Mission Friends

Easter with Your Preschoolers

Easter with Preschoolers

Easter is a time of joy and celebration. We are reminded of the price Christ paid for our sins on the cross and the power of His resurrection. We think about the empty tomb and the eternal life that God gives to us. For preschoolers, though, there is much about Easter that is beyond their understanding until later in their lives when they develop more abstract thought. There is also the temptation to focus on bunnies, colored eggs, and candy. How do we make Easter have meaning for preschoolers so they will grow toward God?

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.

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.

Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

Four-year-old Ellie and I were watching a stink bug crawl up a window frame.

“Where do you suppose he’s going?” I asked.

She paused. Then she said, “Probably to find some food.”

“Probably so,” I agreed. “I wonder what he eats.”

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“Me, either.”

She brightened. “Why don’t you Google it?”

She looked around, then brought me my phone, and we did, indeed, find out what stink bugs eat.

It was one of those wonder moments. Have you noticed that whenever there is a real conversation with a preschooler, a wonder moment is often involved? Funny how that works.

Extending the Story: I Like to Go to Church

An activity related to a story book helps preschoolers make connections to learn more from the book. In helping preschoolers learn about your church, read the downloadable book I Like to Go to Church. Take the ideas below and extend the story for more learning about your church and missions.

Boldness to proclaim truth in the midst of persecution

Amazon rainbow

Decimation, hopelessness, and abuse. Three words that describe the indigenous in the Colombian Amazon,” shares Bronson Parker.* Diego, a 60-year-old Cocama man, grew up seeing the aftereffects of the rubber boom industry in which thousands of indigenous were enslaved. Diego “is a fisherman, a carpenter, and an artist. Now, he is a Christ follower and His messenger,” says Bronson. Discipling is what Bronson Parker enjoys most about his ministry in the Amazon.

Bronson, Anna,* their three daughters and son share the gospel through storytelling. “The people are without hope, and are living in the consequences of their sinful lives,” shares Bronson. His family and missionary friends strive to encourage one another in the work being done.

My Church and Missions

Church and missions

Our Mission Friends took turns holding the extra-large knitting needle with one hand and pulling the yarn around with their other hand. Mrs. Mary Ann showed them how to make a stitch. She also showed them the baby booties and small caps made by the knitting group at our church. They give the caps and booties to preemie babies at local hospitals. Mrs. Mary Ann told our Mission Friends that this is how our “knitting ladies” show God’s love to the families of the little babies.

As preschoolers grow in missions awareness, we want them to know how their own church tells others about Jesus and shows His love to others. The objective of WMU states this as “participate in the work of the church and denomination,” but for preschoolers, I think of it as “my church and missions.” Preschoolers need to know about the ways their church reaches out to others in Jesus’ name. They also need to know that their church works with other churches to send missionaries in North America and around the world.

By All Means, Step into the World

First Steps

One of the big milestones in a preschoolers’ life is when he takes his first steps. We will even ask a parent, “Has he learned to walk yet?” We bend down, hold out our hands, and urge the little one to step toward us. Sometimes we stand behind him and hold his hands so he can step toward others. Learning to take those steps is important as preschoolers grow physically.

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