You almost can’t turn on the TV, read a newspaper or sift through your social media feeds without seeing discouraging news about the culture of public schools. From bullying, peer pressure, alcohol or drug use, sexual harassment or assault, suicide and even school shootings, what our kids experience in schools is mirroring what we see in our communities.
People are quick to point a finger at why they think it’s this way, but many people fail to acknowledge the real reason. As believers in Christ, we know the real problem is sin.
"When God left the schools, chaos entered in,” Dallas-Fort Worth area pastor Tony Evans said during a sermon at his church – Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship – following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. in February. “Wherever God is removed, chaos will fill that space… in your life, in your family, in our culture.”
Too many people in our country think they can live without God, but they lack an eternal focus. Politicians were pressured to remove God out of our schools and we’re seeing a moral decline in that space where our children spend so much of their time.
“The wrath of God is revealed when He releases you to life without Him,” Evans said at the Southern Baptist Conference Pastors Conference in Dallas last month. “When He releases you to put Him out of our lives, out of our schools, out of our culture, out of our environment… God is saying you can have life without Me, but you won’t like it.”
Evans said the responsibility falls on the church to get God back in spaces where he has been removed. He told his congregation, “We will do our part as a church for you, for our community to get God back in the proper place so we can bring ease to a chaotic world.”
He’s right! It’s the responsibility of the church to help our communities return to God. KiDs Beach Club® is a solution to do just that. KiDs Beach Club® is an innovative ministry established to mobilize the church to go outside its walls in order to take the message of Jesus Christ into the heart of its community.
Speaking just two days after Evans at the Southern Baptist Conference Annual Meeting, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to attendees and praised the work churches and ministries like KiDs Beach Club® are doing to change communities.
“The most important work in America doesn’t happen in the White House,” Pence said. “We know the most meaningful work, the most transformative work, happens where you live, where your ministries impact, in the hearts and minds of American people.”
This fall, KiDs Beach Club® will partner with churches to sponsor after-school Bible clubs in nearly 200 schools in 11 states. Each club meets immediately after school for 24 weeks during the school year and our screened and trained volunteers teach an energetic, customizable curriculum that stresses the character words they’re already talking about in school; but in Beach Club, are defined through the lens of scripture.
Just like a message from church can stick with someone the rest of the week, an hour of Beach Club can stick with a child and change the outcome of their week to follow.
And in many instances, Beach Club may be the only “church” a child is exposed to.
Historically, more than 62 percent of children who come to Beach Club have indicated they don’t have a church home. To God’s glory, nearly 8,300 children have made Jesus their Forever Friend and accepted Him as Lord and Savior of their lives in a Beach Club.
Through our generous donors, KiDs Beach Club® provides a customized study Bible to every child in every Beach Club at no cost to our partnering churches or families. Since 2003, we have given out more than 55,000 Bibles to children in public schools. In most instances, those Bibles are the first Bible a child has ever received and in some instances it’s the only Bible in their home. Together, with weekly take-home reading plans encouraging kids to spend 10 minutes daily reading God’s word or in prayer, we’re able to reach their entire family and connect them to the partnering church.
Michael Proctor, a retired juvenile probation officer, volunteers at the Beach Club at Mohawk Elementary in Richardson. He has seen first-hand what can become of a child with no love and guidance.
“More needs to be put into prevention,” Proctor said about how to make an impact in communities. “Instead of dealing with things after they have already happened. That is what this program (KiDs Beach Club®) is about.”
Dr. David Vroonland is the superintendent of schools in Mesquite Independent School District and sees the tremendous benefit KiDs Beach Club® brings to his campuses. This fall, as many as 20 of his 33 elementary schools will have a Beach Club with that list expected to grow by at least two in the spring.
“All of those children need the opportunity to experience the love and the faith and the educational experiences.”
As a young child, Vroonland grew up in poverty. Approximately 75 percent of the children in his school district come from poverty. Without these three elements in his life, Vroonland could very well have been stuck in poverty, but through his adoptive family he was shown love, brought up in faith and received a quality education.
“Those three things made a huge difference in my life,” Vroonland said. “Significantly and obviously is God’s presence. Those three things matter… That’s why church volunteers who minister to these kids with love, helping people in faith, and your ensuring the quality of their education will provide a direction for young people you just simply can’t understand. You can’t understand the impact of that.”
For more information about how your church can start a Beach Club or to see how you can get one in your child’s public school, click here to see how your church can partner with us or get a Beach Club in your school.
Published on Jul 27 @ 4:56 PM CDT