LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine

Telling the Story One Neighborhood at a Time

Kris Annen

Kris Annen

“When you host a Neighborhood Bible Club at your house, you are no longer a ‘closet’ Christian,” says Kris, a mom who has hosted a Neighborhood Bible Club (NBC) for more than ten years. “They may think you’re a little crazy for having that many kids in your yard,” she says with a smile, “but they know what you believe and what’s important to you—and even months later they’ll come and ask you to pray about issues with their kids and other needs in their lives.”

Renita Gilliland

Renita Gilliland

Renita, another seasoned NBC hostess, agrees that relationships with neighbors change after they have brought their sons and daughters to your home for the club.  “You don’t really have to work at initiating conversations about God or Jesus,” she says, “People just feel comfortable coming up and starting those conversations themselves. When the week was over, my neighbor stopped by and told me her family was going back to church.”

“Even people I’ve known and talked with for years—people whose kids have played with mine—now feel free to talk about their faith,” she says.

“A mom came up to me after club one day and told me about how a neighbor had taken her to Awana at Wheaton Bible Church when was she was a little girl—but she had recently realized that she hadn’t introduced her own kids to spiritual things. She told me she wanted that to change.”

“I have so many casual conversations with neighbors about the club,” Elizabeth reports. “They are amazed at the attendance and enthusiasm they see during NBC week at our house. They’re curious about why I’m doing this, and that leads to great conversations.”

She also talked about the impact on her own family. “My kids are pushed to talk about their involvement with church and be bold for their faith—and answer other kids’ questions about why we do this.”

Kristy Lucas

Kristy Lucas

Kristy, who hosted her third Neighborhood Bible Club this year, was thrilled when a neighbor she didn’t know very well sent her son to the club. “When the week was over,” Kristy writes, “the neighbor stopped by and told me her family was going back to church. It had been several years since they had been at any church because they had small children. NBC reminded them what church is all about and her kids wanted more of what they had just experienced during NBC.

“My kids are coming this year!” a mom enthusiastically told Renita as she handed out invitations to NBC several years ago.

“Every year the kids stand in our yard and watch what’s going on over there,” the mom told her, “but they’vebeen afraid to come. This year they’re going for sure!”

All who host clubs tell about the impact NBC has on children in their neighborhoods as many learn about Jesus for the first time and accept Him as their personal Savior. But it’s not just kids who are affected by the clubs. Kris tells of one neighbor, not a church attender, who volunteered to help her with the crafts. As this mom was preparing for craft time, she was also listening to the object lesson being taught to the children. When she later came to faith in Christ, she pointed to what she heard that day during Neighborhood Bible Club as a part of what God used to touch her heart.

Down through the years, there have been many, many stories shared about children—and even entire families—coming to Christ, all because a child was invited to a Neighborhood Bible Club.

“You have no idea of the impact you’re having on the other families in your neighborhood,” says Renita, “even on the families that don’t come.”

For Elizabeth it’s a matter of leaving the full story of how God will use her efforts in His hands. “I just know that this is His club and I may never know the impact it has on people, but it has been what He wants me to do. I have definitely grown in this experience and seen how God puts the right people in the right situations at the right time.”

Could You Host a Neighborhood Bible Club?

  • Any yard will do.
  • You don’t have to teach—just volunteer your yard.
  • You choose the week—anytime between mid-June and mid-August.
  • All materials are provided.

You just need a desire to reach your neighborhood for Christ!

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