Mission Friends

Introducing Preschoolers to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

December is drawing near, and our focus on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is growing. The Dove family, whom we will study in December, says that it is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that meets their daily needs and allows them to focus full-time on the work that God has called them to in Norway. Use some of the following suggestions to teach Mission Friends more about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and to encourage their families to involve them in missions giving.

Myself

Myself Cover

My Mission Friends had the most fun making self-portraits on paper plates as suggested in Mission Friends Leader  for last week. We also drew around each preschooler’s hands on a piece of paper and asked them to decorate their hands. As our preschoolers drew and colored, we talked about things we do with our hands and how God made each of us different. After Ashlyn finished drawing, she said, “Now I’ll put them together.” She put her paper plate face on the table and placed the paper hands below the plate. Then she smiled a big smile and held her own hands right below her face as if she were saying, “Ta Da! Here I am!”

Praying with Preschoolers

Always Remember to Pray

“I don’t know what to pray,” said one of my preschoolers after I read the title page in Always Remember to Pray. Several new preschoolers had just promoted into our Mission Friends class a couple weeks before at the beginning of this church year. I decided to read Always Remember to Pray before our prayertime to help us talk about prayer. I responded to this preschooler, “Let’s find out what we can pray!” I read several pages of the book until the preschoolers started fidgeting, and then I flipped the pages over to read the last page. Before we prayed, we talked about ways we could pray for the missionary family.

Preschoolers are learning that we can pray anywhere and at any time. In order to learn how to pray, they need to hear the prayers of their parents and teachers at church. In Mission Friends, we can model how to pray for others as we teach preschoolers of ways to pray for the missionaries featured and the people with whom they serve.

Tips about Praying with Preschoolers

By All Means

By All Means

Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He took people as they were and showed them through His words and deeds the new life they could have as believers. As we seek to follow Jesus’ example, take a look at the way He met people where they are. He did not say to Zacchaeus, “You need to straighten out your life and give back all the money you cheated from people, and then I will come into your home.” No, Jesus looked up in the tree along the streets of Jericho and said, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5 NIV1). By the end of their visit, Zacchaeus’s heart and life were changed.

Spend a few minutes this month looking at the examples Jesus gave us. Look up these other verses in the Gospel of Luke. Note how Jesus met each person, and how their lives were changed.

Lunches to Go

Making Lunch

Our guest blogger, Melita Thomas, shares about a Helping Others activity in which her kindergartners take part. We love how she involves her kindergartners in a ministry of her church to those in their community. Melita is an editor at LifeWay Christian Resources and serves as a writer for Mission Friends materials.

Each year my church partners with a local homeless shelter and a rotating network of churches to provide overnight housing to homeless men. Every Sunday night during the winter months, my church provides homeless men a place to sleep, shower, and launder clothes as well as receive dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch. Adult Sunday School classes typically serve as hosts for meals, Bible study, and fellowship with our guests.

Learning through the Senses

Ellie the chicken

Last week in Mission Friends I was reminded how preschoolers learn through their senses. The mission story for that night told how Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh teach people how to raise chickens for the eggs and plant seeds for food. Robin McCall, preschool resources editor, raises chickens and planned to take one to church for her Mission Friends to see. Earlier in the day, we worked out a time that I could call on FaceTime so my Mission Friends group could see the chicken, also.

Even though they watched on my small phone screen, my Mission Friends enjoyed seeing the chicken, named Ellie. I had some still pictures of chickens, but being able to see the real chicken moving around was even better. They also used their sense of hearing when the chicken began to cluck. When my preschoolers heard the chicken clucking, they all began to cluck too! Later in the session, one of the boys came up to me clucking like a chicken.

A Collaborative Ministry in Thailand

McIntosh Family

Claire and Mark McIntosh* work among a people who are mired in poverty and hopelessness. Their ministry speaks to the truth that in sharing God’s love, we must also meet people’s physical needs.

The McIntoshes help villagers find sources of clean water, provide seeds, share sustainable sources of protein, and enrich education. They teach a group of women how to weave baskets and purses that can be sold in order to earn money for their families. As the McIntosh family engages in community development, they build relationships and share stories of God’s love and care.

Mr. McIntosh shares that in one village, lack of food led to many health problems. Through funding provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® and the Cooperative Program, Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh gave the people seeds and taught them how to garden and save seed for future crops. They educated the people about soil maintenance and gave them chickens as an ongoing source of protein. When they began ministering here, no one knew Jesus. Now, there are 39 followers of Jesus in this village!

An Action Rhyme

Finger Play

Everybody touch your nose,

Everybody touch your toes,

Everybody touch your hair,

Wave your fingers in the air.

Everybody touch your lips,

Everybody touch your hips,

Everybody touch your knees,

Fold them in your lap now, please.

I came up with this rhyme a few weeks ago in Mission Friends as we gathered for Group Time. A couple of our preschoolers finished up activities, and the rest of us sat on the floor in our Group Time area. We talked as we waited for the others to come, but I could tell things could quickly get out of control. Most of the preschoolers were sitting nicely right now, but a few were starting to roll around on the floor. I had to come up with something quickly. That’s when this verse came about. By the time I got to hair, each preschooler was doing the actions and listening for what came next. I was surprised at the end when our preschoolers actually folded their hands in their laps! The others had joined us by that time, and I was able to go straight into our Group Time plans.

Following Christ's Example

Servanthood

Servanthood. Living humbly. Denying self. None of these are attitudes or attributes that people clamor to develop today. And, yet, these are exactly the attributes that Jesus displayed for us as He walked this earth. Does it amaze you to consider how Jesus continually turned human perspective upside-down?

On the night that He would be betrayed, before the Passover Feast, Jesus rose and began to wash the disciples’ feet. Following this outrageous act of humility, Jesus said to them, “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (John 13:13–15 NIV1).

Jesus was their Lord and their Teacher, yet he knelt before them in humble servitude. As he began to wash their feet, I wonder if the disciples reflected on other words He had spoken, “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:28). “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matt. 23:11).

Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger

Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger

During October, Southern Baptists will turn our attention toward Global Hunger Relief. Unfortunately, hunger is an issue that touches every community throughout the world. While we would never share graphic details about hunger with our preschoolers, we can certainly raise their awareness that people in their own communities and around the world do not have enough to eat, and that we want to reach out to help those who suffer from hunger.

One resource that will help you develop age-appropriate learning about hunger is Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger (E118102, $9.99). This downloadable, interactive, 4-session study provides teachers, preschoolers, and their families new insights into the issue of global hunger.

The following suggestions will give you some ideas for adding lessons on hunger relief into your church’s schedule:

Pages

Back to Top