Girls in Action

Go and Tell: Teaching Children to Share Jesus in a Postmodern World

scripture verse

“Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee. They went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him. But some still had their doubts. Then Jesus came to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end’” (Matthew 28:16–20).

The Great Commission. As Christians, this is what we are commanded to do—share the truth of God with the world. But this is not always easy to do in today’s postmodern society, especially for children.

From the friends they interact with at school to the messages constantly bombarding them through various modes of entertainment (TV, movies, radio, social media), children are extremely vulnerable to the postmodern belief that “anything goes.” After all, today’s children are postmoderns living in a post-Christian world. This is all they have ever known.

Children's projects for a postmodern world

Construction paper ready for projects

As our society believes more and more that any belief is acceptable, children need plenty of practice sharing truth and what they are learning about the one true God. As children's missions leaders, you and I have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to empower children to speak out about Scripture. 

Try these ideas with your children’s missions group to give them opportunities to share truth with others in your community:

Postmodernism: Everything is Different

“Daddy, things are different today from when you were little.” If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times from my eight-year-old son Evan.

Of course, he’s right. Things are different.

When I was younger, if someone wanted to get in touch with me, they either had to come to my house or they had to call my house. After all, that’s where the telephone was located— hardwired into the wall! Nowadays, with cell phones, we are accessible just about everywhere we go.

Cars are smaller today. Planes go faster. The world really doesn’t feel nearly as big today as it did when I was younger.

Evan is right, “Things are different today.”

But, does being different make the things of today better than the things of yesterday? Not necessarily. They are just different.

Over the last 50 years or so, there has been a remarkable transformation in how children see their world and their parents—and in how parents see their children and understand how they should be raised. There’s no debating it: families are different today. Or, as many would claim, we are living in a postmodern world.

Postmodernism?

What is postmordernism?

How much thought have you given to postmodernism? Maybe you’ve heard the term, but you’re not sure exactly what it means. Or maybe a pastor or someone in your church has talked about it, and you have only a vague idea about what it entails.

So what is postmodernism? Well, it depends. No, really, that’s the heart of it: it always seems to come down to someone saying, “Well, it depends.”

A Little Recognition Never Hurts

Around this time of the year, missions education organizations begin preparing for their annual recognition services. These special services provide opportunities to recognize the accomplishments of boys and girls who have worked hard all year long. These services also provide an opportunity for family, friends, and church members to become more familiar with the church missions education program.

When considering your church’s recognition services, several key factors should be remembered:

Camp?

What do you think about when someone mentions the word camp? For me, I think of a rustic WMU camp. It was my first camp. It was my GA camp. I have so many fond memories of my mom dropping off my group of GAs and heading home. I loved that camp.

Little did I know, decades later I would be asked to help with that same camp. What an honor! Of course, I had to play it off like I was helping my friend, the director. This past summer, I got to see girls of this “social media age” come to love the very same rustic camp that I cherish.  We always had fun at camp, but that was never the end goal. The end goal was always to learn more about Jesus and how people are sharing the good news. The same end goal was met this year!

Making Missions Memorable

Azaleas, dogwood blossoms, tulips, blue skies, warm weather, baseball games, rain, robins, pollen, allergies . . . the list goes on and on. But they all can only mean one thing—spring has sprung!

I love spring. But, I have to be honest: it is a crazy, busy time of year! There is always something to do or some place to go. Just this week, I drove nearly 200 miles in the span of 24 hours—all within the metro-Birmingham area—chauffeuring my children from one activity to the next.

Teaching Children to Pray Aloud

Every week, I ask for volunteers in our GA group to lead prayer time. I often give GAs a topic to pray about—missionaries having a birthday, a request from a missionary kid (MK), or something happening in our church. I’ve realized that the same girls are volunteering to pray each week while many are avoiding prayer time.

While I understand that praying aloud isn’t for everyone, I’ve realized that most girls in my class are avoiding praying aloud because they may not understand the purpose of prayer. And, if it’s happening in my GA group, this problem could be happening in your children’s missions group, also.

Here are a few ideas I’ve found to help some children feel more comfortable praying aloud:

When a Child Hurts

 

Think about the children you teach each week. In your CA, GA, or RA group, is there a child who is withdrawn? How about one who blurts answers out of turn or constantly seeks your attention? What about a child who seems angry most of the time?

Instead being frustrated with the child’s actions, consider that something might have happened in that child’s life to cause him or her to act that way.

Children, like adults, cannot check their emotional baggage at the door. Unfortunately, they bring those experiences with them when they come to missions classrooms. And, those experiences sometimes cause children to act in ways that may take away from learning activities that are happening with other children.

Every week, you have the opportunity to reach out to the children in your care and remind them that regardless of what has happened outside of the walls of your missions classroom, they are valuable to not only you as their leader, but they are also valuable to God. Their lives have great purpose!

Let's Get Started

“Pastor, where do I get started?”

Having served as a pastor for many years, I’ve heard that question countless times. Getting started on a new project can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t believe you have the needed tools to accomplish the work.

Being a missions leader can be a difficult job! It’s okay to be honest about that and understand that training is needed to be the best leader possible.

At national WMU, we know your struggle. That’s why we try to provide the very best missions education materials possible for you, your missions organizations, and your church.

If you are considering starting a missions organization or if you are new to missions, you might want to check out our “Get Started” videos. These videos offer great ideas on starting Children in Action, Girls in Action, or Royal Ambassadors.

As you have time, check out the following videos:

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