What are your summer plans? Perhaps you will visit relatives, take a vacation, or soak up the sun at a neighborhood pool or lake? These are all great opportunities, but summer also affords us a unique opportunity to spread the Gospel through backyard Bible clubs.
Every member of your family can take part in the wonderful ministry of a backyard Bible club—whether it be extending invitations, teaching a lesson, leading singing, supervising a craft or game, or just loving the children who come.
Here is how a backyard Bible club works. Most meet for five sessions, usually five mornings or afternoons of the same week, but you could host it in the evening or stretch it out over several weeks. Invite the children of your neighbors, coworkers, or relatives. Invite your children’s classmates or any children you know. Hold the club in your backyard…or front porch…or garage…or at the neighborhood park. Though an hour and a half is the recommended length, you could meet for as little as an hour or as much as three hours. Any size group will work as long as you have sufficient help for the number of children. The kindergarten to sixth grade age range is ideal, but with the right support, other ages can be included.
The main element of the club is a Bible teaching time, but singing, games, crafts, snacks, and worksheets can all be included. There is a handout for the parents each time, which gives you an opportunity to influence them as well as their children with the Gospel.
Sometimes families or small groups partner to host a club. Sometimes a family will volunteer their yard and invite the children, and their church will provide a teacher. Some groups hold a program during the last club meeting or in the evening of the last day, inviting the parents to come. Others have shown the Jesus video and invited the families of the children to attend.
We have seen that these simple clubs open the door for further evangelism. Some children identify your house as “the Bible house” or the teacher as “the Bible lady.” This encourages further spiritual input into the lives of these children that you see on a regular basis. Sometimes a woman’s Bible study springs from the Bible club with the mothers of the children who attend. Often these clubs are a springboard for a bigger vision of ministry to a neighborhood. (See the book Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: Blessing Your Neighborhood Through Love & Prayer by Mary Lance V. Sisk.)
God has placed children who do not know Him in your lives for a purpose. Might that purpose be so that you can be salt and light to them and their families? Might you consider holding or helping with a backyard Bible club this summer?
To get started with hosting your own backyard Bible club, learn more about the four summer curricula from Children Desiring God. Each of the evangelical studies has five lessons and can be used in backyard Bible club or vacation Bible school settings. Themes include the Work of God in redemption, kingdom parables, the greatness of God in salvation, and wisdom and the fear of the Lord.