Simple Ways to Add Missions to What You’re Already Doing

Students walking doing missions

Teaching students about missions is important. No, it is more than important, it is vital. Vital to a world full of people who don’t know Jesus.

Students are busy, and I know they don’t always have an opportunity (or let’s be honest, the desire) to come to a missions class. But if we believe teaching about missions is crucial to the future of the church, we need to get creative in the ways we teach.
 

I Can’t Find Time! 

I’m here to tell you that you can teach missions in the midst of what you are already doing. Even when you don’t have time in your schedule for one more meeting or class, you can still make disciples of students and teach them to live on mission.

Let’s think about how Jesus taught His disciples to do missions.

  • Jesus modeled missions
  • Jesus talked with the disciples about missions
  • Jesus provided opportunities for the disciples to get involved in missions

So how can we take these three examples and apply them to our students?
 

Model Missions 

This one is easy and short. Let your students see you praying for missionaries, getting involved in missions, and sharing Jesus with folks around you every day. If students see you excited about missions, it will encourage them to be excited as well.
 

Talk about Missions… Often 

Look for opportunities to talk about missions:

  • Get students talking about their daily lives. Talk about how they can share the gospel through their attitudes, actions, and conversations. Remind them everything they do is a testimony. What kind of testimony are they showing the world?
  • As you read a Bible story discuss how people shared, or didn’t share. the truth about God to others.
  • Share a video or story about missionaries from Missions Journey: Students.
  • Take 5–10 minutes and teach students about the ministry of WorldCrafts by finding an activity at worldcrafts.org/teach. I personally like the matching game. (Just don’t tell your students you found it under the preschool heading. They’ll never know!) It’s a simple way to introduce anyone to the ministry of WorldCrafts and let them put actual faces with what they are learning.
  • Send students a text or card during the week telling them you are praying for them as they strive to share Jesus in their daily lives. I know, snail mail seems old school, but my teenagers love to get a card in the mail!
  • Teach students about Pure Water, Pure Love using the videos available here.
  • Many youth groups have a Facebook page. Ask if you can share a missionary story once a week. Engage: Refugees has great stories you can share with your students.
     

Provide Opportunities for Students to Get Involved in Missions 

Students need to be involved in all kinds of missions activities so they don’t get the idea that missions is only for the full-time missionary serving in across the globe. They need to know missions is something they can do every day.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
 

PRAY FOR MISSIONARIES

How many of us know a sweet “older” lady who prays for the missionaries having birthdays every day? Why does she do that? I think there are two reasons: She knows it is important and she has made it a habit.

Look for opportunities to teach your students to pray for missionaries… at the end of a Sunday School lesson, during Wednesday night meal time, after youth praise team practice, and of course, during your missions classes.

Seek out a current or former missionary (or family member) to share how prayer transformed their lives. How were their prayer requests answered?

Help students make praying for missionaries a habit by providing opportunities to pray. 

Visit the Missionary Prayer Calendar to find the names of NAMB and IMB missionaries listed on their birthdays.

  • Print out the names and where they serve, put them on colored paper and have everyone draw a name out of a hat to pray for that week.
  • Put the names in balloons and then blow them up. At the end of your class, let the students pop the balloons to find names to pray for during that week.
  • Put a map in the hall near where your youth group meets with names of missionaries on sticky notes on the countries where they serve. Ask your students to take home a name each week and pray for that missionary.
  • Ask different students to be in charge of coming up with a creative way to pray for missionaries.
  • Text the name(s) of a missionary to your students to pray for during the week.
     

PLAN A MISSIONS ACTIVITY OR EVENT

There are so many ways to do this. Missions activities don’t have to be “go big or go home.”

  • Send cards to missionaries.
  • Prayerwalk around the community or school.
  • Send supplies to a missionary through Christmas in August.
  • Let your students host a fund raising event for Pure Water, Pure Love.
  • Use Seeking Refuge: A Refugee Simulation to organize a refugee simulation to teach your students about refugees. Then let your students put on a simulation for a bigger group in your church.


You can find ways to teach students about missions. When they get excited about missions, whether that means praying for missionaries or putting on a grass skirt to raise money for Pure Water, Pure Love, great things will happen!


Melissa Lamb, president of New Mexico WMU, lives to nowhere in Eastern New Mexico. She and her husband, Beau, have a grown daughter and two teenage boys; and they all love missions!

 

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