Neighborhood Bible Clubs (NBC) are a 5 Day Club led by youth with 8-10 hours of training scheduled at a time convenient for the trainees. NBC is a church-wide outreach requiring youth to serve as teachers, other church members to host NBC locations, provide supplies and resources for the clubs, and others to plan and work the after-club activity that would draw families of NBC participants to the church.
Developing a training curriculum for NBC was the biggest challenge. A typical 5 Day Club requires 30 hours of training via Christian Youth In Action. But the reality is that unless CYIA and 5 Day Clubs have been ongoing for several years, it is impossible to find enough youth pastors and independent teens who would participate in a weeklong training. To accommodate teens, the training is scheduled at times that are convenient for them – usually during regularly scheduled Youth Group meetings at their church. Reducing training from 30 hours to 10 and producing the same level of skill, behavior, and performance for a successful Bible club is a huge task. To take advantage of most youth being visual learners, training consisted of a mix of both CYIA live teaching sessions, QuickStart video clips, and practicums.
Household of Faith Church in Garland (HOF) was the first church to host Neighborhood Bible Clubs with training by CEF Dallas staff members Susan Moore and Warren Bird. Based on student availability, training was scheduled in four 2 1/2-hour segments meeting on Sunday evenings in June and July. The “Turned Around” 5 Day Club curriculum was selected for the NBC based on CEF’s recommendation.
Training consisted of sessions on club management, games, and how to teach Bible lessons, songs, and memory verses. Each NBC student received a binder of student training handouts, Gospel tools, and a USB flash drive with Turned Around teacher guides, demonstration videos, training videos, reproducibles, and other pertinent files. Training was divided into 3 days of practicums, live presentations, and video training, with a fourth day for the final rehearsal of a club. With the limited class time, it was imperative that the students review the documentation and practice their roles outside of class.
Fourteen youth ages 12-20 participated in the training. Nine were from the church Youth Group, three were from the church Children’s Group, and two were Good News Club graduates who were not members of HOF. Based on work and other schedule conflicts, club locations, and transportation availability, two teams of seven members each were created. Two of the team members had taken the CYIA training and worked in 5 Day Clubs and Good News Clubs. They were placed as leaders of each NBC team and their leadership and experience was invaluable.
In the meantime, preparations by other church members were underway to provide materials and supplies for each club, plan and prepare for the end of club party at the church, and promote the clubs. The Children’s Group was also actively involved by preparing treat bags for every NBC participant.
Promotion of HOF NBC consisted of:
- Church website updated with information on Bible clubs including locations and times
- Facebook posts from Household of Faith
- Facebook ads for the area the clubs were located
- NBC info in church email blasts
- Information sharing with neighborhood associations where clubs were located
- Yard signs at each NBC location
- NBC fliers mailed to homes with children in neighborhoods where clubs were located
- Hand delivery of NBC fliers to homes with children in neighborhoods where clubs were located
July 11-14 was selected to be the club dates, with clubs scheduled to meet either at 10am or 1pm. Eight Household of Faith families volunteered their homes to be club locations. After determining the number of teams, 4 club sites were selected based on location, proximity to the church, travel distance between clubs, and host ability to support the club. The clubs were held in the front yards to encourage attendance. Each team was scheduled to teach a morning and afternoon club.
With higher than average outdoor temperatures forecast, NBC locations were prepared with portable awnings to enhance shade, cold water, misters, and popsicles. As expected, Monday’s attendance was the lowest with a total of 23 children attending a club. High attendance was 30 on Wednesday and Thursday. Of the 30 children who participated in the clubs, 22 were not from Household of Faith. Each child received an invitation to an outdoor party at Household of Faith on Saturday, July 16, to celebrate what God had done. Several families attended the party and Household of Faith saints were able to build relationships with the children and parents who attended.
Each NBC team member received a certificate of appreciation and a gift card. NBC families who hosted a club received a thank you card. Planning discussions for 2023 NBC between youth and HOF outreach leaders will begin in August at an upcoming Youth Group meeting.
Household of Faith benefited from hosting Neighborhood Bible Clubs by:
- Both teens and older children received training and practical experience with teaching children in a club environment.
- Children and younger teens are prepared to continue teaching clubs for many years
- Just about every member of HOF participated in supporting the outreach generated by the clubs
- Future relationships were created with older NBC participants wanting to teach at NBC in 2023
- The number of trained workers eligible to work at the church’s Good News Club grew by 14
- The entire effort brought the congregation closer together and developed new friendships