What are Campus Faith Clubs?
They are groups of students who come together and meet bi-weekly or twice monthly before school, on campus, for faith, food and fellowship. The meetings are supported and encouraged by teachers and last for 20-30 minutes where students share with one another a faith message based on scripture/prayer and a light breakfast of donuts and juice to start the day.
What are Campus Faith Clubs not?
The clubs are not a worship service or a replacement for church youth groups or Sunday service (even if that were the intention, it would not be possible because of time constraints and school policy). Rather, it is an organized and accepted forum by which students can get connected and encourage one another for faith and healthy decision-making.
What is the difference between a CFC and a school Bible study you might see on campus?
The two may be similar, but they have some distinct differences. First, while both involve scripture, Campus Faith Clubs are open and advertised for all to attend and participate. It is not an exclusive group of select students but rather an inclusive group where all are encouraged to attend - believer or non-believer, regardless of denomination or faith background. Second, the club is pre-approved by administration with teacher advisors. Teachers serve as role models and facilitators. Finally, the clubs are organized to renew each year. Students are identified each year to lead the groups the following school year. There is sustainability because of the club organization and a club charter.
Who can attend?
Any student 6th-12th grade depending on the location. While the faith messages are Christian-oriented, non-Christians are welcomed and encouraged to attend. The messages are also non-denominational with an emphasis on biblical truths and application for everyday living.
Why do faith clubs go by so many different names?
Campus Faith Clubs is not about the branding of a specific church or organization. The clubs are locally owned and operated and as such decide their own name. What is common, however, among the clubs is their united focus on fellowship and sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
How can a faith club meet on campus at a public school?
The Equal Access Act of 1984 gives religious-based organizations the same rights for organizing as a club as any other school-supported club or activity. As long as school district guidelines are followed, students are allowed to meet. The following are some of the guidelines found in most school district policies:
- Meetings must be conducted during non-instructional times.
- Clubs must have a teacher advisor.
- They must be voluntary and non-disruptive.
- Meetings must be student led.
What if students who are atheist or Muslim want to meet and have their own club?
According to most district policies this would be allowed the same rights and privileges as Christian-based organizations.
What happens if one of the students from a faith club attempts to proselytize to another student against his or her objections?
The student would be instructed to immediately desist. If he or she continues, further action would be taken. Respect of students' rights not to be hassled or berated are observed and enforced at all times.
Are there any topics or subjects that are off limits in the faith clubs?
Faith clubs are non-denominational and as such are not meant to be a forum for debating doctrinal differences among churches. The purpose and intent of the clubs is for students to come together under the umbrella of the Christian Church as defined in the Bible.
Can church youth directors or pastors attend faith clubs?
They are welcome so long as they are invited by students and don't assume a lead role in the CFC. Prior approval must be received from school representatives or administration as well.
Who provides for the donuts and juice?
Parents at many CFCs provide donuts, juice and fruit at their own expense for the club. A parent coordinator at each school arranges for volunteers and plans a schedule. As the club grows, alternative sources, such as donations and outside vendors, may also be considered.
How do you measure the success or effectiveness of the clubs?
There are a number of ways you read the success or effectiveness of faith clubs. The first is by testimonials - what the kids, teachers and parents are saying. Can the teachers observe positive behavioral changes and healthy choices in their students or the student body? Have parents seen a positive impact on their child? Do the kids feel more safe and secure on campus? Do students feel more connected among their classmates? How many kids have come to club but don't attend any church? How many kids have been invited to church by another student as a result of the connection with the club?
While numbers participating is not the singular objective, it is a measure of success in how effective the clubs are in reaching out for inclusion and fellowship.
Do students say a prayer or read from the Bible?
All the clubs, during the faith message, will reference or read scripture from the Bible. Usually, at the end of each club, a student concludes with prayer.
How are the faith messages prepared?
This varies by school. Messages come from a number of sources. For some, students prepare their own messages with help from local church or other community leaders. The teacher may also provide input for faith messages at some locations. In still other cases, students reach out to the available resources from CFC. In this way they always have a go-to source for a message to share. What is consistent, regardless of the source, is that at every meeting there is prayer, scripture and fellowship.