Children in Action

Celebrate CMD: Get Everyone Involved!

This year marks the 10th annual Children’s Ministry Day, so shouldn’t your experience be bigger than ever this year? Bring attention to your project, children’s organizations, and missions by incorporating other groups this year.

Consider these ideas:

Children’s “Faith into Action” Day 2017

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard all about Children’s Ministry Day 2017. It’s been the subject of a multitude of blogs, popped up on social media, and may have even found its way into your inbox. But now that you know, what are you planning to do?

The belief that our faith should inform our actions is one that runs deep in our hearts here at national WMU. Just about everything we do here is done in an effort to inspire and empower Christians to take an active role in God’s mission. Our purpose is to challenge “Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.” We want every Christian to be aware of God’s work in the world and to feel equipped to be a part of that work.

There is a passage of Scripture from the book of James that speaks to this marriage of faith and action in a profound way:

What Role Should Children Have in Ministry?

When you think of church, do you think of it as a place where boys and girls walk in each week, sit down, color a few Bible-character pages copied off the Internet, and wait to be entertained?

Is church something for children to check off the weekly “to-do” list just because their parents said they should be there?

Are children too young to understand missions and ministry and the idea of serving others in Jesus’ name?

Before answering these questions, take a good, long, hard look at your church and your children’s ministry. Are the children in your church being encouraged to participate in ministry? Are they regularly being trained to serve others through ministry? Is your church’s focus simply on keeping the children entertained, busy, and out of the way of the adults each week?

For a few minutes, think about what it would mean if your church’s children were fully involved in your church’s ministry. Think about what it would mean if they were actually “being” the church instead of church “being done” to or for them.

It's More than Compassion

As a former classroom teacher, I wanted the children in my care to be compassionate toward each other, the members of our school, and our community. I created projects to encourage children to understand how other people felt in the situations we learned about, but also created a desire to reach out to someone with a kind word or deed.

It wasn’t always perfect, but my prayer was that those experiences would help children learn to be better citizens.

While compassion is a worthy virtue for adults to model and children to learn, it is just the beginning of what we want children to learn as they grow in Christ.

Children’s Ministry Day 2017: Love Your Neighbor is the perfect time to help children bridge what they are learning about compassion in school and at home with the love of Christ. It may sound like a challenge, but, in reality, missions experiences are just 1 step beyond compassion. If you can create a compassion project, you can create a missions experience!

Here’s how:

Preparing for the New Year

Ready or not, 2017 is right around the corner. A new year can be a fresh start and a chance to begin again, to try new things, and to dream about what a new year might bring.

As you prepare for 2017, what are you looking forward to? What would you like to see left behind, and what would you like to bring with you?

There’s never been a better time to get involved in children’s ministry with WMU. The curriculum is on-point, the mission is unwavering, the support is phenomenal, and the need for discipleship has never been greater. We receive calls all the time from folks looking to make a difference in the lives of the children in their local community.

As we begin a new year together, we urge you to check a few things off your New Year’s Resolution list . . .

Get connected. The resources we have to offer are top notch, but if you’re like me, you’ve still got to read the directions before you tear open the box. Connect with the national WMU office to get information about training and tips as you start down the road of missions discipleship.

Over the Hills and Everywhere

With much anticipation—for the whole month of December—you have been preparing for Christmas day. You have trimmed trees, strung colorful lights, and hung stockings with care. You have baked delicious treats, mailed Christmas cards, wrestled crowded shopping malls to find the perfect presents, and attended multiple Christmas parties with coworkers, friends, and family. Perhaps you’ve even had some quiet moments to watch a favorite Christmas movie, wrapped up in front of a crackling fire and sipping a cup of hot cocoa!

Hopefully, you’ve had other opportunities as well to inwardly prepare for the real reason of the season—the coming of the Christ child into the world. Perhaps you have spent time reading Scripture, participating in Advent devotions, or turning to our Father in prayer.

Where, Oh Where Did It Go?

“I know I put those keys right here! Where did they go?”

“I’ve got to go to the bank today and sign some papers—if I can ever find the papers!”

All of us know the frustration of trying to find misplaced items, whether it’s keys, important papers, or the assignment that is due today!

How is it that those things go missing? How can we not remember to store those things in a more secure location, one that we will not quickly forget?

That same frustration can be found as we try to locate valuable information online. We know we saw a video or an important extra activity for the month, or even more information about a missionary being studied this month. But, for the life of us, we can’t find it now. Sound familiar?

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.

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