Engagement Strategies

Portions of this series will be presented in short segments during CEF of North Carolina statewide staff WebEx meetings and completely with full discussions and strategy sessions when feasible per COVID-19 restrictions. All are welcome to read and Q/A with me, but the live series will be presented to NC staff. Topics to be expanded into strategies and discussed:

  • Resource Development
  • Donor Development
  • Ministry Development
  • Operational System Development

Camps for City Kids will be held for 4 consecutive days during the summer months and school holiday sessions.  These camps emphasize putting God first in every aspect of play and life.  Building solid athletic skills and strong Christian character during drills and team play are expected of every camper. Basketball, Soccer, and Tennis are regularly offered, but other sports like Wrestling, Baseball, Football, and Black-top Games have been held in the past. Sports camps, clinics, and tennis academies are typically held in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Fitness and healthy lifestyles are emphasized during all sessions.

As with everyone, almost, COVID-19 has thrust uncertainty and even cancellation into many great events, vacations, and efforts for kids this summer. However, we are still planning and preparing for these camps in the event we can keep our schedule of 6-weeks June 15-July 23, 2020. If we have to alter and adjust the schedule, then we will still be ready for the kids. So, please sponsor-a-city kid to attend a camp this summer using any of the donate buttons on the CEF Durham site or via our Facebook Fundraiser.

It needs unique strategies and truthful answers to children’s tough questions.

Since all clubs, schools, and camps are cancelled addressing care and prevention of COVID-19, CEF Durham, as many other organizations and agencies, is praying, brainstorming, and planning in many venues and modes of communication. Thus, we are innovating and adjusting how we minister to children and families. Some brief and direct contact with families has occurred to bring supplies, helps, breakfast, and the “Do You Wonder Why?” booklets to each home and child enrolled in CEF clubs.

Though we cannot be directly with the children in our clubs and camps, we are continuing to teach and love the kids in our weekly outreach and discipleship meetings via Zoom calls, web-based teaching, and prayer. Here are other FREE Resources CEF is providing for children, families, and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do not fear and be encouraged.

Disruptions are defined as a disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process. Thus, it’s fair to say, disruptions happen regularly, randomly, and even repetitively.

“Disruption is hard, Carey Nieuwhof writes in his blog, because disruption is inconvenient. It’s far easier to keep doing what you’re doing hoping for better results. But just know this: being disrupted is far more painful than deciding to disrupt yourself.” Listening and being prepared as well as being prudent are absolutes in our world of change, trends, flux, aka disruption, whether in ministry, business, or in any type of leadership position.

With that in mind, here are several predicted and active disruptive trends in ministry and leadership that will rule 2020, says Nieuwhof, which are worth knowing and using to evaluate your ministry and/or leadership.

  1. Content-based ministry will decline — Missions and movements will grow: Emphasizing moments and movements and mission are more critical than ever. People don’t just want to know what’s true, they want to know what’s real. And what’s real is deeper than just an idea—it’s an experience.
  2. Growing churches and ministries tend to be led by younger leaders. As a result, the older you get, the less likely you are to innovate, meaning methods. Innovation drives growth and connections with emerging generations. When the methods atrophy, the mission dies.
  3. If you’re looking to deepen the impact of your ministry in 2020, think better prepared/delivered messages, not more messages or ministry events. Quality beats quantity. Everyone will be better.
  4. The middle is disappearing from our culture. This middle is where average lives. The middle is trying to reach everybody. People are gravitating to and seeking smaller, high-quality, and interpersonal gatherings where they can grow spiritually in an interactive faith community. Many restless Christians are moving towards the other extreme of Christian community in mega churches. The extreme ends or the high and the low of churches, business, marketplace, and ministries are thriving. Increase the quality and accessibility of what people need and want.
  5. Insight and access are now more valuable than information. When information is free, it’s no longer valuable because scarcity drives value. And now there’s so much of it no one knows how to process it. Content is everywhere but insight and access are not, there’s a value inversion that’s happening right now in live events.

