CA: On the Grow!

I recently traveled to Seattle, Washington, for the Northwest Baptist Convention’s CM52 conferences. I led a series of conferences about kids’ missions discipleship and spent time hearing about children’s ministry work in the Pacific Northwest. While I loved every bit of my time there, a certain pastor will stick out in my mind for quite some time.

I never thought to ask him why a pastor was at a children’s ministry conference. I suppose that he was there to support his children’s workers who came to the conference. But when he found out that I work for national WMU and was there to talk about Children in Action, he and I became fast friends.

I heard stories about what the CA leader at his church is doing each week with children. And I got to meet her in person. The pastor’s excitement for missions discipleship was more than obvious—it was contagious! The CA leader was eager to share her work with me, and I was excited to walk away with a few new ideas.

Many times during my two days there, my new pastor friend would come to me and tell another story. And then he’d follow it up with, “But you need to ask her. She’s amazing with these kids.” Those conversations turned into an in-depth conversation about the Great Commission and the purpose of Children in Action. When I shared with him that it is my goal for every CA group to turn into a GA and RA group, I think I shocked him a bit.

After all, if something is working well, why change it?

I explained that Children in Action works well in smaller churches with just a few children and two leaders. But my goal is that kids and leaders will have so much fun learning about and doing missions together that more and more children will want to come to church and . . . gasp . . . bring their adults with them! And when they do, the church will see a growth in the children’s department and will need to do something about it. In evaluating that growth, the church and those who make decisions about what is going to be taught will realize they have enough children for gender-specific curriculum and activities.

My friend and I discussed Royal Ambassadors and Girls in Action. By the end of the conversation, he let me know that he is going to start praying about growing out of Children in Action.

While my new friend from the Northwest prays for growth into GA and RA, the Children in Action leader will continue to challenge the children who come each week with lessons about missions work happening around the world. She’s planning great outreach projects, helping children learn to pray for missions, and finding new ways for more children to learn about their role in the Great Commission.

I’m excited to see what God will do through this body of believers . . . but I’m even more excited to see where the children of this church will share Jesus in the days and years ahead.

My prayers for you, friends, are that your pastor will be on fire for missions discipleship for kids, your children’s minister will be so excited about what kids are doing each week that he cannot wait to share with everyone he meets, and you will have the energy to challenge even more children to grasp hold of and live out the Great Commission!

And when it’s time to grow from Children in Action to Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors, don’t hesitate to send me a message: hkeller@wmu.org.

 

Heather Keller is the Children in Action and Girls in Action consultant at national WMU. She and her husband, Tommy, are raising 2 boys in Birmingham, Alabama. When she isn’t writing our blogs, she enjoys dreaming up new ways kids can participate in missions.

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