10 Ways To Teach Children About Missions

The Desiring God blog has posted an article about helping kids love missions. Their ideas are geared toward families being missions minded with their kids. Here are the ten ways they pointed out. Click through to their website to get more details on each.

  1. Pray for missionaries.
  2. Read missionary biographies to your children.
  3. Supporting missionaries financially as a family
  4. Find a missionary kid pen pal for your child
  5. Welcome missionaries into your home.
  6. Take risks as a family.
  7. Encourage the traits that missionaries need
  8. Teach your children to be world Christians.
  9. Read missionary prayer letters to your children.
  10. Use missions fact books and resources

Reading this list reminded me how much work I need to do on this emphasis at our church and in my family. Missions is not top of mind in our small town. This year we’re actually doing our first missions emphasis week and we are getting the kids involved as much as we can.

How do you teach children about missions?

If you have a great idea about teaching kids about missions, leave it below this post as a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback.


Comments

  1. Tina says

    I was a homeschool mom until my son started high school. Every year we liked to do advent activities for Christmas but I was bored with using the same book year after year. I have always been interested in foreign languages, cultures…anything international! Our church is very missions oriented. We support over 20 per month. So I contacted all of them and asked for info about themselves personally, how they became missionaries, favorite verses, special things they would want to share. (I started at the beginning of the year.) The response was fabulous! Some sent emails, some sent coins and little souvenirs, some sent photos. We sorted them into red (Hispanic), yellow (Asian), black (African), and white ( everyone else). I got candles of each of those colors. We had enough missionaries to do a different one every day, Monday through Friday, for 4 weeks. So we spent a week on the red candle, then the yellow, etc. We lit the candle, read their letter, looked at the things they sent, then prayed for that particular missionary that day. Sometimes we even had food once or twice that week to go with the color or looked up how they celebrated Christmas. I thoroughly enjoyed this time and still have the binder. That was 2004. :) And now, I actually work in the office for one of those missionaries! :) I love my new job.

  2. Lucy Amrohs says

    Well,I’ve learnt a lot reading what each person has shared. I also feel organising missionary games at birthday parties can be another way. Atat a child’s birthday party or sunday school children party,you can make children dress in different costumes or attires from different countries. At a Girls’ Guild camp in Nigeria, I dressed like an indian! The idea is to create some fun and teach children about these diverse cultures their dressing represents.This ???will awaken a burden in their hearts and a need to pray as well as prepare them for missions to these countries.

  3. Jillian Bowles says

    May is going to be Missionary Month in our Church. My son and daughter in law have come up with the idea of making Passports for the kids in church where they get stamps for attending Sunday School etc. I thought what a great idea to show them one of the things missionaries have to get to go overseas.

  4. Sharmin says

    We do a Mission’s Carnival the day before our missions conference. We pick 5 countries, and 5 people in our church learn about the country, and share with the children. They have pictures or objects from countries to share with the children. they also have make food from that country and the children get to taste the food. Each child gets a passport with thier picture in it. Then when they go to the country they get a stamp for that country. We take 20 min. and have the children find a the place on the map with a small picture of the country. The others children play another game. Then at the end of the day. We have questions from each country and the children get a chance to answer it. Then from Sun to Wed we have our missions conference. On Sunday and Wednesday we have a missionary come in and share with the children what they do in the country they are in or going to.

  5. Sola says

    Thank you sooo much for the ideas and the link as well as the reminders they bring on the importance of missions. The things we did in Girls in Action (Louisville Ky, US) and Girls’ Auxilliary through to Lydias and now Women’s Missionary Society have kept rekindling my interest in missions. I learnt to make missionary albums and pray for missionaries by name; to write letters of encouragement to missionaries; to be a missionary wherever I am and to read about missions. I also learnt to save towards missions. I learnt through a Children Evangelism Ministry programme in Nigeria to make missions education fun by singing, dancing /jogging around holding streamers and a flag of the country or area you are emphasizing and to do fun activities like practicing food recipes from the area, playing the games the children there play, etc. I have found all these ideas enriching and helpful for teaching missions. As a family and in church we pray for missionaries everyday. I have also taught our children to save a percentage of any money/allowance they get towards missions just as they calculate their tithes. It has brought tremendous results. As they pray and give towards missions and have career missionaries visit, they look forward to testimonies from the mission field.

