us by registering on our website as Prayer Advocates for South Carolina, and for their own states as well.” Click here now: chaplain.org/united-states-of-prayer
Meanwhile a group of African American and Latino Churches released the following reaction,
— The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans is decrying the nine murders of black church-goers as hatred and a violent affront on Christ’s Church. This horrendous act follows a litany of brutal attacks on African Americans over the past several years across the United States.
NBCI President Rev. Anthony Evans is travelling to South Carolina to personally direct 682 churches on security measures for congregants and families. The dangerous unknowns of the murders, their intent and their allies still remain, and allies must rally together against those who are intent on silencing the black church and its members.
Rev. Anthony Evans, NBCI President, reflected on this tragedy with great emotion. “What is this world coming to? Why do they hate black Christians? I do not understand why Dylann Roof of South Carolina hates black people. We are convinced that Roof’s killing spree was purely because these innocent victims loved Christ and were black. Roof likely assassinated Rev. Clements Pinckney specifically because he is a preacher of the Gospel and a Civil Rights Leader. The black church was the specific target for this horrendous act, chosen because of what it represents for all oppressed people.”
Based in Wake Forest, NC, near Raleigh, Corporate Chaplains of America specializes in recruiting and placing trained, full-time chaplains in workplaces. CCA chaplains develop caring relationships with employees and their families in the hope of gaining permission to share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ. Each year, they offer compassionate support to thousands of individuals dealing with personally traumatic events as well as more routine life issues. Founded in 1996, CCA works with companies coast-to-coast, as well as internationally, in order to accomplish its mission.
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. Our methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science.
NBCI’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltblackchurch.com.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor FaithInspires.Org
Humility in our modern world is a much neglected quality. Yet for Christians it is a very necessary one. Consider this from St. Augustine the early church leader, ” Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance. ” So here we see that no other virtue we seek is possible, until we first master humility.
Humility prepares us to learn from God, and his word. Think about what scripture says in Matthew 10:24 “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.” Human logic will not allow us to learn from someone that we believe knows less than we do. Such a person will have no creditability with us. So our humility actually allows God’s creditability to grow, which increases our ability to learn from him.
Humility is evidence that we have learned from God himself. John Newton who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace put it like this, ” I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master.”
We are called to be humble because Jesus was humble, and we are called to be Christ like. We see this in John 5:30, “ I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Humility then is part of what links us to God’s will in our lives. How could we submit to Christ, or grow to be more like Christ unless we have the humility to submit to the source of his authority.
Humility is what leads us to greatness in God’s kingdom. Christ himself had this to say on the topic, “ An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.” Luke 9:46-48 The author C. S. Lewis also taught about how humility illustrates our true status when he wrote “ “A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.”
Humility also has the effect of authenticating our faith, and making it plain for those around us to see. Andrew Murray said it this way, ” The greatest test of whether the holiness we profess to seek or to attain is truth and life will be whether it produces an increasing humility in us. In man, humility is the one thing needed to allow God’s holiness to dwell in him and shine through him. The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is lack of humility. The holiest will be the humblest.”
Humility prepares us to be servant leaders. We see this first in Mark 9:35 “ And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” The same idea is also found in Matthew 23:11-12 “ But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. “ Even in the secular world it is often said that you cannot be a great leader, unless you can be a great follower. So if we desire success in this world or more importantly the next we must first seek to be humble.
It would seem that our modern world frowns on the idea of humility. Yet as we have seen it can be one of the most important virtues of a true Christian. As Christians our most important goal should be to become more Christ-Like. However we can never attain this goal to any large degree without first allowing ourselves to become humble.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 12, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Over the past 25 years, the Assemblies of God, USA, has celebrated consecutive growth and expansion, with more than 3.1 million adherents as of 2014.
The denomination’s most recent statistics indicate a steady increase in AG adherents in the United States for the twenty-fifth year in a row. The final tally comes to 3,146,741 adherents as of 2014 – the highest number on record.
The AG growth streak began in 1989, when 2,137,890 adherents were reported. Since that time, the AG has seen a 47 percent growth to its current level of more than 3.1 million.
