Planning for Christmas in August

Christmas in August

How do you involve your Mission Friends® in Christmas in August®? This annual campaign gives you a unique opportunity to inspire your preschoolers and their families to join in giving to and praying for missionaries. Through their Christmas in August gifts, preschoolers experience the joy of partnering with missionaries who are sharing God’s love through North America.

Take these steps now to begin planning for Christmas in August at your church:

Choose a Missionary

Begin planning for Christmas in August with prayer. Ask the Lord to guide you in choosing the missionary your Missions Friends will support. After you pray, take the following steps:

  • Read through the list of Christmas in August missionaries on pages 44 and 45 in Summer 2017 Mission Friends Leader, or review the list online.

  • As you read through the ministry descriptions and needed supplies, consider which ministry your preschoolers would best understand. Are some of these ministries similar to ministries in which your church already engages? If so, this would be an entry point for discussion of your church’s local ministries.

  • Some churches choose their Christmas in August recipient based on proximity. Do you live near one of the missionaries? Would it be possible to physically deliver the supplies yourselves? Visiting a missionary or a ministry center creates life-changing memories in the hearts of children.

 

Promote Your Project

If you choose to involve your entire church, talk to your pastor, preschool/children/student minister, or WMU director about ways they can help you promote your Christmas in August project. Choose a few of these suggestions for publicizing Christmas in August:

  • If your church has social media, ask your social media director to place several Christmas in August posts on your social media calendar.

  • Ask your media specialist if you can create a worship announcement slide promoting Christmas in August.

  • Prepare an announcement for your church bulletin and or newsletter.

  • Design a bulletin insert and share it with your church’s administrative assistant.

  • Preschoolers love to get mail! Write a letter to your Mission Friends telling them about Christmas in August. Include a list of requested donations and a note about the missionary you are helping.

  • Use this free downloadable note to communicate your list of needed supplies.

  • Put up a Christmas tree and write requested supplies on ornaments. Church members can take an ornament, purchase the supplies listed, and keep the ornament as a prayer reminder.

  • Lead Mission Friends to help you decorate a bulletin board or information table with Christmas decorations. Place your donations list and description of the chosen missionary’s ministry on the table.

 

Explain Christmas in August to Your Preschoolers

Christmas in August creates natural opportunities for teaching preschoolers about giving to missions and being personally involved in missions. Use these discussion starters to talk to preschoolers about this project:

  • Ask your Mission Friends what they already know about missionaries who live in North America. Talk about how these missionaries’ lives may be similar to/different from our own.

  • Ask preschoolers to name ways that missionaries tell others about Jesus. Focus on the platforms of missionaries, such as college ministry, summer camps, etc.

  • Ask preschoolers how they can help missionaries. Include praying for missionaries as well as providing tangible resources.

  • Ask preschoolers what they know about ministries in which your church is engaged. Ask how they would like to become involved with those ministries. To improve preschoolers’ understanding, think of ways to compare and contrast your church’s local ministries with the ministry you’ve chosen for Christmas in August.

  • Talk to preschoolers about what the Bible teaches us about missions. Use the Bible thoughts:

    • God loved us and sent His Son (see 1 John 4:10).

    • Jesus said, “I love you” (see John 15:9).

    • We want to tell people about Jesus (see Acts 4:20).

  • Invite preschoolers to ask their parents to join them in looking up the missionary you’ve chosen for your Christmas in August project. Ask them to share what they’ve learned with your class.

 

Planning now for Christmas in August will ensure that this missions project is well organized and efficient. It will help you be more intentional in teaching your preschoolers about giving and doing missions. Working alongside your preschoolers and their families in missions activities will allow you to demonstrate the joy of giving of yourself to others and to teach how missions is a lifestyle.

Do you have tips for planning and promoting Christmas in August? Share them with us on Facebook!

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