So, what does all this mean or just suggest? “Leading people to Jesus in a world that’s moving away from Jesus is an increasingly difficult challenge…and increasingly larger opportunity.”

Carey Nieuwhof

Reflect on this content and the full articles by Carey Nieuwhof. Gain insight via access of meeting and discussing these matters with your staff, business teams, and ministry leaders. Factor and apply any adjustments or action points gained for your organization.

For 26 years, Child Evangelism Fellowship in the Durham Area has reached city kids primarily within their neighborhoods, community programs, and sometimes in their schools.  Through our Good News Clubs, sports camps, and collaborative events with dozens of ministry partners, we’ve been able to share the Gospel with children of all ages.  During these 26 years, thousands have accepted Christ as their Savior and their lives have been changed.  Hundreds of children and youth are enrolled in weekly discipleship each year.

We are also asking for 500 sponsorships of $100/each to send city kids to one or more of our camps this summer – 500/100. Some of our camps include the following:

In order to continue these efforts, we need your help more than ever. Thank you for supporting this mission in order to expand the outreach to unchurched children and families in our local area!

Building solid athletic skills and strong christian character!

Ministry Vision for City Kids: CEF Durham Area Chapter in North Carolina

The vision for City Kids is simple – to visit under resourced and marginalized communities and deliver a  comprehensive gospel impact. We are faced with many questions in our calling, but it is in our search for the answer that we strive to spread the Gospel to all. Is God powerful enough to keep kids away from gangs? Does the Word of God still accomplish what it says in the current day & age? What if The Church at Durham took seriously its responsibility for taking the Gospel to city kids and youth? What if for 10 years a collaboration of churches and ministries comprehensively served the 10 most physically and spiritually needy communities of Durham?

For the past 10 years (2008-2018) CEF Durham, along with a select group of collaborating agencies, ministries, and churches, have addressed the spiritual, physical, and social needs of 10 Durham communities. During these 10 years, the number of communities actually increased to 12, sometimes 14, of which were being served. There were many stories of individual lives transformed by the Gospel and tireless volunteers consistently caring for these children and their families.

A few collaborators and volunteers burned-out along the way, while most labored weekly, yearly, to see the spiritual atmosphere change from darkness to Light in many homes and throughout the communities where they served. Most of the children born and raised in these communities never knew life without their Good News Club.

Today, we continue to engage some of the same communities and others where crime and evil still dominate life, even if intermediately. There is still spiritual darkness, an orphan/poverty mindset within these communities where kids are not expected to succeed. These are the communities where the words: at-risk, under-resourced, and marginalized are still experienced everyday by its residents. These are the communities where God has been rejected, yet screams out to be glorified! This is where the Lord desires that the residents welcome Him back — into their homes and into their communities.

Recently re-published in IMPACT magazine

CEF Durham along with partnering ministries and local Christians have developed an Urban Missions Network for listening to each other, developing new strategies and strengthening best efforts, which will focus on each identified community for the next 10 years (2019-2029). A simple strategy of biblical, holistic discipleship will be used. Our vision is to see city kids and families transformed by the Gospel. Indigenous residents will be enabled to lead their own communities in biblical transformation and Christian community development. This would include, but not limited to, evangelism, discipleship, academic tutoring, creative arts, sports/recreation, medical services, life skills, and economic/job training.  

Questions / Comments / Help?
Contact CEF Durham / John Blake
919.630.9434 c / 919.399.1979 o

Coaching football, basketball, wrestling and camps for over 45 years

I mentioned around Christmas that I would be letting the public know, as we enter 2020, how you can join me in HONORING Coach Larry Parrish and his family for 45+ years coaching and developing many student-athletes, coaches, and maybe even you. Coach Parrish said several times to me, “Doc, tell my players to Sponsor a City Kid for your CEF sports camps and character development.” So, here goes — that’s a $100 donation/camper to sponsor a local city kid to attend one or more of our More Than Gold sports, Power & Light reading, character-building, and academic camps which will be offered this spring, summer, and fall of 2020.

