mission friends

Serving Him by Teaching and Encouraging

While taking a philosophy class in college, Bart Gibbs was assigned a book titled, Man’s Search for Meaning. After reading the book, he was drawn to continue seeking God’s leading to find true meaning in life. Through volunteer experiences, while visiting Burkina Faso in 1981, he “found meaning in life through serving the Lord in bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to people in West Africa,” shares Bart. Bart and Jane Anne Gibbs met while in college at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), at Calvary Baptist Church, and were married in 1983. They have 2 daughters and a son.

Building with Blocks

Amazon Pool

Do you ever notice when your group of Mission Friends tend to gravitate towards certain activities? My group this year seem to be drawn to the Blocks area. Every week, that is the first interest area that they go to. It is not just our boys who gravitate towards activities in Blocks. Some of the girls are in the Blocks area each week, also. Our preschoolers, who are 3s and 4s, spend a lot of time building really elaborate structures. A couple of our preschoolers concentrate so much on what they build, that sometimes the Blocks area is the only interest area in which they play in 1 session of Mission Friends. I have to make sure they learn about missions in this interest area.

Organizing for Mission Friends

Art supplies to clean up

Summer is a good time to go through your Mission Friends classroom to clean and organize. Take a look at your room and see what needs to be spruced up. We share some ideas to freshen up your classroom.

Promotion Day

Promotion Day Good Outcome

Promotion Day Story 1

First-grader Olivia walks down the church hallway, not really sure which room is the Girls in Action (GA) room. This is promotion day when she will go to GA for the first time. She hears children in the first room. When she steps in the doorway, she realizes the children are all boys so this must be the Royal Ambassadors (RA) classroom. Olivia continues down the hall to the next room. When she comes to the door, she sees 2 women with a group of girls. She thinks that she has seen 1 of the women at church before, but doesn’t know the woman’s name. A little unsure, she stands in the doorway for several seconds. She cannot see what the other girls are doing, so she just sits in a chair near the doorway. Some of the other girls look bigger than she is. Olivia decides to sit quietly, and in a few minutes one of the leaders notices her.

Free Downloads for Mission Friends

WMU provides a number of free Mission Friends downloads for your church and families. Scroll down the page to see all our downloads.


Digital Template: Mission Friends Banner

Spark interest in Mission Friends with a fun printable banner. The banner will print at 3 feet long. Download the file, and send it to a printing service, such as an office supply store, to print on a banner printer. Here are some thoughts on ways to use your Mission Friends banner:

Preschool Missions Focus

Gibbs family

Mission Friends is an ongoing missions discipleship organization for preschool boys and girls (birth through kindergarten). Through Mission Friends, preschoolers . . .

  • become aware that God wants everyone to know of His love
  • move from a focus on self to a focus on others
  • apply Bible thoughts to their lives as they learn to pray, give, and help others.
  • and their families learn of ways to give their time, talents, and money

Learn more about this month's missionary below.

Summer in Mission Friends

Preschool Summer Fun

Put some zest in Mission Friends this summer! Times at church might be more relaxed during the summer, so it’s the perfect time to do something a little different such as going outside for an activity. Keep the energy going in Mission Friends with these ideas to try throughout this summer.

  • Go outside for Group Time. Once a month, or maybe even more, take your preschoolers outside to tell the mission story and have Prayertime. I put a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth down on the ground for my preschoolers to sit on, and this gives them a parameter for our Group Time outside.

Hot Off the Press! A Resource for All Preschool Teachers!

First Steps in Missions, vol. 24

Wait, what? Is it a resource for Mission Friends?

Definitely! And it’s also for other preschool teachers! It’s called First Steps in Missions, and the 2018–19 edition, volume 24, has just been released.

Perhaps you already know that each year we publish this supplementary book of activities to go along with the 12 missions areas that will be found in Mission Friends Leader teaching guide. Or maybe you don’t know about it—sometimes we feel like it should win the prize for Most Valuable Best Kept Secret in Mission Friends!

Meet the Martins in Las Vegas

Cynthia, Alicia, Tom Martin

In 2006, Tom and Cynthia Martin faced a difficult decision. They had been serving as International Mission Board missionaries in South America for 17 years, but needed to return to the United States because of medical issues. Cynthia says it was an intensely emotional time, and she grieved that she would no longer be on the front lines of cross-cultural ministry. “But God promised me that He wasn’t through with me,” says Cynthia.

Mission Friends Restaurant

The little 3-year-old waitress at our exclusive Mission Friends restaurant asked me, “Would you like the mac and cheese, tacos, or veggables?” I chose the mac and cheese, and she scribbled my order on a toy magnetic writing board that was in the classroom. She instantly served my imaginary mac and cheese on an imaginary plate, and told me it would be $3.00. I paid my imaginary money and pretended to eat my food. There were squeals of laughter as the 4-year-old cook joined in to bring me more food that I had not even ordered!

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