According to U.S. Census statistics, the U.S. population grew by approximately 29 percent (246.8 million to 318.9 million) in the same time the Assemblies of God grew by 47 percent.
The AG has also shown a strong trend in becoming increasingly diverse. In 1989, 20 percent of AG churches were primarily non-white ethnic minority; today, that number has jumped to 35 percent. Currently, more than 40 percent of all AG USA adherents are non-white ethnic minority. Possibly to the surprise of some, Millennials are a strong part of the AG, with those ages 18-34 making up nearly a quarter (23.4 percent) of church adherents.
“The Assemblies of God has been hallmarked with a dependence on the Holy Spirit and fidelity to Scripture,” says AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. “The growth this Movement can only be attributed to God’s blessing and His work through the Holy Spirit.”
The AG reported 12,849 churches in the United States, another record number. Of those churches, 345 were opened in 2014. The AG also reports a record number of ministers at 36,884.
Other record increases noted in the Assemblies of God 2014 statistical report were official church memberships (an increase to 1,812,126) and major worship service attendance (an increase to 1,927,575).
DALLAS, June 1, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Recently in Uganda, a small school of theology was approached by a denominational leader to inquire if they could train their pastors. The president of the school naturally asked how many pastors needed training. The response – “30,000!” An impossible task for this small seminary that trains 15 students a year.
In China, house churches are flourishing, Christianity is growing and with it the need for trained pastors. However, reports indicate that there are more than 100 house churches for every trained local pastor and local congregations may see their pastor only once or twice per year.
In Brazil, it is reported that five new churches are started each week, necessitating the need for five new pastors to be trained each week. Access to training is lacking however.
These accounts, among numerous others like them, tell a story about the health of the church worldwide. While we celebrate the growth of global Christianity, we should not be so focused on expansion that we neglect the training of pastoral leaders for long-term sustainability of local churches.
Today, demand for training of pastors is outpacing the supply, as only 5% of pastoral leaders are trained for pastoral ministry. Pastors are in dire need of training worldwide. There are thousands of sheep without a shepherd and multitudes of churches without equipped and maturing pastoral leadership.
The Lord is using a small Dallas based ministry, RREACH, to raise awareness about this global issue. Dr. Ramesh Richard, president of RREACH, has been a leader in pastoral training for nearly 30 years. In 1998, recognizing the need to address this global training deficit, Dr. Richard helped launch Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) as a collaborative to train pastors internationally.
Now, together with global advocates such at the World Evangelical Alliance and Lausanne Movement, RREACH is mobilizing pastoral trainers across the globe for a once-in-a-generation congress: the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, also known as the GProCongress. The purpose of this global congress is to connect, unite and strengthen pastoral trainers into a cooperative to better deliver pastoral training to more pastors where the church is growing.
Those involved in pastoral training (a 2012 Gordon Conwell study commissioned by RREACH found over 7,000 organizations and institutions) are being invited to participate in this historic congress, June 15-22, 2016. Up to 5,000 pastoral trainers, from 200 nations, are expected to converge on Bangkok, Thailand for the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers.
More than an event, the GProCongress is being developed as a catalyst for what follows. Plans are in development to create a pipeline for delivery of pastoral training worldwide. The mission is 100,000 better trained pastors and 20,000 more pastoral trainers globally by 2020.
If you are a practitioner, resource provider, strategist, theorist or funder of pastoral training, learn more and plan to attend the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainer. For more information go to www.GProCongress.org or email info@GProCongress.org.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield Editor, FaithInspires.Org
We often talk of God as our heavenly father. We even speak of ourselves as sons and daughters of God. But is any of this real ? What does it mean ? First lets look at what scripture tells us at Ephesians 2:19
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” In the first century every member of your household was a member of your household. But this verse tells us we are at the very least members of God’s household. But now lets look at John 1:12,
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, ” Here we see that those of us who have accepted Christ into their lives are not just mere members of his household, but his own sons and daughters. Compare this with what noted theologian Sinclair B. Ferguson says, “We are adopted into God’s family through the resurrection of Christ from the dead in which he paid all our obligations to sin, the law, and the devil, in whose family we once lived. Our old status lies in his tomb. A new status is ours through his resurrection.” So we are indeed sons and daughters of God through what Christ did for us on the cross.
