Preschool Leaders

Meet the Writer: Celeste Albaugh

I have always loved traveling, meeting people from other cultures, and exploring places around the world. This passion came from having been born in Great Britain and growing up as a military kid; my dad served in the United States Air Force for 26 years.

We moved every 3 ½ years of my life, and I attended 8 different schools. When we lived in California, I woke up early on Saturday morning, like any 6-year-old, to watch cartoons. However, this particular morning was different. The cartoons didn’t interest me. Instead, a TV show called The Treehouse Club by Child Evangelism Fellowship piqued my interest. After watching the show, while my parents were asleep, I started my personal relationship with Jesus.

In the various churches we attended as a family, I saw my parents model the importance of serving the Lord.

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?

Meet the Writer: Celeste Albaugh

Celeste Albaugh

I have always loved traveling, meeting people from other cultures, and exploring places around the world. This passion came from having been born in Great Britain and growing up as a military kid; my dad served in the United States Air Force for 26 years.

We moved every 3½ years of my life, and I attended 8 different schools. When we lived in California, I woke up early on Saturday morning, like any 6-year-old, to watch cartoons. However, this particular morning was different. The cartoons didn’t interest me. Instead, a TV show called The Treehouse Club by Child Evangelism Fellowship piqued my interest. After watching the show, while my parents were asleep, I started my personal relationship with Jesus.

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.

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).

Learning about Missions

Learning about missions around the world

My friend’s daughter buckled her preschool son in the car seat of their vehicle after Mission Friends one evening. She asked her son, “What did you learn in Mission Friends tonight?” Her son responded, “THUH missionawies. UH’gain.” What a great commercial that would make for Mission Friends!

Take a minute to think about what your preschoolers learn in Mission Friends. Since learning about missions is one area of growth that we want preschoolers to gain in Mission Friends, what do they learn about missions?

Preschoolers learn the basic concepts of the meaning of the word missions. They begin learning that God loves all people, God wants everyone to know of His love, and that not everyone knows of His love. They learn that God wants us to tell others and show others His love.

Their Attention Span Is So Short!

Short attention span

One minute the preschooler is listening intently as you tell the mission story. The next minute she’s poking at the preschooler sitting next to her, no longer listening to you at all. Another preschooler makes only a few marks on a coffee filter in the Art area, and before you know it he is in the Nature area smelling the matching scents. Preschoolers have such short attention spans, and it sometimes catches us off guard. At this time of year when younger preschoolers may promote into your Mission Friends® class, you might especially notice their short attention span. This is evident in the activity time as well as during Group Time. These tips will help as you teach preschoolers in Mission Friends.

  • Remember that, generally, the younger the preschooler, the shorter her attention span.

  • Give choices of activities so preschoolers can move freely from one activity to another. Teaching through the interest areas allows the preschooler to move in and out of activities as his attention span dictates.

New Church Year, New Preschoolers

Picture schedule

Most churches start their new church year in August or September, which includes promotion for the preschoolers’ and children’s classes. With the new church year, you may also have new preschoolers in Mission Friends®. Be ready for preschoolers who will promote into your class or start in Mission Friends for the first time!

Praying for Christmas in August Missionaries

Christmas in August package

Christmas in August is a wonderful way to involve preschoolers in supporting missions by giving ministry supplies requested from a North American missionary. This is also a great opportunity to support Christmas in August missionaries through prayer. As your Mission Friends® collect the items needed, lead them in praying for the missionary and the ministries in which the items will be used.

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