Every Monday afternoon, 20 students at Balboa Elementary School in Spokane, Wash., discover the good news of Jesus Christ in a fun, interactive way. Rev. James Kim of New Hope Christian Reformed Church tells Bible stories, sings, plays games, and leads crafts with children in the school library. These kids are part of the first Bible Club in the history of the Spokane School district. (See also Growing Youth Ministry in Anchorage.)
Approximately 30 percent of the children who attend the club do not have a church home. Many are interested in discovering the truths of God’s love. “When children are asking about things, they are brilliant,” said Kim. “They are asking ‘How can God do this?’” After attending club meetings, many are interested in attending GEMS and Cadets (the girls’ and boys clubs’ of the CRC), as well as vacation Bible school.
Kim’s hope is that church members will take on this ministry and expand it to other elementary schools. Church member Kendra Vanden Berg also shares some of the Bible stories and interacts with the children. “It is also really fun just to be involved in the kids’ lives, sharing love and being silly with them, while doing activities like snacks, games, songs, and more. And I think that is really important for ministry, to walk right alongside them while pointing toward God’s truths,” she said.
Even though the school is not faith based, children are permitted to attend Bible Club with a signed permission form from their parents. Kim has found the principal, teaching staff, and school district supportive of the club. He began the club in September of 2013 with three kids; after two years the group has grown to 20. “Sometimes pastors are really tired. After Sunday, [we] don’t have time on Monday,” he said. “When I go to school to see their smiling faces, those are the best moments for me.“