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.
I am so thankful for those children’s ministry leaders who had the vision to help my child become more mission minded. If you are reading this newsletter, chances are that you have an opportunity to help the children in your life become more mission minded as well. When we teach children about missions, the impact is far-reaching. We help change the lives of children far away. We change the lives of the children we are teaching, and we just might change ourselves!
Ideas You Can Use
Raise Awareness of Missions
To help children become aware of the needs of people around the world, consider “adopting” a new country each month. Display a world map in your teaching area and show children where each country is located. Give children an idea of the customs, traditions, and culture of each country through videos, pictures, costumes, and even some food if available.
Praying for Missions
Once children are made aware of the need to spread the Good News of Jesus to the world, we need to teach them that the most important job they have is to pray for missions. God works through prayer. He changes lives through prayer.
Sharing the Gospel
A missionary is anyone who shares the love of Jesus with others. While much of the emphasis of missions is on other countries and missionaries to those countries, we must remember that our children can be missionaries in their own world.
Although it would be wonderful to take older children on mission trips to other countries, this may not be safe or economically feasible for you. However, you can provide them with mission opportunities close to home.
Giving to Missions
One of the best ways for children to be involved in missions is by raising money for a specific need or missionary. The children in my church have helped to raise money for goats in Nepal, for children’s ministry supplies in Central America, and for a Christian kindergarten in Africa. The possibilities are endless.
We have compiled a list of resources you can use to help your kids become more mission minded. Check them out today.