Children's Leaders

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.

Creating an Inclusive Missions Learning Environment for Kids with Special Needs

When we create learning environments for missions education, we often forget to plan for kids with special needs. Many preparations for special needs children are easy to include in the classroom, but there may be some you haven’t considered. Understand that some adjustments need to be made as new children begin to participate in your ministry.

Physical Adjustment
Make your learning space clutter-free. Kids with mobility issues have enough difficulty navigating space without additional barriers such as toys, chairs, or other obstacles. Make sure the tables and chairs are the correct height to accommodate children with physical handicaps.

Sensory Adjustment
Some kids are negatively affected by loud noises and colors. Soothing, quiet music and low conversation tones help reduce sensory overload. Bright and busy classrooms often agitate special needs children. Include just the basic instructional tools for your learning space.

Why It's Important to Get Together

This week, Baptists from all over the country are getting together to share family news, tell stories, and even share each other’s burdens. They look differently, speak differently, and even have polite disagreements about who has the best barbeque. But still they come. They have a diverse collection of opinions, passions, and dreams for the future. But still there is something that continues to draw them together. What could bring so many different kinds of people together? Despite all the differences, they all share one thing in common: Jesus.

WMU’s Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting and the Southern Baptist Convention are both testaments to this fact. Jesus has a way of bringing us together. Through collective worship, prayer, and service, the love of Jesus binds us together in a common purpose and mission. He loves us, we love Him, and we are committed to sharing that love with the rest of the world. If this love were ever forgotten, there would be no reason to get together. We would let our differences divide us and our own desires drive us far away from one another.

Pen Pals

Making friends is so important for kids! It is especially fun to make friends who share your interests but live somewhere else—a different city or state, a different culture or family. Connect with other missions groups to pair children with a pen pal. Missions leaders can connect over social media with other leaders. Post a photo of your group and then send details.

Lead children to write a letter or email. Or, send a package as a group filled with items. Here are some fun ideas children can include:

  • natural items that you find in your hometown, such as flowers, leaves, rocks, or sticks
  • handmade items like a special photo album, artwork, a keychain, or a craft
  • a postcard from your hometown or state
  • a candy or snack item
  • a favorite Bible verse
  • a map you drew of your town and church
  • a copy of your favorite song
  • a sheet of stickers to share
  • anything from a dollar discount store

Isn't That What We Hope For?

Encouraging kids to live a missional lifestyle looks much different today from when Girls in Action started over 100 years ago. Children today have changed a great deal. Through quite a bit of research and observation, we know that today’s kids do not learn in the same ways as children of previous generations.

We know that today’s generation of children have a great need to control their world, solve problems in their own way, and come to conclusions based on creations they’ve made and lessons they’ve learned. Gone are the days of “sit and get.” So how do we, as children’s ministers and missions leaders, reach our kids in a way that will make God’s love and sharing that love with others a prominent part of their lives?

Summer Isn't for Boredom!

“I’m bored!”

“Me too.”

“There’s nothing to do around here!”

Ever hear your children say something like that? Especially during the summer? After school ends and before summer camp takes place?

Most parents have heard their children or the children in their missions organizations complain about being bored during the summer.

Here are a few ways to get your boys and girls up and moving and serving others during the lazy days of summer:

Teaching Kids about Pure Water, Pure Love

Water is kind of a big deal. Having clean water is an even bigger deal. Access to clean water can be a real challenge in some parts of the world. This is where Pure Water, Pure Love comes in. You may not know much about Pure Water, Pure Love or the ways it eases the challenges of obtaining clean drinking water; but don’t worry—I’m about to tell you all about it!

Pure Water, Pure Love is a pretty incredible ministry of WMU. It provides missionaries with water filters and the people they serve with wells that offer clean drinking water—free from disease-causing microorganisms. Pure Water, Pure Love provides thousands of filters to missionary families and helps to fund clean water projects through grants. This ministry is a very tangible way to provide for the physical needs of our missionaries and the people they minister to.

So now that you know more about Pure Water, Pure Love, how can you teach your kids about it?

Taking your kids to the next level

Here’s a tough question: How much are the kids you teach each week learning about missions? Unlike public education, in the missions classroom, we don’t have a series of tests we administer to determine how much children are learning. As a leader, you must rely on your knowledge of the kids in your group. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you ensure your children are learning as much as possible in your missions classroom:

When the Church Gets It Right

Wheels of the World

Have you ever felt burdened by the woes of the church? I know I have. It seems like every morning there’s some new scandal or financial indiscretion plastered all over the daily news. Sometimes the weight of it all gets a little hard to handle. That’s why stories of encouragement, like the one I’m about to share with you, are so important to tell!

Pen Pal Badge

Electronic forms of communication such as email, text messaging, FaceTime, and Skype have greatly diminished traditional means of communication. Letters are becoming rare. However, for the person receiving such a treasure, the response is still the same—joy!

Providing the opportunity for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action to earn a Pen Pal badge is a valuable learning experience that also has many blessings and benefits for both the receivers and senders of letters. Writing letters helps children develop writing skills, learn how to express kindness and compassion with words, and share with another person interesting information about themselves, which can boost confidence and self-esteem. Letters from a pen pal help a child learn about the life of another person, understand how they are similar and different, and appreciate how another person lives in another part of the state or around the world.

Here are three ideas for planning a pen pal project:

Write to senior adults within your church or community.

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