February is Missions Month. At the recent Children’s Pastor Conference in Orlando, Florida, Deb del Villar (Global Program Designer here at Awana) attended a workshop on missions. The workshop speaker asked a challenging question. How would YOU answer? Read what Deb had to say.
While attending a missions-focused workshop at the Children’s’ Pastor Conference in Orlando, Florida we were challenged with answering a question. We spent the rest of the workshop discussing ways to answer this very real concern. May I challenge you with struggling through how to answer this question as well?
The question is: How do we reconcile current trends in kids’ ministry and church culture with the call to make disciples of all nations?
Many great ways were shared as our facilitator, Jana Magruder, Director of Kids Publishing, Lifeway Christian Resources lead us through various options. As time diminishes for teaching children as well as equipping parents due to church’s dropping Sunday School, mid-week, and evening services how can we creatively capture opportunities to teach missions. The workshop was a profitable time of exchanging ideas while exploring the unique challenges. The call to go is still the same. The command does not change.
A summary of what we learned was to pray, plan, partner with parents, and share your passion at every turn. Working within your own church’s DNA, challenge kids through incorporating activities that teach about missions while also actively serving missionaries. One great idea was to use vinyl shower curtains with world maps printed on them. They are portable and dry erasable. Be sure to use mission stories due to their way of softening the heart toward different people groups. Also, challenge kids to give generously even from a young age. They often surprise you with their generosity!
Jana Magruder shared that wrestling through who will be the next goers and senders to the nations haunts her thoughts. This spurs her on to be creative as she grapples with this current church culture. Please check out our Missions Month website at www.awanainternational.org/missionsmonth for great ideas to get you started.
As hours at church are decreasing for kids to engage with Bible teaching and missions education what will you do? Please share ways you are connecting kids to missions with us. We would love to hear what you are doing to reach and equip kids and parents to develop God’s heart for missions.
Let’s capture God-given opportunities to energize and excite this generation and beyond to Go!