Six Ways to Engage Families in Missions

Helping Others

When families learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions, and work together to help others, preschoolers will develop an “all in” heart for missions. While preschoolers certainly learn a great deal about missionaries in Mission Friends®, we must also enlist our preschoolers’ families to engage in missions at home.

Our ministries consultant, Lena Plunk, recently shared a story about how her nieces are on mission in their neighborhood. While Lena was visiting, her nieces were watching a video when they heard the garbage truck coming up their road. Her niece MJ jumped up and said, “The garbage truck, hurry, we don’t want to miss them!” Lena thought the girls were going to the window to watch the truck. Instead, they grabbed thirst-quencher drinks and ran out to give these gifts to the men on the truck. Lena says that her nieces enjoy sharing water, cookies, and snacks with all of their community helpers. Out of their love for Jesus, her 2 nieces enjoy giving to others.

How can you help your preschoolers’ families become Families on Mission?

Extending the Story: Always Remember to Pray

Always Remember to Pray

Using activities related to a story or book is a way of extending what preschoolers learn by giving them experiences connected to the story. When you read Always Remember to Pray, by Robin McCall, extend the story with activities related to prayer. Talk about prayer and tell preschoolers we are talking to God when we pray. Encourage preschoolers to think about ways they can pray at any time and any place. The following activities will extend the story and help preschoolers learn more about prayer.

Reaching the Deaf around the Globe

Deaf interpreter

Over 20 years ago, Doc and Dee Douglas* started their journey, across the world, sharing the gospel through Bible stories to the Deaf community. Dee was born to deaf parents, and her first/heart language is American Sign Language. She is gifted when it comes to sign language and Deaf culture. Doc was born to hearing parents and had no background in American Sign Language. He is gifted in administration, theology, and leadership.

Doc says, “Our primary way of sharing the gospel has been through Bible stories. Whether in random conversations or if we are in a planned strategy to engage deaf people in a particular city, there is always the introduction of a story—the ‘avenue in’ to sharing the gospel.” The Deaf are storytellers themselves, and a natural way of drawing them into conversation of the gospel is through Scripture stories.

By All Means

By All Means

Our first session of Mission Friends® for the new church year started in a most exciting way. We had a big group of preschoolers coming up into our class of 3- and 4-year-olds. The first session is usually a little more hectic because the preschoolers don’t know the schedule, and you are trying to figure out preschoolers’ names. I expected to have 8 or 9 preschoolers, but we had 13! I had planned the painting activity suggested in Mission Friends Leader for the session, and it took a while for the preschoolers to take turns in sets of 2 or 3 preschoolers at a time. When we finally gathered for Group Time, the power went out in the whole church! We spent the remainder of our session in the dark, using the flashlights from our smartphones.

Praying for Missions

A preschooler came home from church with a prayer reminder he made in Mission Friends®. His mother told me that when she put him to bed that night, she heard him pray the sweetest prayer for the missionary family. God is working in the lives of preschoolers as we teach them to pray for missions. As preschoolers learn about missions, one of their responses is to pray for the missions work they are learning about.

Meet Angie Quantrell!

Angie and her grandchildren

I like to tell people we live in a horse pasture. This is technically true. But the horses have moved on and we don’t share space with any large farm animals, just cats, birds, bugs, and the occasional skunk. My husband, Kevin, and I sold our home last summer and moved into an RV trailer. Our son and daughter-in-law graciously invited us to park in their pasture. RV living is an adventure. We are learning so many new things! We plan to live in the RV for a few years while we research and build a small home. Until then, RV life it is.

Extending the Story: Let’s Learn About . . .

Let's Learn About . . .

Get more out of the preschool missions storybooks in your Mission Friends® classroom by extending the stories with activities related to the books. This month we’ll share a few ways to extend the story for the book Let’s Learn About . . . by Angie Quantrell. Read the story to your Mission Friends class, and then follow up with these activities.

From Loneliness to Love

Kerns Family

In 2013, Travis Kerns’s love for Utah and yearning to help the lost hit its peak. Travis says, “While in a college class, we studied Mormonism and I began to fall in love with the Mormon people and have a heart for them to hear about the saving grace of the Jesus of The Bible.” Time passed, and Travis and his wife, Staci, felt convicted of some of their idols in life—family and comfort. Travis shares, “We had no idea where or even what type of work we would be doing; we just knew it was time to go.”

In the months following, through seeking God’s direction for their move, Travis received a call from The North American Mission board inquiring his interest in moving to Utah to become a SEND City Missionary. Travis, Staci, and their son, Jeremiah, knew that God had a plan and wholeheartedly committed to what lie ahead.

Leading Multiple Ages

I walked about the preschool space holding a 6-month-old in my arms, and doing the activities with a 2-year-old. My co-teacher did an activity with the 2-year-old using chenille stems while the 6-month-old and I carried on conversation about what they were doing. At another time during the session, I had to pay more attention to the needs of the 6-month-old. During that time, the 2-year-old worked quietly with a puzzle.

This may be a familiar scenario if you work with multiple ages in one Mission Friends® class. Many smaller churches have one preschool class with all ages combined. Even if there is a class for younger and older preschoolers, there might be multiple ages within those broad age ranges. Blended age groups can sometimes be a challenge, but it can be done!

Developing a Heart for Missions

Jason and baby

We are thrilled to share the following devotion from Jason Hyche, one of the preschoolers in Robin McCall’s first Mission Friends® class. We pray that as you read Jason’s words, you will see that by teaching preschoolers today, you are touching the future.

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means, I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings”
(1 Cor. 9:22–23).


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