USA (MNN) — The Bible Club Movement started in 1936 as a way to reach boys and girls for Jesus Christ through Bible clubs. They did that by teaching children the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation.
Now known as Bible Centered Ministries International, the ministry has grown, says BCM's President and CEO Marty Windle. "Now, we not only work with children, but we also work with adults and youth around the world. We are scattered globally. You could actually say that the sun really never sets on BCM International Ministries."
While the focus is on teaching God's Word, they focus on indigenous outreach. Windle says, "Probably 95% of our over 700 missionaries are people who minister in the country they were born in, so we don't have to deal as much, with cross-cultural and language issues."
Another area that makes BCM unique is "the amount of volunteers that we have," says Windle. "While we have 700 missionaries, I would estimate that volunteers that leverage the ministry of those missionaries is somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000 to 7,000 volunteers around the world."
BCM is heavily involved in the 10/40 window, the area of the world where the least reached people groups are located. They're also focusing on the 4/14 window, the age group who are most likely to turn to Christ. Missiologists say 80% of those who come to Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14.
Windle says reaching this demographic is key to church planting. "When you reach the children and show tenderness to the children, then you have a segue into hearts and the lives of adults. Using that approach of reaching children, then we move to the next step to church planting and strengthening the church as God leads us."
According to Windle, BCM is working in more than 50 countries on five continents. A few of them include creative access or limited access nations.
The curriculum they've created has "been published in 25 different languages in Sunday schools, in Bible club ministries, in a variety of different approaches — not just with children — but also with small group Bible studies in retirement homes."
While growth is taking place, BCM is facing challenges — personnel. "The older generation of missionaries is fast approaching retirement, and that curve of attrition has to be counteracted with a new wave of people who catch the vision of reaching men and women and boys and girls for Jesus Christ," says Windle.