For over 45 years Coach Parrish‘s goal has been developing young athletes into good players and even better people. During those 45 years of coaching, he coached football, basketball, and wrestling at these Durham schools – Githens, Jordan, Southern, Riverside Pirates as well as directing the Prep Stars, Junior Prep Stars, and More Than Gold basketball camps.

Many who know of Coach Parrish, think of him only as a basketball coach, however, when I first met Coach P, he was extremely passionate about football. He said recently, “Doc, I never thought of coaching basketball back (1968) when you were in my typing class at Githens Middle School. Football was my sport.” Coach Parrish would soon become the most successful football coach in Jordan High School history until recent gridiron success of the Falcons. He also coached the first wrestling team at Jordan in 1972.

Today, Coach has his toughest coaching task of his life… and he loves it! Andy Parrish — Coach’s son, that many of you know, suffered a debilitating head injury back in 2012 while Coach Parrish was working hard to reach city kids with summer basketball camps. Since that day Larry & Alana Parrish have cared for Andy, everyday — all day. Andy has made some progress over the past 7 years, but it’s still a full time job of L.P.T. (Larry Parrish Training aka physical therapy).

Coach Parrish made a promise to Andy, very much like he made to his former players — “I’m here for you. I’ll do whatever I can and whatever you will allow me towards you becoming the best athlete and person possible.” Andy is being coached by his dad, just like an athlete, to achieve an incredible mental and physical goal. We’re calling this The Parrish Promise. CEF and myself are making the same promise to hundreds of city kids in our area. We’re teaming up with Coach and continuing his promise.

Since Coach is unable to be on the court, field, or mat doing what he loved for 45 years, he is asking for your support to send 500 city kids to camps in 2020. If you were one of Coach Parrish’s players, campers, students, fellow coaches, or just someone who cares about city kids, here’s how you can help Coach fulfill his Parrish Promise.

Reply now by making a donation at this link so that city kids can attend one or more of our sports camps in 2020. https://gospeltokids.org/share-good-news-campaign/ This is the organization, CEF Durham Area, which John Blake is Executive Director and camp founder.

Teens from Liberty St. Apts with Lori Fisher and Amanda Hallsbrook, student volunteer-mentor, together at “Blacktop Games”

City Kids should and can reach their own families, schools, and communities for Christ. Don’t neglect mission-centered discipleship.

Thousands of people are dying every day without knowing Jesus as their Savior. How will they be reached? Romans 10:14-15 reminds us that in order for people to hear about Jesus, someone must be sent. That’s why God calls missionaries to go! The children of today, which includes city kids, should be missionaries now and the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is essential that you and I understand our role in challenging saved children regarding the need for missionaries in their schools and communities.

Teachers should expect to intentionally incorporate a mission’s emphasis as an integral part of Good News Clubs, church-based youth classes, or even when hanging out, using practical ideas to share a missionary vision.

What are the reasons, aspects, and impact of teaching youth about missions?

Missions originates in the heart of God (John 3:16)

  • Teach children about missions to help them develop a heart for missions like God
  • Cultivate a heart of compassion for lost people globally and in their own city and neighborhood
  • Challenge children to reach their own generation/peers for Christ
  • Equip children with the foundational tools for sharing and living the Good News, the Gospel message

Missions is the responsibility of every believer (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20) – City kids can be involved in missions by:

  • Knowing: Give them information about missionaries, different types of missions, countries, and cultures, etc.
  • Praying: Specifically for the needs of select missionaries, their country, the salvation of its people, etc.
  • Giving: Challenge children to give money, time, and encouragement to missionaries so that others can hear about the Lord Jesus.
  • Going: Challenge saved children to participate in planned missions outreach events, mission trips, or efforts regularly.

Statistics show that exposure to missions is one way God calls people into full time Christian service as a personal lifestyle or with an organization or church

  • 21% were called to missions as a result of a missions education provided in their local church
  • 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
  • 19% were called because of their own family’s missions vision, experiences, and conversations
  • 10% heard God’s call through reading books, watching movies, and listening to stories about missionaries and missions work
Always include PRAYER as a powerful aspect of teaching missions

The impact of teaching missions to children is that each generation will be informed and inspired (Psalm 78:7, 8). If we are intentional and take serious our responsibility, young lives will be dedicated to the Lord for missionary service, fulfilling the Great Commission. If more reasons are needed than this, of course, there are other impacts on children taught about missions, which by the way, will impact their world.

