Judy Bryson is not only the president of Pioneer Clubs; as a child, she also benefited from this church-sponsored midweek program for kids. Back when the ministry was known as Pioneer Girls, Judy began attending while in early elementary school and never stopped—only changing roles from a club member to a volunteer leader and eventually to the ministry's key leader. Building Church Leaders recently talked with Judy at her office in the Chicago suburbs. The conversation covered a lot of territory, including her early involvement with the ministry, the joys of reaching and discipling children, and why she's so passionate about what she does.

Tell me about your first encounter with Pioneer Clubs.

I grew up in what I later learned was an unchurched family. However, as kids my siblings and I were all sent to church; it was very typical in those days for non-Christian parents to make sure their children got some kind of spiritual nurturing at a local congregation. I was about 8 or 9 years ...

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