Children in Action

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I have a problem. But it’s a good problem! You may know that I lead younger GAs at my church. We started the year strong, with 14 girls in attendance. And each subsequent week, we have added a few new girls to the group. Now don’t get me wrong—this is so exciting and thrills my soul! But it’s a lot of girls—energetic, giggly, socially interactive girls—in a relatively small space!

Additionally, when you combine fresh first graders with seasoned third graders, you face a different set of challenges, such as various reading levels, skill sets, and abilities. So, after a slightly loud and chaotic meeting last week, my co-leaders and I decided to try something new for this week—centers!

Tips for Enlisting Additional Co-leaders

We hear you. You have tried everything! You have prayed faithfully! Yet, again, you are in the midst of the year with too few co-leaders for children’s missions organizations.

In today’s postmodern culture, the quest for adequate leaders is more challenging than ever. It seems every moment of every day of church members’ lives are already filled with responsibilities for family, career, and church.

These 5 “Be” tips will help you develop an effective enlistment strategy.

Be always vocally positive about serving in missions education.

  • Tell stories of what kids are achieving in missions.
  • Emphasize the joy of serving, not the challenges.

Be on the co-leader lookout. Identify people who . . .

  • Assist with events for kids at church or missions events.
  • Have abilities that complement current leaders’ skills or fill a need.

Begin to plant seeds for co-leadership. Ask those identified to . . .

Being a Cool Adult

Last week, my wife, son, and I were driving down the road. My son said to his mother, “Mom, you are cool.” She thanked him for his kind words. For a moment, there was silence in our car. Finally, I said, “Son, what about me? Am I cool?” Evan paused longer than I wish he had, but he finally said, “Yeah, I guess you are cool, too.”

You guess? I’m cool “too?” Seriously? Was that the best he could do?

Well, truth be told, I never really thought of my parents as being cool either. You know how it is. Parents and adults are just old and out-of-touch. Kids think that adults don’t understand what it’s like being a kid these days. Adults don’t dress the right way, don’t talk the right way, and certainly don’t understand kids at all.

Over the years, I have noticed that some kids are drawn to certain adults and see those adults as “cool.” I’ve watched those kids hang out with the “cool” adults, spend time at their homes, and go places with them.

Have you ever wondered why some adults are like magnets to kids and some simply aren’t? Have you ever wondered why some adults are “cool” and some aren’t?

"Mom, Where Is Peru?"

I love conversations with my eight-year-old son, Landon, but I especially enjoy conversations about our faith and sharing our faith with others. He recently claimed Christ as his Savior, so these conversations are increasing.

“Why do some people choose not to accept Jesus?” has been his hardest question for me to answer so far. If we are honest, it’s a tough one for any Christian to comprehend, much less an eight-year-old. One of my favorite questions has to be when he asked why missionaries would leave their families to go around the world to tell others about Jesus.

To help both of our sons understand what we can do to share our faith with others, we are active in missions discipleship as a family. Tommy leads RA, I lead GA, and both boys are active in missions. We’ve been on family missions trips and participated in local Children’s Missions Day projects. We see great value in making sure our children understand the Great Commission and that we are all responsible for living out our faith in front of others.

Communicating Love to Kids

Have you ever taken a road trip?

I bet you have.

Chances are, though, you didn't just wake up one morning, hop in the car, and start driving. You probably spent days, weeks, and maybe even months getting ready. You mapped your route, flagged site-seeing musts, packed your bags, and serviced your car. It's no secret that a little preparation on the front end usually makes for happy travelers and a memorable trip that everyone will be talking about for years to come.

As the new church year rolls around the corner, you are probably busy getting ready to "hit the road" for a different kind of adventure—a missions adventure! Maybe your checklist looks a little like mine:

  • decorate the room
  • purchase materials
  • organize supplies
  • study lesson
  • schedule monthly missions projects

Check, check, check, check, and check! Who doesn't love a nice, little checklist??

But, reality check—I need to add one more very important thing to that list: What am I doing to prepare my heart to welcome a diverse group of kids to a fun new year in missions?

In With the New

It won’t be long and the familiar sound of a ringing school bell will be heard in classrooms. The wheels on the big yellow school bus will be going round and round. And, kids will be dragging themselves out of bed and back to school for another year of learning.

So, what does the new school year and going back to school mean for missions education in your church? For some churches, the new school year will mean restarting their missions education programs after taking a few months off. For those who continued with GA, RA, and CA during the summer, it will mean more stable meetings as fewer leaders and kids will be out on vacation.

As you prepare for the beginning of another new school year and another year in missions education, now is a great time to evaluate your organization and material needs. Now is also a great time to order the Mission: Hit the Road Promotion Pack. This annual pack provides an overview of the year ahead. You’ll find great decorating tips, ideas, and learning activities that’ll help you have a successful new year.

How Your Family Can Live a Missional Summer

There's a misconception that in order to do missions as a family, you have to go somewhere or your church has to organize it. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret: that couldn't be further from the truth! Now, don't get me wrong—missions trips are amazing, and your church can be a great resource; but that is not the only way to do missions. Living your life on mission means turning your community into your missions field.

As leaders, parents, and family members, is it our duty to not only teach our kids how to live a life on mission, but to show them as well. Missional living starts right where we are. And if where we are is our hometown, then that's where we need to do missions. Summer is the perfect time to do it!

Incorporating Learning Styles in Missions Education

Every child is different. All children have different likes and dislikes, different levels of ability and education, and different learning preferences. The kids we teach may be visual learners, auditory learners, or kinesthetic learners. While it would be difficult to fully accommodate each learner in the short period of time they participate in missions education each week, there are definite steps leaders can take to facilitate optimal learning. When planning activities for a lesson, leaders should incorporate as many different senses into the lesson as are feasible.

Multisensory instruction is one of the best ways for children to learn. When a child only hears or reads, he or she may retain a small amount of the material. But when tactile activities are combined with auditory and visual components, comprehension increases dramatically. And, of course, we want missions education to be fun and enjoyable! Kids go to school many hours each week, and we never want them to feel like missions education is just another hour of school. Listed below are some ways you can incorporate multisensory activities into your lessons.

Being a Missional Family

“Families on Mission” is more than a concept or even a catchphrase.

At least, it should be.

After all, who better to do missions with than the people you love the most—your own family! What a great future we are providing our children as we not only teach them about missions, but we serve together doing missions.

While summer is in full swing, there is no better time than now to get your family involved in a missions project. Your project doesn't have to be anything elaborate, cost a small fortune, or even require faraway travel. You can do missions as a family in your own community!

Here are a few ways your family can get involved in the mission of God.

A Love of Calgary

I have been serving as children’s minister at Dixie Hills Baptist in Bolivar, Tennessee, for 16 months. Earlier this year, I started using the Children in Action curriculum during our Wednesday night ministry. I was so excited to see Calgary as the featured city for June! I’m originally from Mississippi, but God called me to attend the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Calgary. I had no idea God would have me on mission in Canada for almost 14 years! For most of those years, I served in full-time children’s ministry.

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