Children

Summer Missions Ideas

by Kathy Firkins

Summer is a relaxing and laid-back time for most people. During the summer months, many families come to church events who might not participate during the busy school year.

This summer, plan a few fun events to stay in touch with current and prospective members of your children’s missions organizations. Or, allow time for extra events during your summer missions meetings. Here are a few ideas:

Have a Splash Party with water games. Encourage participants to donate money to Pure Water Pure Love. Learn more at wmu.com/ministries.

Schedule a Bike Out for World Hunger. Choose a local park where participants can earn money to alleviate world hunger. Visit worldhungerfund.com for hunger relief information.

Begin planning your Christmas in August drive to collect supplies for missionaries. Visit our Christmas in August page for ideas and supply lists.

Missions: From Childhood to Adulthood

Having a missions discipleship organization for preschoolers, children, students, or adults at your church is great. But having all four simultaneously is even better! Age-level missions organizations build on each other to provide a strong foundation in missions education.

In Mission Friends, preschoolers learn about God’s love for them and for others.

Girls in ActionChildren in Action, and Royal Ambassadors understand that God wants them to be part of His plan as they learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions, and do missions.

Acteens, Challengers and Youth on Mission help students grow in their faith journey, discover their spiritual gifts, and learn how God equips those He calls to serve Him.

Let's Get Started

“Pastor, where do I get started?”

Having served as a pastor for many years, I’ve heard that question countless times. Getting started on a new project can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t believe you have the needed tools to accomplish the work.

Being a missions leader can be a difficult job! It’s okay to be honest about that and understand that training is needed to be the best leader possible.

At national WMU, we know your struggle. That’s why we try to provide the very best missions education materials possible for you, your missions organizations, and your church.

If you are considering starting a missions organization or if you are new to missions, you might want to check out our “Get Started” videos. These videos offer great ideas on starting Children in Action, Girls in Action, or Royal Ambassadors.

As you have time, check out the following videos:

Create a Buzz About Your Group

Have you ever heard the term “create a buzz”? Advertisers strive to get people so excited about their project that they’ll tell their family, friends, and maybe even strangers about it.

Here are four tips for “creating a buzz” about the children’s missions group in your church:

Celebrate Learning
Share with parents how their child is growing in his or her understanding of God, the world, and service to God and others.

Create Fun Learning Experiences
Parents will be excited when their see their child’s love for missions.

Involve Parents in Ministry Projects
Invite parents to participate in some of your group’s ministry projects. Let them catch the excitement by getting involved.

Share Pictures
Photograph the children and send pictures home when possible. Post photos outside the classroom, so parents will see the pictures at pick-up and drop-off.

Three Steps to Reach Parents Within and Beyond the Church Walls

Did you know that children’s missions leaders minister to families every week? As the lives of children are influenced through children’s missions, these changes overflow into their family life.

In some cases parents may not attend church, but will bring their children. A children’s leader may be the only point of personal contact that parents have with the church.

Here are three steps to help you reach out to parents:

Step 1

Develop a friendship. Greet parents when they leave their children and retrieve them from class. Show genuine interest in the child and his or her family.

Step 2

Talk to parents about how their child is developing spiritually. You can use statements such as “Janie really likes to pray for missionaries,” or “Bradley has been asking questions about becoming a Christian.” Don’t be afraid to talk about spiritual matters. You may be the only person that these parents speak with about spiritual matters.

Step 3

Easy Steps to a Fun Lock-In

Give parents some time off and keep your kids excited about missions with one missions-focused and fun-packed lock-in.

Use this schedule to help you plan a great event:

6:00–6:15pm
Registration: Collect parental permission forms, contact numbers, and insurance information. Divide children into three groups, using different-colored stickers.

6:15–7:00pm
Pizza dinner

7:00–10:00pm
Missions Rotations: Set up three missions-rotation stations. Assign a leader to prepare and lead each station. Ask an adult to guide each group from station to station.

1. Bible Study: Ask your pastor or children’s minister to tell a Bible story. Have children make their own play based on their story. Perhaps during game time, the kids can perform them for each other.

2. Missionary Moment: Recruit a missionary on assignment in your state to discuss customs in her or her region of service. Ask the missionary to share how kids live—what they enjoy, play, say—in their region. Finally, have the missionary tell kids about how he or she shares Christ with people.

Scripture Memory Verses

What does the Bible say about missions? Have your children learn the verses below to find out!

You might use these verses to design a Scripture learning program for your group. Or add verses to your missions learning experiences each week. Or you could challenge children to see how many verses they can learn in a year. The verses are divided into categories. Each verse includes a number (1-6) that suggests the grade for which it is most appropriate.

These numbers are just suggestions. Feel free to customize the list to fit your church’s needs.

 Giving to Missions
1—James 1:17a
1—Acts 20:35b
2—Psalm 96:8b
2—1 Chronicles 16:29b
2—2 Corinthians 9:6
3—Luke 16:10
3—Malachi 3:10a
4—Matthew 6:1
4—1 Corinthians 16:2
4—Deuteronomy 16:17
5—2 Corinthians 9:7
5—1 Timothy 6:18
5—Leviticus 27:30
6—Matthew 6:20-21

Children and Media: Entertainment or Exploitation?

by Melanie Howard

As a parent, you ensure that your children eat their vegetables, wear their bicycle helmets, and ride in their car seats. You want them to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. But what are you doing to protect your kids from the negative influences of the media? Today’s children are repeatedly exposed to media—primarily television and the Internet.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the average child watches three hours of television per day. This replaces more meaningful activities such as outdoor play, exercise, and reading. Children who spend too much time in front of a TV are often less imaginative, less able to focus, and less able to plan ahead. They are also more likely to be violent or aggressive, to have academic difficulties, and to be overweight.

The content of television programming is often at odds with the values of Christian families. Many television shows expose children to profanity, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, violence, and sexuality. Even some “family friendly” programs include sarcasm, back-talk, negative portrayals of parents, and an overemphasis on romance.

34 Ways Children Can Serve

This article by Tonya W. Heartsill was originally published in the Spring 2010 issue of Missions Leader. It is used here with permission.

Use these 34 ideas to help your children’s group get busy and share the love of Christ with others: 

Addressing Child Sexual Abuse

by Melanie Howard

Child sexual abuse: Few topics are more uncomfortable or more difficult to discuss. Such abuse is one of the most extreme forms of human exploitation. To acknowledge the reality of sexual abuse is to believe the unbelievable, to recognize unthinkable evil, and to grapple with the terrible effects of the sin. This topic may even cause an individual to question his or her beliefs about God’s sovereignty and protection.

In the sexual abuse of a child, an adult (or bigger child) uses his or her dominant position to force or coerce a child into sexual activity for which the child is not developmentally prepared to give informed consent. Non-contact abuse includes having a child view pornographic materials, taking sexual photos of a child, asking a child inappropriate questions about the child’s sexual development, and exposing a child to adult sexuality. Contact abuse includes fondling a child, requiring a child to touch or kiss an adult inappropriately, and rape.

Suggestions for keeping your child safe:

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