So now lets turn are attention too the question of what does this all mean ? Lets start with Romans 8:17,
” And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Here we learn that in accepting Christ into our lives we share in the sacrifice he made on the cross. It is by doing so that we share in the results of the cross. Most important of which is that the price for our sins have been paid. However it is also at the cross that we became bound to Christ, and to God his father. To explore deeper what it means to be a son or daughter of God I want to turn to another quote from Professor Ferguson,
” The notion that we are children of God, his own sons and daughters, lies at the heart of all Christian theology, and is the mainspring of all Christian living.” Sinclair B. Ferguson So our status as a son or daughter of God is essential to gaining a total grasp of what we as Christians believe. It in fact, in many ways defines the relationship between us and God. Ferguson also introduces the idea that this relationship transforms our life and behavior. A. W. Pink shares more with us about this part of it,
‘It is only in proportion as the Christian manifests the fruit of a genuine conversion that he is entitled to regard himself and be regarded by others as one of the called and elect of God. It is just in proportion as we add to our faith the other Christian graces that we have solid ground on which to rest in the assurance we belong to the family of Christ. It is not those who are governed by self-will, but “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).”
So although we must freely choose God’s path, it is not our free will which makes us sons and daughters of God. It is when we accept the leadership of the Spirit of God that the “adoption” takes place. It is also important to understand that when we are adopted into God’s family we become a new person. A conversion in our lives and behavior takes place that is so complete, so powerful that it is obvious to those around us. Our status as sons and daughters of God is one of the primary reasons our example to the rest of the world is so important. Our biggest responsibility as members of God’s family is to always strive to be more Christ like. Just as most younger brothers in our earthly world want to be like their big brother, we should have an unquenchable desire to be like our “big brother” Jesus Christ.
WARRENTON, Mo., May 29, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), the largest Christian mission agency to children in the world, announced this week that it had shared the gospel of Jesus Christ through their teaching ministries with 19,914,335 children in the United States and around the world in 2014. This represents a 27.6% increase from the 15,612,330 children reached in 2013 and includes 6.7 million professions of faith by kids worldwide.
With the goal of having ongoing, daily, personal ministry to children in every country in the world by 2017, CEF is well on its way to achieving this mission. By CEF’s count, they currently have active ministry in 192 countries. After adding two new countries in the first part of 2015 (names too sensitive to list here), they now have only 15 more to go.
According to Mr. Harry Robinson, vice president for CEF International Ministries, the majority of the 19.9 million children reached by CEF in 2014 heard the gospel message in person from a CEF worker or volunteer. “It is very important to us to establish a personal, ongoing ministry to these children,” explains Mr. Moises Esteves, vice president of CEF USA Ministries.
The principle means CEF uses for reaching children in person is through the Good News Club (GNC) ministry. These clubs offer a mix of Bible stories, games, and engaging activities for elementary school- aged children taught by a trained CEF volunteer teacher. Each Good News Club includes a clear presentation of the gospel message and the curriculum emphasizes kindness, moral character, and good behavior. In the United States these clubs typically meet in elementary schools after the school day ends.
CEF hears regularly from teachers, parents and school principals about the positive impact that GNCs have on schools and children. Nancy, a parent of a second grader who attends an after-school Good News Club in the United States, shared, “My daughter would love to go two or three times a week if it was possible. The kids come out of club so excited about what they’ve learned. It has made a huge difference in some of the kids’ attitudes and how they behave in their classrooms. The teachers are excited about that!”
In 2014, CEF ran 69,556 Good News Clubs worldwide, an increase of 7,163 clubs since 2013. And although, according to Mr. Robinson, CEF does not track the exact number of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that run these clubs, they do keep track of the number of teachers they train. Last year they trained over 342,441 teachers and had 2,951 CEF workers around the globe (94% nationals). Interestingly, only a portion of the teachers trained each year become involved in CEF ministry. Many use their training in a variety of ways including teaching Sunday school classes and teaching their own children or grandchildren.
Child Evangelism Fellowship is a Bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.