Children

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:

Productive Partnerships

by Edith Fisher

Discipleship training and missions education go hand in hand. Both provide a spiritual foundation for children to learn biblical truths and to apply those principles to their lives. But convincing leaders of the importance of fitting missions education in with other church programs may lead you to hoist up the distress flag!

Here are some ways you can build a productive partnership between missions education leaders, children’s ministry leaders, and the pastoral team:

Special Kids, Special Needs

by Jennifer Smith

Although all children are special, some have unique needs that must be addressed in order to create a positive learning environment. Whether the needs are physical or mental, some simple accommodations can make learning more satisfying for everyone involved.

Follow these steps to create a positive learning environment for girls and boys with special needs:

Consider the space.
For a child with physical disabilities, keep the room free of clutter. Create plenty of space to manipulate a wheelchair, walker, or other such equipment.

Children with autistic tendencies tend to respond better in spaces where distractions are at a minimum. Use cabinets with doors to store extra learning materials. Display only what is necessary for the session.

Consider the ability.
In order to make learning a positive experience for the special needs child, you may need to modify some activities:

Read material aloud to girls and boys with reading difficulties.

Leading Children to Fight Hunger

By Stacy Nall

As a child, I often heard this reminder from my well-meaning parents and grandparents: “Clean your plate. There are starving children in China.”

While I felt sorry for the starving children in China, I never figured out how eating all the food on my plate would help their situation. Now, many years later, I’m still cleaning my plate (and then some!). But children in Asia, Africa, and South America are still starving. Even children in my own country go to bed hungry each night.

In the United States, the cause of hunger is due to poverty. The US has more than enough food to feed its own people, but one in every four children live in households who struggle to put food on the table. They simply don’t have the money to buy food.

Worldwide, 925 million people—or one in every seven persons—is hungry. Hunger has many causes: economic and political problems, climate changes, lack of agricultural education, and poverty.

While the causes of hunger seem complex, you can help children in your missions organization do a lot to fight hunger:

Bullying: What You Need to Know

Written by Melanie Howard

It causes children to cry, and parents to panic. It happens on our playgrounds, in our homes, at our schools, and even in our churches. A child can become a victim when she turns on her computer. Bullying is a widespread form of victimization and abuse.

Bullying is intentional, aggressive behavior that intimidates, belittles, or physically harms another person.

Bullying involves an imbalance of power. The bully is often an older, bigger, or more popular child. The victim is usually a younger, smaller child, or a child with fewer friends.

Bullying can affect victims in many ways:
• Children become depressed, lonely, and anxious, and to develop low self-esteem. 
• Children report more frequent health problems such as headaches, stomach complaints, and sleep problems. 
• Children suffer in their schoolwork. 
• Even children who simply observe bullying—without themselves being a target—can become fearful and distracted.

Five Steps in Recruiting Other Leaders

Potential children’s missions leaders can include moms, grandmothers, college students, new church members, missionaries, minister’s wives, and others. Many people don’t serve because they are not asked.

Begin looking for new leaders:

1. Pray about who might become a leader.
2. Look for adults who have a passion for serving God, who support missions, and who delight children.
3. Talk to the potential leader about the ministry and how it changes lives. If he or she seems interested in knowing more, set up a time away from church to discuss the position.
4. Give a potential leader time to pray about this ministry, then follow up.
5. Remember, not everyone is called—or has the time—to teach. Consider other ways potential leaders might participate in and support the ministry.

Bible Telling Stories

RA bible telling

Bible Telling is a vital part of Royal Ambassadors!

Here are some great Bible stories for your boys to learn and corresponding certificates to download for recognition of learning each story.

CMD 2016: Save the Date!

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
CMD 2016 is coming,
What will you do?

Children’s Ministry Day 2016 (CMD) is this Saturday, February 13. I hope you already have plans to join children and missions leaders all across the country for a great day of service to share God’s love with the unchurched in your community, association, or state. But, if you don’t, it’s not too late!

Choose a hands-on missions project that will actively involve children in helping others and proclaiming the love of Jesus. Would one of these ideas work for your group?

#CMD2016 Project Ideas

Children’s Ministry Day is just around the corner (February 13). If you don’t yet have an activity planned for the children of your church, don’t fret. Consider one of these easy-to-incorporate ideas:

A Childlike Faith

This past week in GA, as we learned about missionaries serving in Miami, Florida, I asked girls to think about their own personal testimony and how they could share it with a friend. Children, being concrete learners, need examples, so I shared my story with them:

I was born into a loving, Christian home in the heart of the Bible belt. My parents took me to church every Sunday (not once, but twice) and every Wednesday night. I was blessed with wonderful Sunday School teachers, missions leaders (Mission Friends, GA, and Acteens), and ministers (children, youth, and music) who taught me Bible stories, engrained biblical principles into my daily living, and demonstrated God’s love through missional lifestyles. At the age of seven, I asked Jesus into my heart and made a personal commitment to follow Him as my Savior through baptism. From that moment on, God gave me a desire to serve people and a heart for missions.

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