One of my favorite things about doing service and mission projects at church is to see how many people I can get involved and excited about what we are doing. Many people will jump right in and busy themselves going about God’s work. Others may be a little more reticent (like Gideon or Moses) at first.
I have learned something from old Tom Sawyer and his fence painting escapade though. If you make serving God and teaching others about Him fun, others will jump in and start participating before they even realize it. Often these are the same people who might tell you they are not gifted for that work, or maybe they will say that particular work is just not “their thing”. Children may tell you they are too grown-up for such baby stuff. Try a little Tom Sawyer on them though and they will surprise themselves.
Continue reading What Tom Sawyer Can Teach Your Child About Serving God
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
The children in our church are learning how to be missionaries this summer. Now before you stop reading, your child doesn’t have to move to the ends of the earth and never see you to be a missionary. I am not sure when it happened, but at some point in Christian history, it seems we decided we could pay someone to do our mission work for us. Now, I am all for supporting missionaries who are willing to move to other countries and teach people about God. I just wish we all thought of ourselves as missionaries, just like the Christians in the first century did.
If you want to learn how to be a good missionary, start reading the book of Acts. It is full of stories about the first missionaries in the church. It teaches you not only the important things to tell someone about the story of Jesus, but different ways to find people to teach. It even tells you about the problems missionaries can encounter and how to handle them in a godly way.
Continue reading Raising Missionaries