Learning about Missions

Learning about missions around the world

My friend’s daughter buckled her preschool son in the car seat of their vehicle after Mission Friends one evening. She asked her son, “What did you learn in Mission Friends tonight?” Her son responded, “THUH missionawies. UH’gain.” What a great commercial that would make for Mission Friends!

Take a minute to think about what your preschoolers learn in Mission Friends. Since learning about missions is one area of growth that we want preschoolers to gain in Mission Friends, what do they learn about missions?

Preschoolers learn the basic concepts of the meaning of the word missions. They begin learning that God loves all people, God wants everyone to know of His love, and that not everyone knows of His love. They learn that God wants us to tell others and show others His love.

They learn what the Bible says about missions. Though the word missions is not found in the Bible, missions concepts are woven through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I always say in training conferences that the Bible is our textbook for missions learning. Preschoolers learn the biblical basis for missions as they hear us say Bible thoughts about telling others about Jesus, praying for others, giving so others will hear about Jesus, and showing God’s love by helping others. A good exercise for you as a Mission Friends teacher is to take a highlighter and the handout, Bible Thoughts by Concept Areas, found in Free Downloads. Highlight each Bible thought that teaches a missions concept. As you use these Bible thoughts with your preschoolers, they will begin to learn the biblical basis of missions.

Preschoolers learn about missions work in today’s world. In Mission Friends, we teach preschoolers what a missionary is, what missionaries do, and ways they tell others about Jesus. Preschoolers learn of people who need to know about Jesus, both within North America and around the world. Learning about missions is so much fun for preschoolers as they learn of people in faraway places and the missionaries who go to tell them about Jesus. Preschoolers also learn how their own church is involved in telling others about Jesus. They learn that there are people where they live who need to know of Jesus’ love.

Preschoolers also begin learning about the history of missions. No, we don’t have a formal history lesson with preschoolers. We do sprinkle in learning of history as we teach preschoolers about Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, and the missions offerings in their names. As they learn of these missions leaders from the past, preschoolers also hear how their money and prayers help in missions work today.

Learning about missions leads preschoolers to growth in other aspects of missions. Joy Bolton wrote in Mission Friends Guide for Leaders, “As the result of learning, many are led to respond to God’s calling to greater involvement in missions.” In other words, as preschoolers learn about missions, this leads them to pray for missions and give to missions. They also respond to the needs of others through Helping Others activities. Learning leads to greater involvement in the work of His Kingdom. As they learn about missions, preschoolers are guided in adopting missions as a lifestyle even from a young age. As you teach preschoolers about “THUH missionawies. UH-gain,” know that you are instilling within preschoolers a heart for missions.

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