Doing Missions

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Preschoolers learn by doing, and missions is no different from anything else. Doing missions needs to be a part of preschoolers’ missions experiences. They need to be involved in showing concern for people and sharing God’s love with others. The WMU® objective states this as “mission action and witnessing,” but for preschoolers in Mission Friends®, we call it Helping Others activities. By doing Helping Others activities, preschoolers have experiences in showing God’s love and care to others. Through Helping Others activities, preschoolers see that others have needs and they can help to meet other people’s needs.

In doing Helping Others activities, preschoolers make, give, or do something for others. For preschoolers, this may be someone they know. For example, the suggestion for 3s and 4s for February in Mission Friends Leader is to place hot chocolate packets in cups to give to shut-ins or church helpers. When my Mission Friends have done similar Helping Others activities for the staff at our church, I used our church directory to show them pictures of our church helpers and talk about what they do in our church. Most are familiar with Pastor Chris or Mr. Bill who is the facilities manager. At other times, the preschoolers may not know the persons whom they are helping, such as in collecting items for a local ministry center. Tell preschoolers how they are helping people, and how they are sharing God’s love by helping others.

Where do you get ideas for Helping Others activities? We offer several sources of ideas:

  • ŸMission Friends Leader: Check the Meet the Missionaries page each month for an overview of the Helping Others activities suggested for that month. There is a suggestion for Threes and Fours, and another suggestion for Kindergarten. Also check out A Mission Step, which is a quarterly Helping Others activity for Mission Friends teachers, parents, and preschoolers to do together.
  • ŸFirst Steps in Missions, vol. 23: Includes a suggestion for a Helping Others activity in each chapter.

  • ŸBig Enough to Help Others: A book full of ideas for Helping Others activities.

I also encourage you to involve your preschoolers in doing Helping Others activities related to outreach ministries of your own church. One church has their preschoolers place “God loves you" stickers on cans of food that are given to families through their church’s food pantry. Does your church provide a Bible study at an assisted living home or nursing home? Preschoolers could make paper flowers to give to residents at a visit. My church is involved in Backpack Buddies, and our Mission Friends brought food items to include in the backpacks during the school year. Involve your preschoolers in missions efforts of your church, or ministry efforts within your community.

Make sure that Helping Others activities are more than merely a service project. Many organizations and even private child-care programs do nice things for other people. Through Helping Others activities, we certainly want preschoolers to show kindness to others but we have an even higher purpose of showing God’s love and care to others. Make it a part of each Helping Others activity to lead preschoolers to pray for the persons receiving what your preschoolers give or do. Explain to preschoolers how they are showing God’s love to others. As preschoolers hear that God loves me, we can lead them to share His love with others.

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