Church Spotlight: Family EE – Families sharing their Faith, Together posted by Evangelism Explosion on Jan 11, 2021
Family EE – Families sharing their Faith, Together
After centuries of ministry, one church discovered what it was missing: a way to put the strong Bible teaching they had received into action. In the process, they developed a new way to approach evangelism: Family Evangelism Explosion (Family EE).
Very few churches have a history like Simpson Creek Baptist Church in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Established in 1770, the church is older than the United States and has maintained a solid Gospel tradition. In recent decades, the church has continued to host several Bible studies each week for the more than 780 people who attend.
But Joyce Wickland, a member at Simpson Creek Baptist, sensed that something was missing. When a married couple from Evangelism Explosion introduced Classic EE to the church in 2003, Joyce was one of the four members to learn it. She knew their church had found an excellent way to witness about Jesus.
“I was just a flower in the desert wanting water,” Joyce said. “I was immediately bonded to the training of Evangelism Explosion. I wanted everything EE had to offer.”
Joyce traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with another couple to learn more from Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. When they returned home, they taught classes for adults in EE. Over the next few years, Joyce tried to integrate a variety of other EE tools into the church’s curriculum program.
But when she learned about Kids EE (now Hope for Kids) in 2007, it was a game changer.
“I really liked Kids EE because it was exciting! It has lots of skits and is just a lot of fun. One thing said was to make it your own. That had such an impact on me. What would work the best in our church?”
She partitioned off some space in the Fellowship Hall and started what was first called, The Gospel Class, on Sunday mornings. Among the first attendees: a mother, her two teenagers, and a few other adults. The model set a precedent. It wasn’t just for kids; it was for families.
The Gospel Class evolved into Family EE, a place where whole families (from ages 8 to 88) could learn to share their faith…together.
Joyce focused on teaching the Gospel presentation as outlined in Hope for Kids. She used Bible memorization games, hand motions, and skits each week, allowing participants the opportunity to role play. Because the class typically met on Sundays, a trainer would take a family unit (children, parents, and grandparents) on a visitation during the week so they could see the Gospel presentation in action and practice sharing it as a family.
The church kicked off every class with a Scripture Fun Fair full of games and activities. They also added a few new memorization tools like AOL.COM (Ask, Observe, Listen and Compliment) and SCOTT (Secular life, Church background, Our church, Testimony, Two questions) to guide their conversations.
To date, Simpson Creek Baptist Church has trained more than 150 people, including many from other churches. In the process, they have shared the Gospel with more than 1,400 people in their community and beyond.
The impact of EE on their congregation has been undeniable. Several have used what they learned while volunteering on emergency response teams, in local prison ministries, through AWANA, and serving on foreign mission trips. But most importantly, they are using it everyday with the people they meet out in the community.
“Those trained in EE are more confident when telling others why God did what He did through Jesus,” said Joyce.
That’s a legacy the church hopes will continue for years to come.