Badges

Pen Pal Badge

Electronic forms of communication such as email, text messaging, FaceTime, and Skype have greatly diminished traditional means of communication. Letters are becoming rare. However, for the person receiving such a treasure, the response is still the same—joy!

Providing the opportunity for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action to earn a Pen Pal badge is a valuable learning experience that also has many blessings and benefits for both the receivers and senders of letters. Writing letters helps children develop writing skills, learn how to express kindness and compassion with words, and share with another person interesting information about themselves, which can boost confidence and self-esteem. Letters from a pen pal help a child learn about the life of another person, understand how they are similar and different, and appreciate how another person lives in another part of the state or around the world.

Here are three ideas for planning a pen pal project:

Write to senior adults within your church or community.

Disaster Relief

Helping others in a time of crisis is perhaps one of the most basic aspects of our faith in Christ. When we hear of someone in need, something deep within us stirs and urges us forward to see how we can help. Children understand when someone is hurting. In fact, they often grasp this much better than we do. Through all of our layers of reasoning, distraction, and comfort, we’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the pain of others. But children have a special way of taking on the pain of those around them, and they feel it deeply. They want to help any way they can. That is why it’s so important to teach our children about disaster relief.

There are many ways of doing this, but here are just a few ideas you can use to introduce your children to disaster relief:

What Should I Do First?

“If I knew where to begin, I would have already started!”

Have you ever thought that before? Working on any children’s ministry project, activity, or event can seem overwhelming at times—especially if you don’t have a great place to begin. And it’s the same way when you are planning a recognition service for your Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action members as well. So, let’s start planning this year’s recognition service in the right place: prayer!

(You didn’t expect that, did you? You expected me to say that you needed to total the number of badges and patches kids had earned this year and place an order. Nope!)

Start with prayer, and thank God for the kids and families who are part of your children’s ministry and missions discipleship each week. Ask God to show you how to best share with your congregation and community the missions projects and activities your kids have completed this year.

It's Time to Celebrate!

A friend recently gave me a portable disco ball that plugs into a cell phone. I use the disco ball to help those around me celebrate victories of all sizes. Did we survive a deadline? Get out the disco ball. You just had a great phone call from a GA leader? Disco ball time! Finish a major writing assignment? You guessed it . . . we celebrate!

As goofy as my disco ball can be, it helps our staff mark a milestone and take a moment to savor what we’ve accomplished.

And that is what badges and patches can do for the children of your church. Allow me to explain. The purpose of a badge or patch of any kind is a visible reminder of a significant achievement or accomplishment. For children, they remind a child, his or her family, and the congregation of an event or activity where a child was engaged in missions.

This spring is a wonderful time to share what children have accomplished and learned about missions, even if you’ve never awarded the first badge or patch. (If it’s your first year for awards, consider giving each child the organizational badge or patch and possibly one other based on a successful activity or event.)

Just How Hungry Are You?

My own children often declare that they are “starving to death,” but are they really? Join us at our dinner table or accompany me as I buy groceries each week, and you’ll realize that food is not an issue in our house. In their worldview, however, “starving to death” could mean anything from being bored to not having dinner at the exact time their stomachs think it should be served.

It has come to my attention that if my own boys need to learn more about hunger, then my GAs probably do too. This month, as you and your CAs, GAs, or RAs learn more about the work of Baptist Global Relief and the work they do to provide help for those in need around the word, challenge your children’s group to earn their Global Hunger Relief Badge/Patch through one of these project suggestions:

Global Hunger Relief: Children Can Make a Difference

Hunger is one of the most challenging needs we face today. How is it that some have so much while others have so little? This month, children will be learning about the global hunger epidemic. As part of the Global Hunger Relief initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention, churches around the country will have the opportunity to learn about, pray for, and give to one of the most basic needs of human existence. In fact, a staggering 100% of all funds given on Global Hunger Relief Sunday (October 9) will go directly toward providing food for those in need.

"Fall"-ing for Friends

Looking for ways to involve children in hands-on service opportunities while also earning a new badge or patch? Fall is the perfect season for children to bridge generational gaps and minister to senior friends in your church or community. Lead children in one or more of the following activities and then present them with our newly redesigned Senior Friends Badge/Patch.

A Little Recognition Never Hurts

Around this time of the year, missions education organizations begin preparing for their annual recognition services. These special services provide opportunities to recognize the accomplishments of boys and girls who have worked hard all year long. These services also provide an opportunity for family, friends, and church members to become more familiar with the church missions education program.

When considering your church’s recognition services, several key factors should be remembered:

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