Royal Ambassadors

Men Make a Difference at Royal Ambassadors Camps

Have you ever wondered what makes attending a Royal Ambassadors camp such a unique experience? The first time I experienced the excitement that comes from attending an RA camp, I was ten years old. I was invited to join the RA chapter at First Baptist Church, since our church did not have an RA chapter. It was at RA camp that I first heard the words of the RA Pledge spoken at flag raising. I watched as boys and men recited the RA Pledge together, and I could see in the eyes of the men that they had a passion for living out the words of the pledge. At RA camp, I learned about archery, basic Campcraft skills, and missions. I still remember the words from a campfire service. The words were spoken by young men who performed a campfire drama called “My Life Was Never the Same,” which illustrated how people’s lives are changed forever when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Communicating Love to Kids

Have you ever taken a road trip?

I bet you have.

Chances are, though, you didn't just wake up one morning, hop in the car, and start driving. You probably spent days, weeks, and maybe even months getting ready. You mapped your route, flagged site-seeing musts, packed your bags, and serviced your car. It's no secret that a little preparation on the front end usually makes for happy travelers and a memorable trip that everyone will be talking about for years to come.

As the new church year rolls around the corner, you are probably busy getting ready to "hit the road" for a different kind of adventure—a missions adventure! Maybe your checklist looks a little like mine:

  • decorate the room
  • purchase materials
  • organize supplies
  • study lesson
  • schedule monthly missions projects

Check, check, check, check, and check! Who doesn't love a nice, little checklist??

But, reality check—I need to add one more very important thing to that list: What am I doing to prepare my heart to welcome a diverse group of kids to a fun new year in missions?

How Can I Recruit New Leaders?

Occasionally, Royal Ambassadors and Challengers leaders step down from their positions, leaving the mantle of leadership for someone else to take up. This happens for many reasons. A leader may relocate and change churches. Some leaders get "burned out" and desire a break from the weight of responsibility. Oftentimes, leaders step down because their son is too old for RA.

When this happens, churches often struggle to find a new leader. Sometimes, they combine boys and girls together into one missions class. Other times, churches end Royal Ambassadors altogether, reasoning that if no one is willing to lead the ministry, then it is not needed. The boys, however, suffer the most from the loss of their leader. At a time when they need to be patiently taught the Bible, equipped with valuable outdoor living skills, and mentored in a missions-oriented lifestyle, they are left to turn their energy to other things.

What can current leaders do to ensure that their boys will continue to be blessed by the missions discipleship ministries of Royal Ambassadors and Challengers? I offer you the following suggestions:

Different Faces, One Mission

One year has come and gone since I first walked through the doors of national WMU. A year ago, I couldn't have possibly imagined all the things I would learn, people I would meet, and places I would see. But in all that time, the one thing that still intrigues me the most are the many different faces of Royal Ambassadors. Sure, most all of us say the pledge, know the motto, talk about the virtues, and tell the missionary stories, but outside of that, there is a boundless ocean of variety and uniqueness that varies from chapter to chapter. I am continually stunned that the heart of Royal Ambassadors can be adopted in so many distinctive ways.

In With the New

It won’t be long and the familiar sound of a ringing school bell will be heard in classrooms. The wheels on the big yellow school bus will be going round and round. And, kids will be dragging themselves out of bed and back to school for another year of learning.

So, what does the new school year and going back to school mean for missions education in your church? For some churches, the new school year will mean restarting their missions education programs after taking a few months off. For those who continued with GA, RA, and CA during the summer, it will mean more stable meetings as fewer leaders and kids will be out on vacation.

As you prepare for the beginning of another new school year and another year in missions education, now is a great time to evaluate your organization and material needs. Now is also a great time to order the Mission: Hit the Road Promotion Pack. This annual pack provides an overview of the year ahead. You’ll find great decorating tips, ideas, and learning activities that’ll help you have a successful new year.

How Your Family Can Live a Missional Summer

There's a misconception that in order to do missions as a family, you have to go somewhere or your church has to organize it. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret: that couldn't be further from the truth! Now, don't get me wrong—missions trips are amazing, and your church can be a great resource; but that is not the only way to do missions. Living your life on mission means turning your community into your missions field.

As leaders, parents, and family members, is it our duty to not only teach our kids how to live a life on mission, but to show them as well. Missional living starts right where we are. And if where we are is our hometown, then that's where we need to do missions. Summer is the perfect time to do it!

Incorporating Learning Styles in Missions Education

Every child is different. All children have different likes and dislikes, different levels of ability and education, and different learning preferences. The kids we teach may be visual learners, auditory learners, or kinesthetic learners. While it would be difficult to fully accommodate each learner in the short period of time they participate in missions education each week, there are definite steps leaders can take to facilitate optimal learning. When planning activities for a lesson, leaders should incorporate as many different senses into the lesson as are feasible.

Multisensory instruction is one of the best ways for children to learn. When a child only hears or reads, he or she may retain a small amount of the material. But when tactile activities are combined with auditory and visual components, comprehension increases dramatically. And, of course, we want missions education to be fun and enjoyable! Kids go to school many hours each week, and we never want them to feel like missions education is just another hour of school. Listed below are some ways you can incorporate multisensory activities into your lessons.

Being a Missional Family

“Families on Mission” is more than a concept or even a catchphrase.

At least, it should be.

After all, who better to do missions with than the people you love the most—your own family! What a great future we are providing our children as we not only teach them about missions, but we serve together doing missions.

While summer is in full swing, there is no better time than now to get your family involved in a missions project. Your project doesn't have to be anything elaborate, cost a small fortune, or even require faraway travel. You can do missions as a family in your own community!

Here are a few ways your family can get involved in the mission of God.

A Love of Calgary

I have been serving as children’s minister at Dixie Hills Baptist in Bolivar, Tennessee, for 16 months. Earlier this year, I started using the Children in Action curriculum during our Wednesday night ministry. I was so excited to see Calgary as the featured city for June! I’m originally from Mississippi, but God called me to attend the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Calgary. I had no idea God would have me on mission in Canada for almost 14 years! For most of those years, I served in full-time children’s ministry.

Creating an Inclusive Missions Learning Environment for Kids with Special Needs

When we create learning environments for missions education, we often forget to plan for kids with special needs. Many preparations for special needs children are easy to include in the classroom, but there may be some you haven’t considered. Understand that some adjustments need to be made as new children begin to participate in your ministry.

Physical Adjustment
Make your learning space clutter-free. Kids with mobility issues have enough difficulty navigating space without additional barriers such as toys, chairs, or other obstacles. Make sure the tables and chairs are the correct height to accommodate children with physical handicaps.

Sensory Adjustment
Some kids are negatively affected by loud noises and colors. Soothing, quiet music and low conversation tones help reduce sensory overload. Bright and busy classrooms often agitate special needs children. Include just the basic instructional tools for your learning space.

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