Children's Blog

A New Idea for a Yearly Event: LMCO

For the last few years, the GAs at our church have hosted a “Latte Moon” café to raise awareness and support for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. While this whimsical play on Miss Moon’s name brings a few chuckles, this event has helped our congregation realize the impact our GAs can make on international missions simply by providing donuts and coffee in between Sunday School and worship services.

Here’s how we do it:

When Lottie Wrote to Annie

If you come for a tour at the National WMU building in Birmingham, Alabama, you are bound to see the letter. That’s right, the letter written by Lottie Moon in 1889 to Annie Armstrong. Perhaps the 2 most influential women in Baptist life at the turn of the 20th century, Annie and Lottie both left an incredible legacy.

So, what does a letter from the most celebrated missionary to the most recognized supporter of missionaries look like? It’s all about the task at hand.

There is work to be done. While Lottie expresses gratitude for what has already been given, she sees a need for greater commitment. She urges Annie to send as many workers as possible to join her in China. So much had already been accomplished, but with each passing year, Lottie knew she alone could not see the job through to the end.

Thanks and Giving

This November, the RAs and GAs at my church played very important roles in a churchwide missions effort centered on Thanksgiving. For weeks, our church collected specific Thanksgiving-type grocery items for our neighbors in one of our state’s poorest counties. Then, last week, deserving families received grocery bags filled with canned sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing mix, pie filling, pie crust mix, and even a gift certificate for a turkey—all the essentials for an entire Thanksgiving meal!

RAs contributed to the cause each week by collecting the food items from various drop-off locations around the church and then organizing them in the central distribution area. GAs decorated brown grocery bags with beautiful pictures, stickers, fall-shaped die-cuts, Scripture verses, and words of encouragement. Everyone helped with packing the bags and loading them into the church vans for delivery.

"Be Careful Little Eyes What You See"

As the parent of a soon-to-be nine-year-old boy, I carefully monitor what he does, sees, and eats. I monitor how he sleeps and how he talks. I keep an eye on just about every aspect of his life. I am his father. I am responsible for how he is raised—not our church, not his school, not his peers, not a village. As his parent, I am responsible.

So, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I carefully monitor what my son does online. I supervise his online usage, whether he’s on a search engine, a music site, a gaming site, or even an educational site. I also limit his time on the Internet. If my son had his way, he’d be online 24/7—well, other than the time he’d spend eating everything in the fridge!

Please don’t misunderstand me. I know that my son will use the computer and Internet far more than I ever will. He’ll create things, learn things, and watch his world unfold online. I know that. And, in time, those things will happen. But for now, it’s my responsibility to train him correctly.

In Honor of Our Veterans

Recently, a co-worker was honored for her service to our country as a veteran of the United States Navy. Windy Perez served for seven years in the navy before becoming part of our accounting team at national WMU. Because of her service to our country and her constant prayer support for all of our country’s armed forces, Windy was nominated to receive a Quilt of Valor by another co-worker.

Quilts of Valor are a symbol of love and thankfulness that guilds create to honor veterans. The presentation of this beautiful quilt had me in tears, of course, because of the honor bestowed on such a special person. But it also had the GA leader in me thinking about ways you and I can help children honor our country’s veterans this month as we remember our veterans on Veterans Day.

With that thought in mind, I’ve assembled a list of projects your children’s missions organization can use to minister to veterans in your community:

Grateful Giving

The month of November has long been associated with gratitude. God’s providence was recognized nearly 400 years ago by a small group of Pilgrims searching for religious freedom; incredibly, this event is still celebrated today. But after all this time, do we really understand what it means to “give thanks”? Nowadays, it can be quite difficult of us to put ourselves in the shoes of those grateful Pilgrims.

How can we possibly understand what it must have been like to flee the only home you’ve ever known, risk life and limb traveling across vast oceans, arrive on a foreign continent where no one speaks your language, and forge a living from nothing? Believe it or not, there are people all around you who have experienced just that . . .

Fall Festival Fun: Make it Missional

Inflatables, fat pumpkins, face painting, hayrides, tasty treats, games galore! What’s not to love about a fall festival, right?

On my way to work this morning, I passed at least a dozen signs advertising upcoming festivals at local schools, parks, and churches. And my own church is no exception—we are all gearing up for our largest community outreach event of the year next Sunday afternoon.

Did you get that? Our largest community outreach event of the year! Yes, a fall festival is a fun-filled, no-pressure event that draws people of all ages from the entire community, especially those who may never step foot into our church otherwise.

A fall festival can be the perfect missions opportunity for your church, too. Consider one of these ideas to jump-start your own event:

Never Too Young to Tell Others

There are some things in life that are best left to adults. I’m thinking about things like driving a car, being an astronaut, performing surgery, or skydiving.

But, on the other hand, there are other areas in life where age really isn’t that important. An example? I’m thinking about evangelism—sharing our faith with others.

The Bible teaches us that sharing our faith is a vital part of fulfilling the Great Commission. When you check out Matthew 28, you will discover that there is no age requirement for sharing one’s faith. All of us are responsible.

So, what should we teach our children about sharing their faith? Here are few simple things to talk with them about.

First, we should encourage our children to invite their friends to church with them. This is probably the easiest way to introduce the subject of faith to others. Even the smallest child can ask a friend to come to church with them.

Turning a Ministry Project into a Missions Project

As a Girls in Action leader, it can be challenging to plan projects that give GAs the opportunity to take the lessons they have learned during their GA meetings and apply them to the needs in their community. It can be especially challenging to make sure the majority of the projects are missions projects and not simply ministry projects.

You may ask, “What is the difference between the two?” Missions is sharing the gospel in words and through actions. A missionary is someone who goes into the world to share the gospel. A missions project is an opportunity to share the good news that God loves the person you are helping.

How can leaders help girls develop a missional lifestyle?

I have a confession: I’m not perfect. There, I said it. Even though I was a pastor’s child, a GA, and a pretty good girl, I still didn’t understand what it meant to live on mission with God. I know my leaders meant well, but this is what I walked away with as a teen:

  • I need to read my Bible.
  • My friends are lost, and if I don’t make sure they are saved, it’s my fault if they go you know where.
  • If I have problems, I need to pray.

Not all bad things, but it didn’t compel me to fulfill the Great Commission either. Don’t get me wrong—I loved hearing the stories, I learned about Lottie Moon, and for heaven’s sake, I was the 1995 Associational GA Princess (What, what!). But there was still something missing.

Helping someone develop a missional lifestyle doesn’t start in the mind; it begins in the heart. Below you will find four tips to help you develop a strategy to engage girls in cultivating a missional lifestyle.

Number One: Set Goals.

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