Missional Engagement for All Ages

Becoming lifelong learners is an important quality among today’s missional leaders. Mindful of the various ways people learn, we strive to create an environment at WMU where staff members are encouraged to read and explore new ways to catch the attention of each new generation to raise the priority of missions in our churches.

Recent business journals have been carrying information about the growing reality of four generations now working side by side in the workplace. In addition, the possibility of a fifth generation is coming soon if the retirement age continues to be extended. At WMU, we recognize the advantage we have of reaching all ages since this describes the breakdown of our employees—four generations presently employed at WMU. We are positioned well for collaboration as we seek to create relevant approaches that fit the makeup of today’s church.

Recently we had a presentation for staff on the various characteristics of generations; it reminded us not only of generational preferences and learning styles but also of the need to create entry points appropriate to each generation.

What do multiple entry points currently look like at WMU? First, we offer small-group learning experiences for every age. Women on Mission, Girls in Action, and Royal Ambassadors are basically small groups. Within each of the small groups are options for learning approaches based on location, size, or specific needs of the group.

Secondly, for those who learn best by doing, we offer preplanned missions experiences such as Missionsfest and Familyfest or planned activities like Children’s Ministry Day. In an effort to introduce new people to missions, we provide event plans in various forms. Fellowship events such as WorldCrafts parties provide a place for individuals to gain information about people groups in the world among whom our missionaries work. As participants have the opportunity to see beautiful items created by these artisans, they learn how purchases through WorldCrafts support those in poverty or provide meaningful work for women previously caught in human trafficking.

Today’s young people are very conscious of the needs of people around the world. When they hear of people dying from lack of food or due to unclean water, for instance, they want to do something that makes a difference. Pure Water, Pure Love gives them an opportunity to provide clean water for the missions personnel of Southern Baptists and the people they serve. Project HELP brings critical issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, to light and suggests ways to engage churches in meeting both community and individual needs. Entry points . . . places where people can begin the missions experience at the point of their interest.

We all learn differently and have varying interests, but we have all been called to embrace the Great Commission and share God’s love and grace with those who have yet to hear. What entry points are you providing to engage all generations in missions? We are your partner, as together we discover and share new ways to reach all generations.

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