WMU Blog

Be On Mission during Summer Vacation

Summer Missions

Summertime is often a time when things slow down. The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and there is often a feeling in the air of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Do you notice this in your church, as well? Attendance is usually lower during the summer months because families take vacations at various times. Church activities might be canceled in favor of other events. Organizations within your church might take the summer months off so nobody misses anything important. Or your church might adjust programming to a summer schedule.

No matter where your church falls in the variety of summer schedules, it makes sense to use this time to take a break, step back, and prepare for a fresh, clean slate in the fall. That might mean meeting in a different location or trying something different from time to time.

Regardless, we need to remember that we never really get to take a break from growing in our relationships with Christ. If you are a youth leader and want to help your students continue to grow in their faith, even during the summer, why not try a few of these ideas?

Celebrating WMU Missions

Nothing is more inspiring and encouraging than a room full of like-minded women who are passionate and excited to serve God. It gets your heart pumping! That is how I felt attending the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri, in June 2016.

As a state WMU leader, I am always looking for workshops, ideas, and content that can be recreated in our churches, associations, and state WMU annual meeting. National WMU is always there with an encouraging word and prayer support. The national staff encourages us to realize the goals of informing churches of the necessity of missions education. As state WMU executive directors, state WMU presidents, and church and associational WMU leaders gather from across the country, we are reminded of social issues that are affecting our society today, such as human trafficking, pornography, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Annual Planning and a Movie

When you think of a WMU annual planning retreat, I surmise you do not think one of the activities would be to sit and watch a Disney/Pixar movie, right? When was the last time you watched a children’s movie and gathered leadership lessons from it?

Several years ago, my team and I had the most fun doing just that at our annual planning retreat. After an afternoon of discussion and thoughtful planning, the highlight was watching Toy Story 3.

We got our popcorn, turned down the lights, and started to watch the hilarious antics of Woody and the gang. We laughed so hard that night!

The movie’s premise is this: Andy (Woody and the other toys’ owner) is leaving for college. While cleaning his room, he places his favorite toys in a box to be stored, but through a series of mishaps, the toys end up at a children’s day care. The toys’ mission/vision was to get back to Andy.

We learned the following lessons:

When the Church Gets It Right

Wheels of the World

Have you ever felt burdened by the woes of the church? I know I have. It seems like every morning there’s some new scandal or financial indiscretion plastered all over the daily news. Sometimes the weight of it all gets a little hard to handle. That’s why stories of encouragement, like the one I’m about to share with you, are so important to tell!

Pen Pal Badge

Electronic forms of communication such as email, text messaging, FaceTime, and Skype have greatly diminished traditional means of communication. Letters are becoming rare. However, for the person receiving such a treasure, the response is still the same—joy!

Providing the opportunity for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action to earn a Pen Pal badge is a valuable learning experience that also has many blessings and benefits for both the receivers and senders of letters. Writing letters helps children develop writing skills, learn how to express kindness and compassion with words, and share with another person interesting information about themselves, which can boost confidence and self-esteem. Letters from a pen pal help a child learn about the life of another person, understand how they are similar and different, and appreciate how another person lives in another part of the state or around the world.

Here are three ideas for planning a pen pal project:

Write to senior adults within your church or community.

The Value of SBC's Cooperative Program

As Southern Baptists, we have one thing that unites us. At our core is the passion to take the gospel of Christ to those who have never heard. We work together toward that common goal. As a child and young adult, my heart was sealed for missions. I am a product of the Cooperative Program (CP).

The CP is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.

Nearly 40 years ago, my tiny Southern Baptist church participated in a World Missions Conference (later called On Mission Celebrations). That was my first opportunity to be up close and personal with missionaries. More than 70 percent of your national CP dollars are at work in the United States and around the world supporting missionaries.

Salt Dough Recipe

Who doesn’t need to know how to make salt dough for an upcoming craft project?

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own salt dough to use in class and various other art projects!

What you need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup salt
• 1 cup cold water
• food coloring (optional)
• large bowl
• mixing spoon

What you do:

1. Combine the salt and flour. Mix well.

2. Gradually add a 1/2-cup of water and mix well.

3. Knead the dough on a counter or table. Add a few drops of water as needed, but be careful not to make it too sticky.

4. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Put the dough in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Mother's Day

If you’re a mom, you might wonder why every day can’t be Mother’s Day. Being a parent is tough work, no matter what that looks like for you. Unfortunately, there is only one day allotted on the calendar to celebrate moms, but we have to be a mom those other 364 days, too.

Have you ever considered motherhood as a missions field? It’s messy, filled with long days and daunting tasks. There are some really high points, like the first time you hold your newborn in your arms, and there are some really low points, like when your teenager argues with you for the 900th time.

As moms, we need to remind ourselves that we are on a missions field everywhere we go, modeling Christ for those little people who call us Mom.

This year, I will celebrate my very first Mother’s Day, so I am no expert. My son is almost one, and I know I have so much to learn as he grows up. It’s helpful knowing that I have a sacred job, a job that I do not take for granted.

Of my many jobs as a mom, the most important is to model Christ for my son and always point him to Christ.

Mission Complete: Time to Celebrate

Ah, May! Welcome to the busiest month of the year! If you look at my family calendar this month, you will have to channel your inner sleuth to crack the code. Every single white block is filled with colorful reminders to help me juggle multiple kids’ activities—recitals, concerts, sporting events, open houses, banquets, parties, and exams. The list goes on and on, but, whew, you get the gist. I say it every year—May is even busier than December!

Even with the end-of-the year hustle and bustle, it's a great time to recognize the boys and girls in your missions organizations for their accomplishments this past year. How did they complete the Mission: My Life special assignment? Did kids participate in Children’s Ministry Day or the International Mission Study? Did they raise awareness and collect funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Did they participate in an individual achievement plan like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition? If so, celebrate their missions involvement and give them the recognition they deserve!

Jump-start your planning with one of these fun ideas:

Seven Trends That Affect Your Church

church pews

Do you long for the “good old days”? I often hear friends talk about “the way it was when we were kids.” And, those were good days—playing outside after dark, riding my bike (without a helmet or pads) to the nearby store, standing up on the front seat of my daddy’s pickup, playing with a friend who had contracted polio as an infant, worrying about a nuclear bomb attack from the Russians . . . Well, maybe not all of the days were so good.

For my parents, my “good, old days” were their “scary future”. My scary future is the world inhabited by nieces and nephews who do not know a world where polio and small pox vaccines were necessary. Yet, they also live with the pressure of a future that is changing more rapidly than any of us can fathom.

The church is no different. Is your church living in the “good, old days” or trying to make sense out of the “scary future”? Perhaps it is trying to do both, struggling to let go of old ways and yet, not quite ready to embrace the new. The new is exciting, but it is also frightening when we do understand what is happening around us.

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