Kids Having God’s Heart For The World
It started as a 9 year old girl’s dream—to build an orphanage in the impoverished nation of Haiti. A jar of coins sitting on her dresser represents the beginning of what she believes will one day make her dream a reality.
The dream began to take shape when a mission trip was planned for September 2003 to visit the country she had grown to love. A team of people from her church traveled to Haiti to visit orphanages, schools, and churches to sing songs of hope, provide food and clothing and reach out to the poorest of the poor.
Ariana did not want to leave the children or Haiti. She truly feels that this is the place God has called her to serve Him—and she is ready now! Ariana is only 11 years old but she is going to build an orphanage for other children. How? By the same means through which her dream began—by faith. The faith that states it is God’s will that these children be rescued from the streets of Haiti and from physical and spiritual poverty.
(From “For His Kidz”, E-mail from the Ministry of Mister Bill’s, November 6, 2003.)
Missions and Kids– How important is the connection?
If tomorrow’s world is waiting for our kids, would our kids ever go overseas based on what we are teaching them about missions from the Word and by our example of support for missions?
God purposes that He will be glorified globally. From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals this purpose. Children need to know that God is blessing them with a wonderful plan for their lives so that they will in turn bless the people of the world. God wants us to devote our lives to a purpose that is larger than ourselves.
IDEAS YOU CAN USE
Seven ways to involve children in God’s mission:
- LEARN—Help your kids to learn more about people around the world. Put up a world map in your children’s ministry area or have a mission table with a globe so the children can locate where missionaries are serving. Encourage the children to learn more about God’s love for all people by memorizing Scripture verses such as: Psalm 67: 3, 4; Mark 16:15; and 1 Timothy 2: 3,4.
- PRAY—Encourage the children to pray for missionaries and their families. Provide a small weekly prayer guide.
- Saturday—Encouragement/Inner Strength
- GIVE—Find out if your church or your region is already supporting a mission work and then outline a giving program for your children. Ask your kids what type of mission work they would like to help with and then get involved. Hold a special fund raising drive such as a bike-a-thon, skateboard-a-thon, or another event that will allow children to raise support. Raise funds for our orphanages through the “One Child Fund” or raise funds to provide supplies and training to children’s ministers in other countries through “Helping Hands for Kids.” (For more information on these ministries contact Children’s Ministries, PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; 423-559-5328; firstname.lastname@example.org
- TELL—Each week ask two or three of your children to lead a “ Mission Moment” sharing information about a country and the missionaries serving there. Ask the Senior Pastor to invite the children to present a skit about the culture and life of a missionary family. You and the children could write the story based of the information you have received about your missionary family.
- SEND—Encourage the children to send Birthday, Valentine, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards to their missionary families. Put together care packets for your family on birthdays and holidays. Be sure to plan to send the packages in advance so they will be received on time.
- GO—Make plans to take children on a local mission trip to an outreach center. Find an outreach ministry where they can get involved in a service activity such as sorting or packing cans for a food pantry, or sharing God’s love at a housing project through songs, stories, and puppets.
- Make Mission Banners. Create banners that focuses on sharing God’s love with all people or banners about the country of where your missionary family is serving.
- Celebrate in music. Learn songs about missions or songs from different countries. Libraries are a good resource for obtaining information about different cultures and their music.
- Have a Mission Banquet. Let the children come in costumes that represent various countries. Invite the older children to help as greeters, waiters, etc. Allow younger children to present a mini-concert of music from around the world.
Other Ideas to Help Your Kids Think MISSIONS
Missionary Bag—Prepare a bag with things a missionary might need such as a passport, money, Bible, language dictionary, etc. Ask a child to pull one item out of the bag and share why the missionary needs this item to help him share God’s love with the people of that country. (For example , pull out a dictionary of one country’s language, and teach the children some simple words.)
Witnessing Plans and Tools—Make wordless books or witnessing bracelets. Teach the kids what the different colors mean. This will give them a tool to help them be missionaries NOW.
Food—Introduce some of the simple food of that culture/area.
Pen Pal—Have your kids each write a letter at least four times throughout the year to a missionary or a missionary’s child.
Teaching about missions doesn’t have to be a boring search for tiny names on a dusty Globe or map. People who care about missions have created videos to bring other countries to us.
- The Great KidMission. Published by Gospel Publishing House, 1957 Eastman Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003; 800-4-Gospel. Outside US—805-644-9721. www.gospellight.com Cost: $19.99. This 5-10 session program will get kids involved in caring about the people of the world. It includes Bible learning activities, creative crafts and tasty snacks that will help your kids take part in God’s plan for reaching the world.
- Kids in Missions. Published by CharismaLife Publishers, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746; 800-451-4598; www.charismalife.com Cost: $59.99 Kids In Missions includes 5 dynamic special-event lessons!
- Five complete sessions of curriculum plus…
- Full-color “Today’s Life Story” Art on CD – create your own transparencies or drop them into Powerpoint for cutting edge presentations
- Prerecorded puppet and drama segments on cassette
- Praise and worship split-track music on cassette
- Object lessons, skits, room décor plans
- Two hours of action-packed materials per session
- CD also contains printables such as name tags and KIDS Church Cash, Plus graphice/text files to create your own Powerpoint presentations
- Kids Around the World, Teacher’s Resource Kit. Published by Caleb Project, 10 W Dry Creek Circle, Littleton, CO 80120; 303-730-4170; www.calebproject.org Cost: $69.00 Teach kids about five different worldviews, including Islam! The first video and lesson introduces Tribal, Hindu, Unreligious (Atheist), Muslim, and Buddhist religions in contrast to Christianity, utilizing the THUMB acrostic as an easy way to remember them. The following four videos and lessons are focused on four different Islamic people groups and their cultures. Narrated by kids and shot on location, kids will be drawn into God’s heart for these people groups, how to pray, and ways they can be involved to see the love of Jesus brought to them.