Mission Friends

Selfless ambition — doing all things for the glory of Christ

Mahon Family

Through preaching, praying, and having a raw desire to be hospitable and evangelistic, the Mahon family have learned what it takes to rest, and grow in selfless ambition, for the glory to God. In 2006, Brian and Jenny married, after meeting at Clemson University. A couple of years into their marriage, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for Brian to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southern, they had their son, Luke, and daughter, Kate. Jenny suggested that Brian pursue ministry when, “I couldn’t do much of anything without landing in a conversation about Christ,” shared Brian.

The Third Teacher

preschool classroom teachers and kids

Have you ever thought of your Mission Friends classroom as your third teacher? A few weeks ago I visited the Early Learning Demonstration Classroom at Childcare Resources, a local agency that provides training for child-care teachers and directors. They have recently opened a model classroom to provide hands-on training for teachers in understanding how to provide a classroom setting that encourages learning. When I visited the demonstration classroom, people from several local agencies gathered for our first visit and introduction to the classroom. As we walked around the classroom, two Childcare Resources consultants described the setup and uses of the learning centers and Group Time area. One of the consultants made the comment that the classroom really is the third teacher in the room. The classroom makes a difference in the ways preschoolers learn as well as what they learn.

Organizing for Mission Friends — Learning Styles

Learning styles

Preschoolers learn in many different ways. Let’s take a look at four different learning styles and how to choose activities based on these learning styles. Preschoolers usually show a preference to one of these learning styles, even as they learn through a combination of the styles. Think of the preschoolers in your Mission Friends group and consider what learning style each preschooler tends to favor. This will help you choose activities so your preschoolers will learn in the best ways for them.

Building Resilience within Preschoolers

A Caring Adult

In helping preschoolers build resilience, we must help them develop a sense of trust. Developing trust is one of the key tasks of the early years, and will affect the child’s development even in later years. In order to develop a sense of trust, the preschooler must feel loved and secure. Developing a sense of trust gives the preschooler inner strength and confidence that will then carry him through the challenges of life. The development of trust is also key in preschoolers’ faith development as they learn to trust in God. The following are four things you can give preschoolers to help them develop a sense of trust.

You’re Invited!

front of card

Spring is popping up, and it is a great time to invite preschoolers to Mission Friends. Make pop-up invitations to give during the spring months to families with preschoolers.

Digital Template: Landscape Graphic

landscape digital graphic

Download this landscape graphic to use in a variety of ways.

  • Place the graphic across the top of letters to parents.

  • Have your church’s website administrator make a page about your Mission Friends. Use the landscape graphic as a header on the page. Give information about your Mission Friends, such as the date, time, location, current Helping Others activities, and missions areas featured. Provide a link to wmu.com/preschool. (wmu.com/preschool)

  • Print out the graphic to use as a banner for your classroom.

  • Use the graphic in your church newsletter along with a story about how your Mission Friends are learning.

Understanding Preschoolers with Special Needs

SPD Child

A preschooler who overreacts when he gets paint or glue on his hands, or a preschooler who winces and covers her ears when the class plays rhythm instruments. Sensory processing disorder (SPD) may affect these preschoolers, causing their reactions to sensory input.

Start Something New

MFL cover Spring

Many families that homeschool their older children also have preschoolers in their household. Start something new by giving suggestions to parents who homeschool of ways to encourage missions learning.

Homeschoolers can use Mission Friends Leader as a resource for missions learning activities in the home. One way of using the materials is to tell the mission story from Group Time at the beginning of the week, and then intersperse activities from the interest areas for that session throughout the week. As their preschoolers learn about the featured missionaries, the family can write messages or make cards to send to the missionaries using the contact information provided on the Meet the Missionaries page each month. The Helping Others activity suggestions could be instrumental in homeschoolers involving their family in serving others in their community.

Using Technology with Preschoolers

sharing screen time

The preschoolers we teach today are called digital natives because they are growing up using technology. They know which apps are their games or stories on mom or dad’s phone. They swipe a tablet to read a preschool book, and they turn on the audio to hear the book being read to them. Technology is part of their everyday lives. How do we incorporate the use of technology in our Mission Friends classes?

By All Means

By All Means logo

“It’s all about relationships.” I must have heard that statement 100 times over the course of one summer. I served as the assistant director of the preschool program at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in North Carolina, and Marge Sherman served as our director. As I worked alongside Marge for the weeks of that summer, she focused on the importance of the relationships we formed with the preschoolers and their parents. She reiterated that relationships came first, above policies or programs. Her words made an impact on me over the years since that summer.

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