Part of ministry to children is teaching them to serve Christ by serving others. Involving kids in a missions project is a wonderful opportunity to help meet this goal. These projects typically involve raising money, and children are often a bit unsure of how to handle this challenge. Beyond asking their parents for money or dipping into their small savings, how can they raise money? Below are some ideas for how you can help children earn money for missions. Hopefully these ideas will help you as you prepare to involve your children in the Helping Hands for Kids 2017 project- “Do Your Part: Helping Venezuela’s Pastors’ Kids.”
- Generate excitement about the missions project! Use the materials provided at children.cogop.org to help children truly understand the need and how they can make a difference. There are ideas for teaching children about the culture of Venezuela, the needs of the people, prayer ideas, and much more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to teach your children to have the hearts of servants.
- Guide the children in preparing a presentation for their parents and grandparents, similar to a project they might do for school. Provide the children with poster board, art supplies, and pictures related to the project for which they they want to raise money. Once they have prepared a visual board, help them practice using their board to share with adults about the project. When children invest their time and effort into explaining the missions need, adults are more likely to give.
- Ask an adult who is gifted in the area of media production to help children create a video to share in church and on social media. For example, the children at my church were raising money for Christians in Nepal to purchase chickens and goats. Each child shared just one or two sentences about the need. We filmed in different outdoor settings, and we even found someone with pet goats who let us film part of the video at their house. Once it was edited, this was a wonderful tool for sharing about the mission project.
- Be creative in helping children discover ways to raise money. One of the children at my church lives near a bookstore that purchases used books. This child gathered up books she had finished reading, sold them, and gave the money to missions. Another child held a traditional bake sale after church to raise money. If yard sales or garage sales are popular in your area, this would also be a great project for the children to do together.
I love watching the excitement of children when they realize that they are truly making a difference in the world. Beyond just making a difference, however, it is my prayer that they will know and understand the words of Jesus….”Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)
Click for more information about the 2017 Helping Hands for Kids Project.
As a mom of two daughters and a children’s pastor, I wish I could tell you that my children developed a heart for missions through my inspired teaching, but I cannot. My oldest daughter first became aware of the needs of others in the world through the Helping Hands for Kids program. As a five year old, she attended a preschool class at the Assembly for Children in which the teacher shared about the needs of children in Guatemala. She began to tell me all about it. A few years later, we once again attended the General Assembly, and I took her to an afternoon mission’s fair where we learned about the work of missionaries in other countries. Once again, we talked to someone about the Helping Hands for Kids program. In a moment of divine inspiration, I asked her if she would like to be in charge of the program for our church. She was excited and told me that she had been praying for God to give her something to do for Him! That year, she was able to help raise over $1000 US dollars for curriculum and supplies for children’s ministers in Central and South America. Continue reading
The Malawi Institute is over. What a great experience. 55 participants–40 from the nation of Malawi including pastors, national leaders, and children’s ministers. The national leaders from five other nations were also present. Thanks to everyone who participated and everyone who served. Special thanks to Stephen Masilela, area presbyter, Phillip Segadika, overseer of Botswana, and Bernard Makhuna, overseer of Malawi.
Our first ever French speaking Institute of Children’s Ministry could only be described as SIGNIFICANT. 150 participants came from nine nations. The three overseers of these nations as well as eight national children’s ministry leaders were present and active in the Institute sessions. And each pastor came with his/her children’s ministry director–learning together how to better serve children. Thanks to Kim Batson, Tennessee’s children’s ministry director, and MIchelle Brooks-Young, Tennessee’s Global Mission Director, for being a part of the training team.
I remember when I first fell in love with the camping ministry. It was the summer that I brought my youngest daughter to a camp for 6-8 year olds in the state of Tennessee. She and I were both campers because, at her age, the camp had the option for parents to attend with their child as a parent camper. We both left closer to God, and God continued to work in our lives through the camping ministry. His plan for my daughter was to encourage her spiritual growth each summer as she returned to camp. I will never forget the day she came home from Teen Camp hungry for more of God and His Word. She spent weeks studying the Bible and making notes. That camp was a turning point for her. God’s plan for me went beyond just attending camp. Continue reading
There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for parenting. From the time that first cry pierces the air of the delivery room, your life is split in half, and you suddenly feel the unimaginable joy but also intense responsibility as a caregiver. For me, it was as if my heart was taken out of its chest, swaddled up and placed in a window display for everyone to examine. Never had I felt so elated and yet also so vulnerable. Continue reading
Prior to the birth of each of our daughters, we purchased an elegant, lovely silver photo album to collect photos of the most cherished of memories as they grew. As soon as they were born, we inserted their photo into the front cover and wrote out the details of their birth—their name, birth date, delivery time, and weight. Each photo album contained pages of empty pockets just waiting for photos to be inserted. Continue reading
I have often heard the African proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” being quoted by school teachers, pediatricians, and even pastors to reiterate to parents how important it is for them to never forget that they are not alone on their journey through child-rearing. Parents need other parents. As a matter of fact, people need other people! Our wise Creator designed us to be relational beings whose hearts are most satisfied when they are able to give and receive LOVE. This truth applies to both young and old alike. Continue reading