Keeping a Connection with Children in Action Families

Many Children in Action leaders are trying to figure out how to maintain a connection with families and children they minister to each week in the midst of a pandemic and the need for social distancing. If you are one of those leaders, please know that you are not alone. Maintaining the connection leaders have with their groups is a top priority for many reasons. Continuing to learn about missions during this time

  • helps maintain a sense of routine and normalcy;
  • stresses the importance of ongoing missions learning;
  • reminds children that what they are learning in Children in Action is important;
  • reminds the church and children’s families about the importance of children’s missions discipleship; 
  • is just plain fun!

Honestly, when I look around at my social media newsfeed, I see parents asking each other for advice on keeping their kids busy during this unprecedented time. Everyone seems to be looking for things to do to keep their kids busy and engaged, and something produced by their church is bound to get attention. We can use this unusual time in our history to connect with children and families in ways we might not have been able to in the past.

Consider some of these ideas as you look to continue to connect with families from your Children in Action group:
 

Phone calls

Call families in your children’s ministry and issue a weekly challenge. It could include Scripture memorization; researching geography of the state, country, or region you are studying in missions; or a specific challenge to reach out to someone and share God’s love with them (socially distant, of course).
 

Email

Download the PDF files from wmu.com/children each week, and email them to the families of children in your children’s ministry. Make sure the subject line of your email clearly states the PDFs for each week’s lessons are attached so it doesn’t get lost in someone’s inbox. If you are not able to teach each week’s lesson online, share something about the story or Scripture verse in the email for parents to share with their children.
 

Postal Mail

Print and mail one of the PDFs from each week’s lesson to the children in your children’s ministry. Kids love getting mail and would enjoy receiving an activity from you. Consider including a self-addressed, stamped envelope for children to mail something back to you!
 

Teach Online

You don’t have to have a world of technology and a degree in communications to host an online weekly lesson. CA leaders and children’s ministers can use existing technology and a mobile device or laptop to connect with families and their children. Email and post an announcement about when and where you’ll host a live (or recorded) lesson, then begin your preparations like you normally would for a weekly meeting.

What’s involved?

  • Prepare the lesson you want to teach. Your lesson can consist of reading the story or section of Scripture and then posting the activities you want families to do together, or it can include activities you do together in your normal setting (pledge, motto, Scripture, etc.) as well as learning activities. Decide how you will share any handouts or PDFs with families.
  • Know the platform you are going to use for your lesson. If you use a platform like Zoom (video conference calls), you can interact with the children during the lesson, unlike Facebook Live or Instagram Live where you can only see what they share via typed comments. If you choose to use social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), make sure to post the video once you finish the live event so families can find it later if they were not able to join you.
  • If you aren’t comfortable teaching online but are interested in trying, consider asking a college-age member of your congregation to help you. They are already living in this online world and could probably get you up and going rather quickly if you are interested.


Regardless of how you connect, the important thing is that you do connect with the families and children from your Children in Action group each week. Reminding them that they are important to you helps bring a bit of normalcy into what seems like an upside-down world right now and encourages them to remember to share God’s love with those they are distantly connecting with through work, school, and as a member of their community.


Heather Keller is the Children in Action consultant at national WMU. Contact Heather and share your great Children in Action ideas with her: hkeller@wmu.org.
 

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