  • Children will have a vision and burden for those who are lost in sin and who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Children will begin now to share the message of salvation with others
  • Children will grow spiritually through involvement in missions
  • Children will desire to engage local missions efforts regularly

Reality Checks: Before you make adjustments in your missions teaching

#1 – People are hungering for an experience of God, not just more information about God.

There is no doubt that teaching children about missions is vitally important because thousands of people are dying every day without Christ. How will the saved children you teach get a burden for missions and desire to be involved if you don’t make time for missions in your class or when hanging out? But how is this truth being applied to lives of children (anyone)? Thus, have children learn by doing missions work as well as hearing.

#2 – Presenting content about missions alone is a teaching short-fall and no longer the greatest need in an age where content fills the internet.

So what does this mean? Content used to fill a church auditorium or classroom because content was scarce and pastors/teachers were the authority or experts on the biblical content we needed to understand. You had to attend to hear a message or a Bible study or even children’s Christian education. However podcasts, YouTube and multiple social media platforms have changed that dramatically and permanently from what I am able to understand. As a result, you no longer have to be in the room to listen.

#3 – So many leaders talk about reaching the next generation but never include the next generation.

It’s going to take the leadership of the next generation to reach the next generation. Perhaps you, as the teacher, will have to make some changes and adjust your classroom or the time you spend with the city kids, to empower your students to reach their generation. Leading people to Jesus in a world that’s moving away from Jesus is an increasingly difficult challenge… and increasingly, it’s a larger opportunity. Who will I send… and who will go?

After 26 years as a CEF chapter in North Carolina, we are even more vigilant to reach, love, evangelize, disciple, and connect city kids to local church congregations. Most of these youth (4-14 yrs.old) are not involved in a local congregation, thus the mission purpose of CEF worldwide for 82 years. So, in the Durham area, we will continue in 2020 and beyond, as we did in 2019, to reach over 10,000 children, youth, and families through Gospel-centered strategies in their communities and schools.

“Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Do” accurately describes the lives of the city kids we teach.

Whether it happens to be on the streets of our city or in various classrooms, the biblical message of salvation as well as how to live for Christ will be taught and lived out by amazing volunteer teachers and leaders each week. I’m excited about the unique opportunities we will have to enhance our mission in 2020. See our prayer request and current ministry report to the left. We need and are asking God for more volunteers and resources to expand this effort. I’m asking you to consider being one of those to be an answer to our prayer. Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020!

Get a copy of the Fall 2019 IMPACT magazine edition, which contains the article, “Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Do” by John Blake by sending a contribution of any amount to CEF Durham to cover postage and helping us reach more city kids as we expand our weekly outreach.
 

We have been fortunate, while ministering in Durham for nearly 30 years, to learn and experience what ministry collaboration looks like and definitely enjoy the unique expressions of the Kingdom of God. These continue to be lived out in communities, the marketplace, schools, and other sectors of our city today. As a result of learning and leaning into a collaborative mindset of ministry, some of the most sustainable and fruitful programs have been developed.

These programs or ministries were birthed out of a shared vision. They were initiated and sustained by a collaborative group, which offered their own unique gifts and resources for ministry success. Here are a few examples flowing out of the Durham Area chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship and its collaborators:

I’d like to give a huge “shout-out” to Reynolds Chapman, Executive Director of DurhamCares, and his board for developing and implementing a recent collaborative initiative which brought local churches together. Watch this video to learn more. Contact DurhamCares, CEF Durham, ReCity, to mention a few here, where you, your organization, or church can join us for the sake and welfare of our city.

CEF Durham is supportive and thankful for DurhamCares engaging our local communities and churches towards expressing what the Kingdom of God can look like on earth.

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