Children

Time to Celebrate

The big 1-0! Double digits!

That’s right! This Saturday, February 18, marks the tenth annual Children’s Ministry Day. It’s a special day set aside for children all over the country to “Love Your Neighbor.”

It’s a major achievement, and we want you to help us make it an extra-special day!

Looking for a last-minute activity you can quickly pull together?

Celebrate the day by creating special birthday bags for children whose families may not be able to otherwise provide a party. Follow these simple steps:

At-home Missions Discipleship? Yes!

smiling child with his Missions in a Box - Thailand

Our team recently released an at-home missions discipleship product that my 7-year-old son and I have already enjoyed together. For the Children’s Resource Team, the process started over a year ago when we began to investigate a concept of an at-home product for families to use together to learn about missions work happening somewhere in the world. Missions in a Box was born from this research and many conversations.

When Missions in a Box: Thailand released, I took one of the first kits home to my 7-year-old. He and I spent time reading through and learning facts about Thailand. We even made a craft together.

Below is my Facebook post from that evening:

Children’s Ministry Day: Growing, Maturing, and Making Mistakes

Last week, my son, Evan, turned 9 years old.

During his lifetime, I’ve watched him grow, change, and mature.

I’ve also watched him make more than a few mistakes along the way.

That’s the nature of growth and getting older.

Evan’s mother and I regularly pray that he will learn from his mistakes and continue to mature into the man God intends for him to be.

Children’s Ministry Day is 1 year older than Evan. This February, we celebrate the 10th annual Children’s Ministry Day (CMD)!

Over the years, we’ve had thousands of children across North America participate in hands-on ministry opportunities in their communities. Children have fed the hungry, visited shut-ins, collected clothes, and helped with yard work, all in the name of following Christ and putting their love into action.

Celebrate CMD: Get Everyone Involved!

This year marks the 10th annual Children’s Ministry Day, so shouldn’t your experience be bigger than ever this year? Bring attention to your project, children’s organizations, and missions by incorporating other groups this year.

Consider these ideas:

Children’s “Faith into Action” Day 2017

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard all about Children’s Ministry Day 2017. It’s been the subject of a multitude of blogs, popped up on social media, and may have even found its way into your inbox. But now that you know, what are you planning to do?

The belief that our faith should inform our actions is one that runs deep in our hearts here at national WMU. Just about everything we do here is done in an effort to inspire and empower Christians to take an active role in God’s mission. Our purpose is to challenge “Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.” We want every Christian to be aware of God’s work in the world and to feel equipped to be a part of that work.

There is a passage of Scripture from the book of James that speaks to this marriage of faith and action in a profound way:

Learn, Pray, Give — Now Do

Each week in Girls in Action, girls learn about missions. They pray for missions. They give to missions. But sometimes as leaders, we struggle to find time to actually do missions.

Well, look no further—we have the perfect opportunity for your GAs, and it’s time to start planning now!

Join other GAs all over the country on Saturday, February 18, 2017, for our tenth annual Children’s Ministry Day.

The theme this year is Love Your Neighbor. As girls participate in hands-on missions projects, they can share the love of Jesus with those who are hurting in their neighborhoods.

Before the event, lead girls in a discussion about what Jesus meant when He told us to love our neighbors, and help girls identify their “neighbors”—specifically those who are hurting in your own community, association, and state. Guide GAs as they brainstorm ways to reach out in a missions effort to connect their hurting neighbors to the church.

What Role Should Children Have in Ministry?

When you think of church, do you think of it as a place where boys and girls walk in each week, sit down, color a few Bible-character pages copied off the Internet, and wait to be entertained?

Is church something for children to check off the weekly “to-do” list just because their parents said they should be there?

Are children too young to understand missions and ministry and the idea of serving others in Jesus’ name?

Before answering these questions, take a good, long, hard look at your church and your children’s ministry. Are the children in your church being encouraged to participate in ministry? Are they regularly being trained to serve others through ministry? Is your church’s focus simply on keeping the children entertained, busy, and out of the way of the adults each week?

For a few minutes, think about what it would mean if your church’s children were fully involved in your church’s ministry. Think about what it would mean if they were actually “being” the church instead of church “being done” to or for them.

It's More than Compassion

As a former classroom teacher, I wanted the children in my care to be compassionate toward each other, the members of our school, and our community. I created projects to encourage children to understand how other people felt in the situations we learned about, but also created a desire to reach out to someone with a kind word or deed.

It wasn’t always perfect, but my prayer was that those experiences would help children learn to be better citizens.

While compassion is a worthy virtue for adults to model and children to learn, it is just the beginning of what we want children to learn as they grow in Christ.

Children’s Ministry Day 2017: Love Your Neighbor is the perfect time to help children bridge what they are learning about compassion in school and at home with the love of Christ. It may sound like a challenge, but, in reality, missions experiences are just 1 step beyond compassion. If you can create a compassion project, you can create a missions experience!

Here’s how:

Preparing for the New Year

Ready or not, 2017 is right around the corner. A new year can be a fresh start and a chance to begin again, to try new things, and to dream about what a new year might bring.

As you prepare for 2017, what are you looking forward to? What would you like to see left behind, and what would you like to bring with you?

There’s never been a better time to get involved in children’s ministry with WMU. The curriculum is on-point, the mission is unwavering, the support is phenomenal, and the need for discipleship has never been greater. We receive calls all the time from folks looking to make a difference in the lives of the children in their local community.

As we begin a new year together, we urge you to check a few things off your New Year’s Resolution list . . .

Get connected. The resources we have to offer are top notch, but if you’re like me, you’ve still got to read the directions before you tear open the box. Connect with the national WMU office to get information about training and tips as you start down the road of missions discipleship.

Over the Hills and Everywhere

With much anticipation—for the whole month of December—you have been preparing for Christmas day. You have trimmed trees, strung colorful lights, and hung stockings with care. You have baked delicious treats, mailed Christmas cards, wrestled crowded shopping malls to find the perfect presents, and attended multiple Christmas parties with coworkers, friends, and family. Perhaps you’ve even had some quiet moments to watch a favorite Christmas movie, wrapped up in front of a crackling fire and sipping a cup of hot cocoa!

Hopefully, you’ve had other opportunities as well to inwardly prepare for the real reason of the season—the coming of the Christ child into the world. Perhaps you have spent time reading Scripture, participating in Advent devotions, or turning to our Father in prayer.

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