Yesterday was a special day in our congregation. Twice a year we have a special Mission Sunday, when the entire offering for the day is given to various mission efforts. Each time, we focus on a particular mission field our congregation supports. Normally, we have someone speak who is involved in the efforts at that location and take up the special collection.
This time, the focus was on an orphanage in Mexico our congregation had helped start several years ago. This was the tenth anniversary of the first child arriving at the home. We decided this time we would add a chance to celebrate and involve our own children in Missions Sunday.
Continue reading Prayer Piñatas: Involving the Children in Your Congregation
This is Blush. Blush is being trained by Canine Assistants to become a service dog for someone with a disability. So why did I have a speaker from a secular organization come speak to the children during Bible class today? Part of our class each week is spent learning about the felt needs of various people in our communities. The children are learning how they can help meet these needs and then share the Gospel with those they help.
The church helps many people all over the world with various felt needs. In some areas though, the world has organizations to meet felt needs that the church does not. The great news is that Christians can become involved in volunteering for these groups. As productive volunteers, we can influence the other volunteers, workers and the people the groups serve by showing them God’s love. I believe God can also provide opportunities to share His Words with them or invite them to worship with us.
Continue reading How Secular Charities Can Help Your Child Learn About Missions
This week we did one of my favorite things to do with the children at church – take them on a field trip. It always amazes me how few churches take young children places to serve others and do mission work as a church family. Children are so impressionable and remember things we have no idea they are absorbing from their experiences.
During class, our children continued learning how they could serve others and teach them about Jesus at the same time. Because our class time on Sundays is so short, we actually started the project Wednesday night. The children took white lunch bags, drew pictures on them and wrote “God Loves You” (or some version of that) on every bag.
Continue reading How Field Trips Can Help Children Practice Service and Missions
As the children in our church continue to learn about missions and sharing their faith, I thought I would ask a missionary friend of mine for some input. I had a pretty good idea about the characteristics a person needed to develop to be a successful short term missions participant. My friend, Donna has been on the mission field for years with her family in at least two different countries. I thought she would have good insight into the qualities we need to develop in our children if we truly want them to be missionaries.
Continue reading Thoughts From the Mission Field
A child in my class yesterday mentioned the word empathy. Empathy is different from sympathy because you actually try to imagine what it feels like to be another person. It takes a lot more work on the part of the empathizer – perhaps even a little more love. Empathy is important because I think it can make people more likely to want to share the Gospel with others who are totally different from them. It puts the emphasis back on the person and away from the difference.
Yesterday, the children in our congregation had a chance to learn about life on another continent. We changed our jungle room from the island of St. Vincent to Africa. A friend of mine, who has been on several mission trips to Kenya, was the source of our Kenyan bounty as well as the teacher of the center.
Continue reading What Pop-tops & Chapati Teach Your Child About Missions