Children's Blog

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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To Lead as He Directs

As missions education leaders, we have a tremendous responsibility to the children under our care. We must keep them safe while we are leading them. We must teach them about God, His church, and missions. And, we must teach them to become responsible leaders.

Here are some ways that leaders can help their children develop the right leadership skills in the future.

First of all, leaders must set a good example. As a leader, we must allow our children to see us balance our work, church, family, and leadership roles. By setting a good example, we teach them to be accountable for the tasks they need to accomplish.

Second, we must emphasize perseverance. The best leaders learn how to handle failure as gracefully as they handle success. Our children need to be exposed to disappointment. We must learn to stop sheltering them from seeing things go wrong. They must see us working through failure and mistakes and finding ways to overcome the negativity that is often present in our lives.

What Makes a Good Missions Project?

I’ve been asked forms of this question for quite some time now. I believe leaders want to make sure that the time they are investing in the children of their organization is not only a valuable use of leader time and church budgets but also a valuable learning experience for children.

Knowing that, consider these thoughts the next time you plan a missions project for the children of your organizations:

Resolutions that Really Matter

This year, I will:

  • Be healthier
  • Spend less, save more
  • Get organized
  • Read 12 new books
  • Learn to knit
  • Conquer a marathon…okay, maybe just a half-marathon

Did you make any resolutions this year? Are you part of the 45% of Americans that make New Year’s resolutions? Maybe your list looks a little like mine.

Did you know that most resolutions are broken within several months? In fact, only 8% of people who make resolutions successfully achieve them.

Despite the odds, resolutions are good. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t make resolutions.

However, when I look at my me-centered list, I keep thinking about one of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 16:9. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (NKJV).

So this year, I am adding some resolutions to my list that really matter—eternally—for God’s kingdom:

Are You Tired Yet?

Thanksgiving is behind us. So is Christmas.

Only one more holiday to go, New Year’s Day!

Then, after we get past the first of the new year, we can settle down again. We’ll put away the decorations, return unwanted gifts, get to spend a few nights at home, and try to figure out a way to pay the bills for all the “specialness” that we enjoyed over the last month or so.

And, oh, let’s not forget that we will need to create a list of resolutions for the new year ahead. We will definitely want to lose weight, exercise more, spend less time on social media, and spend more quality time with God and our family.

Whew! I’m tired! How about you?

I’m tired just typing those words and thinking about the effort we’ll put forth in the weeks ahead.

Does the end of one year and the beginning of the next really have to be that way? Do we have to rush and hurry and overspend and over plan every minute of every day?

No!

Heather's Holiday To-Do List

It’s so easy for me to overlook something during this time of the year . . . a gift for someone that slipped my mind, a special dessert, or even a tradition that means something to our family. I just get too busy!

This year is no different. I overlooked our family Christmas card.

I’ve sent a picture Christmas card to friends and family since the Christmas I was pregnant with our first son. It’s become a tradition for our little family. I kept putting it off this year because I didn’t have just the right picture for the card. And then, I looked at the calendar and realized that it was the week before Christmas, and I hadn’t ordered a card, much less mailed it.

Sigh.

So, I went to Facebook and posted this picture and explained it this way, “This is the first year in a very long time that I won’t be sending Christmas cards. Considering this is the best Christmas-type picture I have of the boys, maybe you’ll understand why I didn’t create a card to share with friends and family this year.”

Some friends laughed with me while others declared that I should have used the picture for our card. Maybe next year . . .

Christmas Traditions

Growing up in Mission Friends, Girls in Action, and Acteens, I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know about Lottie Moon or the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Giving to this special offering each year is just as much a part of my Christmas traditions as decorating my house, baking holiday treats, and caroling with family and friends!

While Lottie Moon will forever be my “missions hero,” she was very much like the missionaries serving around the world today. She heard God’s call to go to China, and she obeyed. For 39 years, Lottie faithfully lived among the Chinese people and shared the love of Jesus with them.

While there, she wrote numerous letters home asking Southern Baptists for their support through prayer, financial gifts, and missions involvement. As a result, Southern Baptists gave enough money to send three more missionaries to China.

To honor Lottie Moon and her missions efforts, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is collected each year at Christmastime. The entire offering—100 %— directly helps missionaries around the world tell all God’s children about Jesus!

Really Quiet Moments

I have a friend who talks about RQM (Really Quiet Moments). For her, those moments are a time to pause, stop talking, and listen more intently to God.

I have another friend—whose job involves the constant use of the spoken and written word—tell me that upon her death, she wants this description etched on her tombstone: “I ran out of words.”

I understand both of these friends. Besides being an editor at WMU, I also serve as a bi-vocational pastor. I understand the need to be quiet at times. By the time I’ve preached two sermons on Sunday, talked with countless church members and guests, attended commitment meetings, and etc., I’m ready to head home and enjoy some peace and quiet. No words spoken. No words heard. Just quiet.

Ever have those moments? Ever desire to run out into the woods, get away from everyone, and just be alone?

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