Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” As children’s ministry leaders we understand the importance of helping kids become missions-minded. This generation of kids wants to be a part of something that is bigger than they are and they love to serve others.
How can we incorporate missions into our children’s ministry programs in a way that not only teaches kids the importance of missions, but also allows them to be active participants, creating a lifelong love for reaching their world with the love of God?
Here are a few ideas for incorporating missions into our children’s ministry programs:
- Provide opportunities for kids to reach out to their community. Often, when we think of missions we think overseas. But missions also includes reaching those in our communities. Collecting canned goods for the local food pantry, doing yard work for the elderly, bagging groceries, or contributing to the community in some other way is a great way to help kids serve.
- Provide tangible projects kids can invest in. As a kids’ pastor, I found that kids love projects. Things like raising money to build a well, buying school supplies, packing a shoebox, etc. provide them with short-term goals they can get excited about and can individually participate in.
- Adopt a missionary family. If possible invite the missionary to your Sunday morning kids’ service so kids can get to know them. Try to Skype with the missionary a couple of times a year. Give kids an opportunity to write letters or put together a care package on special occasions like birthdays or holidays.
- Have a missions emphasis at least once a month. Emphasizing missions regularly will demonstrate that missions is not something we “do” once in a while. Participating in missions should be a lifestyle for believers. If you are looking for resources, see what your church’s national or regional organization provides. Most organizations provide curriculum and an array of resources you can use to teach and encourage kids to give.
- Partner with your church’s adult missions program. Partnering with the adults missions program unites the church and helps kids see they are a part of the body of Christ.
- Consider offering a family missions trip. Serving provides one of the greatest growth opportunities for believers. Those who have gone on missions trips almost always talk about how their life was changed in ways they did not expect. Imagine the impact on the entire family if they could experience a missions trip together. Their faith will be strengthened and they will be united through the experience.
What are some other ways you are helping the kids in your ministry become missions-minded?