Going for the Gold

Hello from Birmingham, Alabama! The high today — on February 20 — is 77 degrees! Can you believe it? (Probably, if you know anything about Alabama weather.) I love the cold weather, so I'm a little put out about it. It's supposed to get into the low 80s later this week. Meteorologists are saying we're going to break record highs for this time of year. If you like warm weather, I'm happy for you! If you like cold weather, we can commiserate together.

But enough about my weather pattern opinions. Let's focus instead on that word "record" I mentioned above. We're in the midst of the final week of the 2018 Winter Olympics. While the focus is on winning that gold medal, we often hear about athletes breaking world records while they're competing. Talk about exciting! What if you could use that excitement with the kids in your missions group?

Healthy competition can be a useful tool to encourage kids' participation in missions projects and during your weekly meetings. Here are some ideas to help you take a cue from the Olympics and get your kids more involved than ever.

  • Encourage kids to break their own records. Observe the kids in your missions group to recognize ways they participate or grow over the course of the year. Did they have perfect attendance or miss only a few meetings? Did they memorize several Bible verses? Did they show kindness to others? Were they willing to share with others? How many missions projects did they work on? At the end of the year, help your kids set goals for the next year to break their own impressive records!
  • Give kids the opportunity to design and create different variations of gold medals. These could be gold foil shaped into circles and strung onto ribbon, adhesive labels cut into circles and colored gold to make stickers, or plastic gold coins on which kids can write short, encouraging messages. Award a gold medal to kids each time they participate in a missions project. Any time spent sharing the love of Jesus with others deserves a gold medal.
  • During your weekly meetings, be on the lookout for games in which one or more kids will be declared the winner. Just as athletes receive the honor of hearing their national anthem when they've won gold, give kids the honor of telling their favorite Bible verse or suggesting a missions project idea for your group. (Be sure to keep a list of these project ideas for future opportunities.)

From the snow-capped mountains and ice rinks to the walls of your meeting space, records are made to be broken and people are made to need the love of Jesus. Use these Olympic-level ideas to get your kids even more excited to learn about, give to, pray for and do missions.


Jessica Graham is a copy editor for children's resources at national WMU. She adores cold weather and loves seeing the Olympics bring the world together.


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