WMU Blog

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:

Update from Brett Myers

Myers Family

Brett Myers recently sent us the following update on his ministry at Southwinds Church at Mahogany. As you read his update, please consider how you can share this information with your preschoolers in age-appropriate ways.

“Thanks so much for spending time praying for our family.

Things are going well here. Our church family is growing, and God is certainly blessing our work. We have 5 baptisms to do as soon as the lake in our community warms up after winter, so that’s very exciting! Of course, we meet in a community center, so we don’t have an indoor baptismal pool.

We seem to really be growing a lot in young families, which is who lives in our community. We average 45–50 on Sundays, and would have about 70–80 if all of our “regulars” were there at one time. And of those 70–80, we counted a couple weeks ago 30+ kids from newborn to 12 years old . . . which of course, brings such life to the church. 

A Shared Love for North American Missions

I love the WMU building! When you walk in the front door, you know immediately who we are and why we exist. You are greeted with a beautifully crafted bronze replica of the world, and farther down the hallway you see a mural with the faces of the peoples of the world. All around you are artifacts emulating the culture and diversity of our world.

Many of our artifacts are gifts from missionaries and friends of missions who served as partners with WMU. One of those is the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Begun in 1845 as the Board of Domestic Missions and later the Home Mission Board, NAMB shared with WMU a love for missionaries serving in our nation and its surrounding territories.

We recently received some very special gifts from NAMB. One is the armoire belonging to Annie Armstrong, a welcomed addition to our Annie Armstrong collection. The other item is the desk of former secretary of the Home Mission Board Isaac Tichenor. Receiving this gift prompted me to dig a little deeper into the life of this great Southern Baptist leader.

Simple Love Goes a Long Way

Three weeks after I moved into my new apartment, I met Kana. Kana and her daughter had just moved in across the hall. The immigrant single mom had recently lost her job and didn’t have much outside support.

After a couple of “hellos” in passing, Kana and I ran into each other one day as she was looking for a job. We had a long conversation about her recent hardships and how discouraged she was; she also expressed deep gratitude for her new home and how she hoped this was a starting point for her and her little girl. As I stood and listened, I realized how much she needed the love and support of a family. I told her about my church and how much it means to me to have a church family to support me when things are hard.

Loving Local Missions

After growing up learning about international missionaries, I was quite disappointed when God established my missions field in an English classroom at my former high school. I felt so limited, but after I started teaching, I realized that I have more ministry opportunities in my classroom than I would have in many “ministry” positions. Through this realization, God gave me a passion for local missions.

The power of local missions is in the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. There are so many charities we could support, so many organized drives and walks and fundraisers in which we could participate, but study Scripture and you’ll see that Jesus didn’t do any of these things. Jesus lived alongside those who needed Him. He ate with them, laughed with them, cried with them, and built a rapport with them that allowed Him to ask personal questions and challenge sinful behavior. He didn’t help them because it was a good thing to do. He helped them because these were His friends and He loved them individually.

A Missions Gateway

Get involved in missions

If you pay attention to the news, watch YouTube videos, or read social media posts, then you will begin to notice that everyone seems to have a platform whether he or she comes from a religious background or not. People have causes they believe in and are willing to fight for. The numbers of people giving to charities, working with organizations to help those in need, and participating in community service are astounding. Colleges applaud volunteer work, and some high schools now even give special diplomas for students who earn a set number of hours of service. It seems many people have the desire to help others.

The biggest difference between secular acts of service and what we call missions is motivation. When we participate in missions, we meet people’s physical needs to introduce them to Jesus; missions is service with an evangelical focus.

In a world where so many people want to help others, Christians have an amazing opportunity to make a mission out of providing service opportunities.

Voices of Annie

Each year as Easter rolls around, I look forward to hearing the voices of Annie. Some of the voices are male, others female. Some speak with a heavy French accent, others with a southern twang like me, yet others with a western drawl. Each voice is sweet and strong, speaking passionately about how God is using him or her to fulfill His work in North America.

These are the voices of North American Mission Board missionaries supported through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, telling their stories on videos provided by NAMB.

To view the many videos, visit AnnieArmstrong.com. Prayerfully select the videos to share with your group.

Kimberly Sowell reaches thousands of women through her speaking and writing ministry. Visit KimberlySowell.com for more information.

Counting on You

Week of Prayer for North American Missions

This week (March 6–13), Southern Baptists all over the country are joining together for the Week of Prayer for North American Missions. During this time, churches commit to pray for the work of our North American missionaries as they share the love of Jesus with others. The children you lead in missions will certainly want to participate in this special week of prayer, too! Consider involving girls and boys in one or more of the following activities.

Get Creative for Annie Armstrong

Looking for some great ideas for how to promote the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions? There are tons of ways to promote missions, and missions offering seasons are great times to get creative. Here are 3 ideas to incorporate into your plan:

  1. Do a FaceTime or Skype call with a North American missionary. If he or she is not available during your meeting time, consider asking the missionary to send you a video.
  2. Host a special prayer meeting for the offering. Use the time to talk about specific needs across the United States and missionaries serving in cities and to pray for specific people and needs.
  3. Invite a church member who has been on a domestic missions trip to share about his or her experience serving in a missional context. 

Pray and help create a plan that will increase your group’s heart for missions and, in turn, missional giving.

Christy Dyer is a North American Mission Board church-planting team member serving through missions engagement and mobilization in New York City. To read more about her ministry, visit BrightHopeBigCity.com

Spring is Almost Here!

Spring is almost here. Well, at least on the calendar anyway. Springtime weather and temperatures may still be a month or so away for many people. But, right now is a good time to plan for the warmer weather and what to do after feeling trapped inside all winter long. Here are some springtime activities to plan for your family.

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