We’ve discussed the Good News Club on this site several times before — it’s basically an elementary school version of Campus Crusade for Christ. The Christians who run the groups want to reach the kids early — before they can think for themselves — in the hopes that they’ll be able to add another tally mark on the church walls and save some souls.
In the clip below, Pastor David Robinette explains how his church plans to gather volunteers, then approach local elementary schools with the offer of tutoring children for free. Why tutor them? Because they’ll win over the children, which means winning over the families, which means they’ll eventually come to Jesus. He doesn’t say that last bit explicitly, but the path is evident.
… what [another church group found is that] through long-term tutoring, for one hour a week, after school, you begin to reach children in helping them with their studies. And then it turns into behavioral mentoring, and then it starts reaching into families…
… I’m gonna ask you to keep this between us right now, okay? I don’t want you to go to any schools around here and say my church is starting a Whiz Kids program…
At least the pastor says, if the schools reject them, they’ll move on, but his point is made clear by the end: “That’s our Jerusalem.” That’s how they’re going to win over converts.
If this were purely altruistic, it’d be hard to criticize what they’re doing. It’s a wonderful thing when local citizens offer to help tutor children for free. But there’s an ulterior motive at work here: The church wants to reach new members and they’re using the children as a conduit to reach their families. There’s something just abhorrent about that end goal.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know if any atheist or non-Christian group is urging members to tutor these kids — I wish they would — but I hope the elementary school officials at least make it very clear that no proselytizing is allowed when these adults are with the children.