Decoding the WMU Emphasis for Preschoolers—Cultivate Relationships

preschoolers painting

I introduced four-year-old Barrett, a first-time visitor, to Maverick and Charlie as they built in the Blocks area. I needed to speak to Barrett’s mom, and when I looked back over at the boys, they were playing, laughing, and building together. For the rest of the Mission Friends® session, the three boys were inseparable. I was so glad to see how easily our Mission Friends befriended a new preschooler.

One of the purposes of the WMU emphasis, By All Means, is to encourage those who follow Christ to cultivate relationships with the people around them. For preschoolers, we can help them to know how they can be a friend to others. How can you lead preschoolers in being friends with others?

  • Give preschoolers opportunities to work together. Encourage them to build or make something together.

  • Plan activities in which preschoolers cooperate with one another. For example, they make a mural together.

  • Pair preschoolers to do movement activities together.

  • Tell about people in the Bible who were friends, such as David and Jonathan, or the four friends who brought their sick friend to Jesus.

  • Use these Bible thoughts as preschoolers are involved with friends.

    • A friend loves at all times (see Prov. 17:17).

    • Jesus said, “You are my friends” (see John 15:14).

    • We work together (see 1 Cor. 3:9).

    • Be kind to each other (see Eph. 4:32).

    • Pray for one another (see James 5:16).

    • Love one another (see 1 John 4:7).

  • Help preschoolers use their words to communicate with others. They sometimes need reminders to use their words.

  • Do activities that help preschoolers develop their listening skills: songs, rhymes, chants, storytelling, or puppets. A good friend listens to others.

  • Incorporate activities from Kindness Counts into your Mission Friends sessions, or use the 2-session unit at another time of special emphasis at your church.

  • If you have a Mission Friend with special needs, help your preschoolers know how to be friends with him or her.

  • Talk in simple terms about what it means to be a friend: loving others, caring for others, playing together, or sharing.

Encourage preschoolers to be friends with others. Help them to know about friendship in hearing of examples of friends in the Bible. Help them to be friends by giving them opportunities to work together and care for others.

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