Children's Blog

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.

When Pastors Don't See a Need for Missions Discipleship

Susan Bryant, Kentucky WMU president, was recently asked how she responds to pastors who might not understand the benefits of children’s missions discipleship. Read Susan’s thoughts below:

I should have seen the warning signs—a pastor who had not grown up in Royal Ambassadors, Wednesday evening programming that was being rearranged, and other ideas for our children that were being promoted. I had been a GA leader at my church for more than 30 years, and I couldn’t fathom anything but spending Wednesday evenings traveling around the world in the basement of our church.

Then came the day when my pastor scheduled a meeting to discuss alternatives to Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors. I knew I needed to present a clear vision for missions education for our children. We both wanted the same thing—the best atmosphere for our children to learn that God loves them and loves the world.

GA Groups in Small Churches

There are always two sides to a coin. While some see a small church as a disadvantage to missions discipleship, it can be a strength that creates an effective GA ministry.

Small groups can allow for more meaningful discussion times. As questions and issues arise, leaders have the chance to address each concern. This allows for more significant discussions, as well as cultivating a leader’s ability to guide girls into a deeper understanding of their world and missions. At times, there may be an activity that requires more participants than a group has available. The leader could adapt the game to fit a smaller number of people, but be sure to keep the intent. Or better yet, the leader could use this as an opportunity to invite a women or men’s class to come play with her GAs.

One of the greatest strengths of a smaller church is the longevity of its members. This dynamic allows leaders to watch their GA girls grow up to become leaders themselves with a great opportunity for influence in future generations.

Just How Hungry Are You?

My own children often declare that they are “starving to death,” but are they really? Join us at our dinner table or accompany me as I buy groceries each week, and you’ll realize that food is not an issue in our house. In their worldview, however, “starving to death” could mean anything from being bored to not having dinner at the exact time their stomachs think it should be served.

It has come to my attention that if my own boys need to learn more about hunger, then my GAs probably do too. This month, as you and your CAs, GAs, or RAs learn more about the work of Baptist Global Relief and the work they do to provide help for those in need around the word, challenge your children’s group to earn their Global Hunger Relief Badge/Patch through one of these project suggestions:

Global Hunger Relief: Children Can Make a Difference

Hunger is one of the most challenging needs we face today. How is it that some have so much while others have so little? This month, children will be learning about the global hunger epidemic. As part of the Global Hunger Relief initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention, churches around the country will have the opportunity to learn about, pray for, and give to one of the most basic needs of human existence. In fact, a staggering 100% of all funds given on Global Hunger Relief Sunday (October 9) will go directly toward providing food for those in need.

Pages

Back to Top