Wednesday
Dec302009

Tips for Publicizing Your Club

Once you’ve received permission for your Bible Club to start meeting, the next issue is getting students to come.  As it says in my book, legally you are entitled to use the same means as any other club on the campus.  If they allow the scouts to make a PA announcement, so can you.  Should they allow the 4H to put an announcement in the school paper, so can you.  My personal preference, however, is flyers. 

The first and sixth amendments allow students to distribute literature to their fellow students.  They can share their faith (in their free time---WHATEVER that faith may be); and they can even hand out tracts.  I advise students and parents that the students can distribute the flyer outside the school doors after school as kids are leaving.  I also advise them NEVER to force someone to take one of the flyers.  I tell parents to just sit with the box of flyers. 

The biggest points are that the flyers are not forced on other students and that when you leave, you make sure that any flyers that children drop get picked up and placed in the trash.  The next big point is when the principal tells you how she/he will allow you to advertise, you are to be respectful and optimistic.

Here is the reality: whatever means you are allowed to use, God will bless.  Once you’ve begun, I believe God will give you creative ideas that you can use from within the club to get the word out.

I have used many resources through the years.  Grade contests: which give prizes to all the students in the grade that brings the most kids; Boys vs Girls; or a prize for the one who brings the most new friends.  (Although this is not one I advise, because it’s often too difficult to track who really is a new guest.)

In my view there is nothing with bigger potential than for the leaders to be willing to make a fool of themselves if the group reaches a certain number of kids.  For example, “If you guys get 100 kids here next week, you can put a pie in my face.”  I know kids’ Pastors that have eaten live goldfish, or live crickets. (I didn’t say I recommend it, I just said I “know guys who’ve done it”.)  My favorite personal stunt is eating a raw egg… something I learned from the first Rocky movie back in the 70’s.

We had a club here in Tulsa that just wouldn’t grow.  It is a Jr. High and just like any school, some years you have a bunch of kids and some years you don’t.  There are “up” years and “down” years, and that is just the way it is.  Although numbers don’t mean a whole lot, the more kids you have coming, the more kids you may reach.

ANYWAY, this particular group has been small all year.  We’ve done several things to increase the crowd, but to no avail.  Just a few weeks ago the young man who oversees the group told the kids that he, an Oklahoma State University grad, would wear an OU (University of Oklahoma) jersey if OU beat OSU in the big rivalry game.  He did the same thing at his church.  However, when he came to the school he forgot about his promise.  Before the club started He was telling the 12 or so 7th graders in the room about how many people came to youth at his church the night before to see him in an OU jersey.  As he talked I was in the back of the room standing next to our student sponsor.  I couldn’t help myself, I interrupted him and said, “Do you really think a group of 7th graders are going to get up and come to school half an hour early to see you in an OU jersey?  That is just lame!  If you really want to draw a crowd, tell them that you will eat one raw egg the week after they reach 100 kids”. My student sponsor asked him if he would do it, and the overseer said “Yeah, I’ll do it”. I felt like he’d be safe because the most kids that group has ever had was 88 and that was three years ago. 

With that as ammo my student sponsor did a variation of what he does every week, he goes to the gym where the students go when they get off the bus and tells everybody in there that FUSE is starting.  Normally, a few kids come back with him.  This day however, he was on a mission.  He walked in that gym and yelled “FUSE is starting and the guy who oversees it for us said that if we get 100 students there, then next week he will eat a raw egg! OH! …and there are free donuts!!” Next thing I know I heard some kids coming and looked up at the door to see the craziest sight.  Kids just kept pouring in!  All totaled, 145 kids packed in that room.

The next week 88 came back to watch Rusty eat a raw egg and the week after that, 104 kids came.  I’m guessing that we should retain 60-80 of them for the rest of the year.  My point is: God, the creator of the universe, lives in you, and He will give you creative ideas to grow your club.  Do you understand?  Creativity is in you!  He said, “Ask and you’ll receive.”, so ASK.  There are a lot of kids to reach with the love of Jesus, so “Ask”!

 

Monday
Nov232009

Coming: A New Program to Present KFCUSA to Your Church or Group

There is one thing about a “tough” economy; it forces us to tap into the Creator for some creative ideas. For years I have traveled across the U.S. sharing the vision of KFCUSA with congregations and groups. It is something I absolutely LOVE doing, but lately it seems the travel expense keeps getting in the way.

As I prayed about it and talked with a couple close friends, I realized that God was giving me an idea to be able to go to every city in which I am working or talking with ZERO travel expense. The concept is utilizing available technologies that are free or minimal cost to use, and the potential reach of our ministry is huge. 

In most cases when I travel I am blessed to be able to pour the vision of Kids for Christ USA into a congregation. If all goes well, several people get inspired and we do a “Training Session” over lunch. In many cases I have done an evening Question and Answer session, or even one-on-one meetings over coffee with leaders. Then I stay in contact with the leaders and help them get their club going. 

This new concept would cut the expenses to such a nominal level that I can’t imagine any good reason we couldn’t share KFCUSA with nearly every church in the nation. So, with no further ado, let me share this concept with you all. This concept could save the church or me about $800 to $1000 in travel expenses. (Not including offering.) Here we go:

I can go to any church in any city and pour the vision of Kids for Christ USA into a church with zero travel expense to the church via Skype, Google Talk, or iChat. The church can connect with me in the sound booth and then the Pastor would introduce me as a special guest speaker. I could then share the vision of Kids for Christ -- just like I would if I was there. In most cases when I go on the road, there are several people who volunteer or who express interest in learning how to do what we do. Both of these sessions could be a brief 10 minute session or a full length message. These two sessions would be done as “one way” conversations. However, if a group wanted to do a third session, we could do a Q & A session with “open mic” two-way conversation. 

Another way to do this is via YouTube . We will record full length sessions of both of the first two sessions and edit them to the bare essentials, about 10 minutes long. We will store the full versions on our website in a “members only” section. Then those who were really pumped about the concept of reaching Kids in the public schools could get the whole session and other information for a nominal fee. ($5 per individual or $20 for a group of 4 or more.) The beauty of this version is marketing KFCUSA [while keeping church expenses low.] and its extremely low risk for the church. Other than the “members only” continuing education sessions on our website, there is no charge. A love offering would be appreciated. Just go tohttp://www.kfcusa.org. Click “donate” or send checks to: KFCUSA, 2608 W. Kenosha #342, Broken Arrow, OK 74012.

If you would like to book the live version or have any questions about this program please feel free to call 918.902.2442. Please note this program is a work in progress. The YouTube version hasn't yet been recorded. The live version is ready at your request and can be tailored specifically for your church. 

In His Service, 
Bob Heath
KFCUSA Founder/Director