Children in Action Blog

Grateful Giving

The month of November has long been associated with gratitude. God’s providence was recognized nearly 400 years ago by a small group of Pilgrims searching for religious freedom; incredibly, this event is still celebrated today. But after all this time, do we really understand what it means to “give thanks”? Nowadays, it can be quite difficult of us to put ourselves in the shoes of those grateful Pilgrims.

How can we possibly understand what it must have been like to flee the only home you’ve ever known, risk life and limb traveling across vast oceans, arrive on a foreign continent where no one speaks your language, and forge a living from nothing? Believe it or not, there are people all around you who have experienced just that . . .

Fall Festival Fun: Make it Missional

Inflatables, fat pumpkins, face painting, hayrides, tasty treats, games galore! What’s not to love about a fall festival, right?

On my way to work this morning, I passed at least a dozen signs advertising upcoming festivals at local schools, parks, and churches. And my own church is no exception—we are all gearing up for our largest community outreach event of the year next Sunday afternoon.

Did you get that? Our largest community outreach event of the year! Yes, a fall festival is a fun-filled, no-pressure event that draws people of all ages from the entire community, especially those who may never step foot into our church otherwise.

A fall festival can be the perfect missions opportunity for your church, too. Consider one of these ideas to jump-start your own event:

Never Too Young to Tell Others

There are some things in life that are best left to adults. I’m thinking about things like driving a car, being an astronaut, performing surgery, or skydiving.

But, on the other hand, there are other areas in life where age really isn’t that important. An example? I’m thinking about evangelism—sharing our faith with others.

The Bible teaches us that sharing our faith is a vital part of fulfilling the Great Commission. When you check out Matthew 28, you will discover that there is no age requirement for sharing one’s faith. All of us are responsible.

So, what should we teach our children about sharing their faith? Here are few simple things to talk with them about.

First, we should encourage our children to invite their friends to church with them. This is probably the easiest way to introduce the subject of faith to others. Even the smallest child can ask a friend to come to church with them.

When Pastors Don't See a Need for Missions Discipleship

Susan Bryant, Kentucky WMU president, was recently asked how she responds to pastors who might not understand the benefits of children’s missions discipleship. Read Susan’s thoughts below:

I should have seen the warning signs—a pastor who had not grown up in Royal Ambassadors, Wednesday evening programming that was being rearranged, and other ideas for our children that were being promoted. I had been a GA leader at my church for more than 30 years, and I couldn’t fathom anything but spending Wednesday evenings traveling around the world in the basement of our church.

Then came the day when my pastor scheduled a meeting to discuss alternatives to Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors. I knew I needed to present a clear vision for missions education for our children. We both wanted the same thing—the best atmosphere for our children to learn that God loves them and loves the world.

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.

Back in the Day

“Back when I was a child . . . ”

Didn’t we always hate hearing those words from our parents? We knew what would follow: they had walked to school uphill, in the snow, with no shoes or socks, etc.

Did your parents say things like that? Mine did.

The other day, I was talking to Evan, my 8-year-old son. I was talking about finding some information that I needed. I said, “Back when I was your age, we had to go to the library and look in the encyclopedia to find information like that.”

Evan looked at me and said, “Dad, today we’d just Google it.”

He’s right. “Back in the day” won’t solve all of the questions of today. I do know that.

Over the last few months, there have been many changes in our missions education materials for children. You’ve probably noticed many of those changes. Maybe some you’ve missed. Or, maybe you are trying to find some information that will help you teach better this week. Whatever the case, let me answer a few questions about the changes you may have noticed.

I’m a CA leader and I can’t find the “Family Missions Focus” and “Extras” information in my magazine. Where can I find it?

Developing into Great Leaders: Online Learning

Have you ever attended a seminar or training session and thought, “This would have been so much better if I could have stayed in my pajamas”?

The Children’s Resource Team is assembling online training sessions that will allow you to learn more about being a leader from the comfort of your own home. And yes, you have our permission to stay in your pj’s!

Here’s an overview of what’s out there so far:

Leading Girls in Action: Participants will look at the very basics of the Girls in Action organization, including the curriculum and the pledge. You will also be challenged to teach a lesson to a small group of children to experience what it’s like to plan and deliver missions discipleship.

"The Road Goes Ever On and On"

Following the way of Christ is a journey, not a destination. Throughout this journey, there are adventures aplenty. One adventure that my wife Haley and I experienced recently is perhaps one of the most harrowing experiences a person can have—entering the world of adulthood. It seemed like a lifetime of uncertainty, not knowing where we would go or what we would do after graduation day. Would either of us have a job? Would it be the job, or just something to help us get by? Where would we live? And what about all those dastardly student loans?

Who knew “adulting” could be so hard? All we could do was put ourselves out there and pray that God would provide a way. And provide He did.

Packing whatever we could fit into our Toyota Camry (our energetic border collie, Nellie, included) we began the long journey from Texas to our new home in Alabama.

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