Girls in Action Blog

Bridging the Gap: Transitioning from GA, RA, and CA to Student Ministry

Change can be hard. It can be especially hard on a child. When the time comes for your GAs, RAs, or CAs to move up and move out, how can you help them with this transition? Here are three simple steps that might help.

Communication Is Key
Open lines of communication between children, parents, and student ministers are essential to a successful transition. Have conversations with your GAs, RAs, or CAs about what they will experience in their new environments. Keep parents informed about any potential events or recognition services that will help bridge the gap between children and student programs. Talk to the student leader(s) in your church. Plan a joint event that will provide the upcoming students with a positive and uplifting experience.

Which Children’s Program Is Right for Me?

When making decisions for your children's ministry programming, it's always a good idea to be aware of the issues involved. Deciding which program is right for you can be hard, and there are many paths one might take. We often receive calls from children's ministers and parents alike who find themselves stuck between two paths. Often, the choice is between our traditional children's organizations like Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors and the coed group AWANA. The following provides an in-depth look at the differences between these two programs. You can also look over this comparative breakdown between other popular program materials.

Germany: You Should Know These Facts

This month, you'll lead your group in learning about the Dietz family and the gospel work happening in Germany. Exploring many facets of German history and culture will help your group understand the situations and challenges the Dietz family faces every day. Throughout your curriculum, you will learn about:

  • the Berlin Wall,
  • the Leipzig train station (the largest train station in the world),
  • autobahns, or highways, which do not have speed limits,
  • the tech-savvy culture of Germany,
  • and the world's largest science and technology museum.

To dive deeper into understanding the culture and people of Germany, here are some additional fun facts you can share with your group:

Unshakable

In 1989, I sat in my living room watching the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. As I listened to the announcer covering the game, the TV screen suddenly went black. In a few seconds, the announcer's voice came back on, with a shaky camera showing the stadium. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake had just hit the Bay Area, leaving 67 people dead.

In the few minutes the earthquake shook, lives changed, homes were destroyed, and a baseball game became the least important topic for the day. In those few moments, Americans and the world were reminded that few things in life are truly unshakable.

When we think about politicians or terrorism or crime, we are reminded that life is constantly being shaken. When we think about the death of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend or spouse, the loss of a job, or a sickness, we are reminded that life is constantly being shaken.

Who among us isn't looking for the unshakable? Who among us isn't looking for a solid foundation to build upon?

During the 2018–19 year, GAs, RAs, and CAs will seek out unshakable foundations. What a timely theme this is!

A GA Leader Goes to Burkina Faso

“You are going where?” I heard that question again and again as I told my friends of my next exciting missions adventure with God — going to Burkina Faso to help begin missions education for children. Preparation for this trip recalled one of my earliest mission studies as a new GA leader — missions in Upper Volta. I remembered my group of GAs making paper replica maps of the butterfly-shaped country and learning to spell and pronounce the name of the capital.

“Can you say Ouagadougou?” French is the official language of Burkina Faso, although this country’s heritage is primarily Mossi with the Mooré language widely spoken. With a low literacy rate for those over age 15, the challenges before me were for much more than the pronunciation of Ouagadougou [oh-WAH-gah-DOO-goo]. How would I help women understand the need for missions education and discipleship and equip them to begin?

Reflections on Time Well Spent

This month, several of our staff members traveled to the WMU Annual Meeting and Southern Baptist Convention held in Dallas, Texas. For months before the event, we’ve planned, created, imagined, written, put items together, and taken them apart to be packed. We built a hut and pushcart, learned to play mancala, wrote speeches, coordinated missionary speakers, and designed conferences. We’ve made reservations, determined schedules, planned meals, tweaked those schedules, and planned events. We’ve counted supplies and tried to run through every possible scenario imaginable to make sure we are more than prepared.

With all of that preparation, you’d think I was ready for anything. I do have to confess I was not prepared for how a handful of little girls made me feel Monday at the WMU booth on the exhibit floor of the Southern Baptist Convention.

New Products Hot Off the Press!

We're always excited at the national WMU office when June 1 rolls around each year. Can you guess why? It's not because it feels like the start of summer (although it does). It's not because June is our favorite month (although I'm sure it is for some of us). It's not because it's peak wedding season or even time for Annual Meeting (though both of those are pretty exciting). No, it's because we get to introduce you to our new products! After months of hard work getting our new products just right, we're ready to release them for you to enjoy.

Let me introduce some new children's products I think you’ll be excited about.

When you're ready to start planning for the coming year in missions:

Making Bible Stories Stick

There is a beloved storyteller in my community. In fact, she’s very well-known throughout the state, the Southeast and probably the entire United States. She has a following of people who faithfully gather to hear her tales, and this past spring I was able to attend one of her storytelling events for the first time. I was amazed at the ease with which she captivates listeners with her descriptive words, luscious alliterations and dramatic flair — all the while creating beautiful pictures in everyone’s minds. From her very first sentence, she hooks her audience and holds them mesmerized till the very end. How can an hour or even more go by so quickly? You become so enthralled in her story that you don’t want it to end . . . at least not yet!

Getting to Know Children in Action

The Children in Action Guide for Leaders describes CA this way: “Children in Action is an exciting and fun-filled coed missions education organization for boys and girls in grades 1–6. . . . In CA, children learn about the world, pray for the world, and learn how they can be used to tell others about God’s Son, Jesus.”

But CA is far more than just words found in a guide!

CA is a time for girls and boys to explore the world around them, both near and far, in North America and globally. CA is a time for children to expand their worldviews beyond their churches or neighborhoods or schools. CA is a time for children to learn that not only is God is at work around the world but that He has called children to discover their place in His calling.

Summer Break Missions Projects for Kids

Ah, summer. I long for the school days of the past when I was guaranteed a summer break. There’s just no comparison between the promise of a no-strings-attached break and using vacation hours to take off work for a week (at the most). Kids have it made, am I right? But the idea of a long summer break from school brings about the mindset that everything else takes a break, too. Visions of pool days and sunrays dance in their heads. Vacations move ever closer, and homework is nowhere to be found.

Amid all the summer excitement, sometimes kids (and even adults) forget that the Great Commission doesn’t take a break. People need to hear about the love of Jesus year-round. With no school to worry about for the time being, kids have even more opportunities to stay on mission. Summer actually lends itself to more fun-filled missions projects that can incorporate everything they’ve been looking forward to doing during the break.

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