Children

How to Lead a Child to Christ

Leading a child to Christ is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. It can also be intimidating. Remember that, while God has called you to share this message, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit that leads a child to give his or her life to Christ.

Don’t give into your fears. Pray first. Then, invite the Holy Spirit to work with you as you share.

1. Be Conversational

When counseling one-on-one with a child, be conversational. Ask open-ended questions, then listen closely to the child’s reply. Questions to ask a child might include:
• Who is Jesus?
• What is sin?
• What is a Christian?
• Why do you want to become a Christian?
• How do you feel? (Sometimes the feelings we have are God’s way of speaking to us.)
• What has led you to start thinking about becoming a Christian?
• How long have you wanted to be a Christian?
 

2. Use the Bible

During the conversation, show the child verses in the Bible. Slowly explain the following verse to the child.

All For You - Children's Missions

All For You

As children are introduced to missional concepts, they learn they have an active part to play in God's plan for their lives and for the world. They come to understand God can use them now—even in their youth—to share His love with others and make a difference. Experiences gained through childhood missions education lead to a lifelong commitment of service to God, His mission, and His church.  

Girls in Action for girls, Royal Ambassadors for boys, and Children in Action for coed groups, are ongoing missions discipleship organizations for children in grades 1-6. 

Through these organizations, children . . .

Individual Achievement — So What?

So, you’ve got the magazines, the leader guides, a cabinet full of supplies, and a room full of children eager to learn about missions. The Scriptures, Bible lessons, and missionary stories taught during your children’s missions group is invaluable. Not only do children learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice on the cross for us, but they also learn the importance of sharing that news with others.

But did you know there is more you can do? Each missions organization offers a supplemental individual achievement plan alongside the weekly missions units. Do you lead Girls in Action? Check out GA Journey. What about Royal Ambassadors? See RA Trek. Did I forget Children in Action? Of course not—there’s Missions Expedition.

Why should you use individual achievement plans? It’s not because they fill time and provide fellowship. It’s not even because they are fun (which they are!). The individual achievement plans help children reinforce and live out the missions concepts they learn during regular sessions. It provides opportunities for children to deepen their missions discipleship and strengthen their faith.

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Tell Their Story

“Let those who have been set free by the Lord tell their story. He set them free from the power of the enemy” (Psalm 107:2 NIrV).

The thought of sharing your testimony can be daunting; I know it still is for me. Last summer, I traveled to Belize City on a missions trip with my church. For months leading up to the trip, we practiced delivering our testimonies over and over again. One night during the trip at a youth service, the time came for me to stand in front of thirty Belizean teenagers and share my encounter with God, what He did for me, and what He did for each and every one of them on the cross.

Each of us has a testimony, or story, to tell about what God has done in our lives. Even children need to know how to share their testimony and the gospel of Christ. The undeniable center of all missions is sharing the gospel so everyone has the opportunity to know the joy of Jesus Christ.

Dashing Through the Snow . . .

July seems like a strange time to be singing “Dashing through the snow . . . ” Most of us don’t sing Christmas carols this time of the year. If we sing, we’re singing vacation tunes or beach songs as we travel down a busy highway with our family.

Yet, a very important emphasis is coming later this summer, and missions leaders need to be gearing up now for it. The annual emphasis that is coming is called Christmas in August. Christmas in August is a time for boys and girls—and entire churches—to focus on the needs of missionaries serving in North America. Since 1927, Southern Baptist children have been collecting items for missionaries to use in their ministry. At first, those gifts went to missionaries serving in China. Now, the gifts are used in North America.

Children and Long-Distance Missions

Today’s the day. Another team is being commissioned before the church body to leave on an international missions trip. The children around you look on with awe as each team member is introduced and prayed over. Maybe they even whisper to each other about how cool it would be to participate in a trip like this.

And, they can participate! Maybe they cannot physically go on the trip, but they do have things to offer to the missions team.

Prayer. Every missions team needs prayer. They need prayer before the trip, during the trip, and even after the trip for the hearts and lives of the people to whom they witnessed. Lead group prayers with children. Assign each child or group of children a certain member of the missions team or a particular aspect of the trip to pray for, such as Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, service work, or youth ministry. Prayer is powerful, and children can help shape the missions trip by praying for the people of the country and the members of the team.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1 NIV).

Fall is Coming!

A famous pastor once preached a sermon titled “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.” Of course, the sermon alluded to Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and how desperate that day often seems. But, as the pastor reminded us, we can’t stop on Good Friday; we have to look forward to Resurrection Sunday.

Well, to play off of that sermon title, let me remind you that “It’s June, but the new church year is coming!”

Even in the heat of summer, the cooler days of fall will be here before we know it! Our missions organizations will kick off another year of teaching boys and girls about the Great Commission, missionaries who serve around the world, and ways they themselves may be called by God to serve.

As you prepare for the new church year, here are a few ways to start preparing now:

Project HELP - Addressing PTSD with Children

Every two years, WMU prayerfully chooses a Project HELP emphasis. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is the Project HELP emphasis for 2016-2017. WMU encourages members at all ages to minister in some way to those suffering with PTSD.

The preceding paragraph is included in each Children in Action Leader, GA Leader, and RA Leader magazine. But, what does it mean? What in the world are you supposed to do as a leader? How do you help children understand PTSD?

Here's an overall tip to keep in mind: The children in your missions education group need your love, support, and understanding. People in their families, neighborhoods, or schools may be struggling with PTSD. It could be that some of the children in your missions education group are struggling with PTSD themselves. While missions leaders, church staff members, and parents can play a key role in helping someone with PTSD, it's best to know your limits. Trained therapists are the best people to call upon to help when it is believed that someone is struggling with PTSD.

So, what's a missions leader to do? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Welcome to Children's Ministry Day

Join thousands of children across North America in hands-on ministry in your community each February for Children's Ministry Day! Over the years, more than 150,000 people have been involved in Children's Ministry Day! WMU invites all children in grades 1-6 to participate. For more information about Children's Ministry Day, email children@wmu.org or contact your state WMU office.

Each February, thousands of children across North America participate in ministry projects on the same day: Children's Ministry Day. From feeding hungry people to visiting shut-ins, girls and boys follow God's command to "put your love into action" (1 John 3:18). Church groups create projects that meet needs in their own communities. WMU created Children's Ministry Day to move children out of their churches and into their communities to do missions. The first Children's Ministry Day was in 2008. Since then, more than 170,000 people have taken part in Children's Ministry Day! 

VBS: Very Big Suggestion

In June and July, your church is most likely hosting a Vacation Bible School (VBS). Whatever curriculum and theme you use, whether you do traditional VBS or a variation, you have a great opportunity to be on mission and to jumpstart missions education.

VBS and Backyard Kids Clubs have been on a great trend for churches in Tennessee as a way to get people outside the doors of their church and into their community to share the gospel. This has been exceptionally effective in churches in Memphis, Jackson, and Nashville, Tennessee. However, don’t forget that as you are reaching the lost children in your own community, VBS can also be a great way to introduce missions education in your church if you do not already have Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action. VBS classes can include a missions rotation. LifeWay VBS includes this in their materials, but even if you and your church are not doing the “Submerged” VBS this year, you can include a missions segment in your teaching time.

Some ideas:

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