  6. joyce joseph says

    I have created and make cloth canvas books that spell out the plan of salvation in colors, beads, trims, buttons, jewels, and felt. It is color-coded and goes along with the colors of the powerband bracelet. It is perfect for short term mission trips, VBS, backyard bible clubs, camps, and Sunday School. I have it in English, Spanish, and Swahili. I will be glad to share information on how to make with anyone that is interested. Please email me at jwjoseph320@yahoo.com.

  7. Michelle Morrison says

    We have a ministry for kids from grade 4-6 called “Action Kids”. We meet 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month and have a structured schedule. Although our attendance is only on average 10 kids, it has been up to 30 at times (free food always gets lots!) LOL.. anyways, the Sunday after World’s Kid’s Mission day, we all delivered cards and gift bags to shut ins in our little town and then we discussed what it must be like to live like that and to have a visitor. It was great to see their faces light up!

  8. says

    We’ve developed curriculum and prayer tools that introduce kids to God’s heart for the world, help them explore what life is like for kids in other cultures, and get them involved through prayer and other activities. Most resources are for kids in grades K-5. The main focus is on unreached peoples. We also have a family curriculum on children at risk around the world. Materials can be used in Sunday School, children’s church, Wed. night clubs, and kids missions events. Some churches use them for their summer curriculum. Check them out at http://www.stand4kids.org.

  9. Anna says

    I am a 25yr old single parent of the most beautful blessing God will ever give! My daughter Adalyn!
    I, at a early age showed instrest in missions, according to my parents when i was just 3yrs old i began tearing pictures of people out of magizines and plastering their faces on the walls of my room. Each night my mom says we would sit on the edge of my bed and i would begin praying for each person. I obviously didnt know the stories behind the 2 dimiension photos i hung, but she says i prayed as if they were people in my family. Ask God to tough this ones heart, praying for ones grandparent or child, asking God to give this person strength and on and on i would go. as the time went on she notice that the pictures started having one thing in common. They were all from articles that were about muslim countries/cultures.
    Not going to lie when i think about this stuff is kind of freaks me out to this day!
    But i did not know until i was 15 on my first mission trip to Morocco that it was God’s calling for me.
    I have not always made “Wise” choices and I have made mistakes in my past. That thankfully now are not only justified by God but that he glorifies (To glorify – bestow glory upon) them specifically my daughter and through time i have realized that God forknew these situations.
    I have continued to follow the path He chooses to guide me on in hopes to someday begin my work in a Morocco as the mother of a “safe house” for all women and children, but my hearts passion is for women and children victimiazed by sex trafficing and forced prostituition.

    That was a long story just to say Thanks for the site and advice. I would like to get envolved with a mission agency that allows children to join with parents.

  10. Joni says

    Our church has a annual missions conference (Friday, Sat, Sun) that is one of our biggest events of the year. During the conference, we have a children’s missions conference that we call The Great Kid Mission. We schedule visiting missionaries to speak to the children each day of the conference. I think having this access to real missionaries and hearing their stories is invaluable for raising up missions minded children. We have a theme each year, decorate, do missions related games/activities, etc. This year’s theme was “Search and Rescue: Take the challenge, reach the lost!” (adapted downloadable curriculum from cmalliance.org). Used some games and activities found on the Wycliff’s site.

  11. says

    Camey – Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I agree, we really miss out on a lot when kids are treated only as consumers of ministry and not participants in what God is doing.

    Liz – Thanks for the resource. The GA’s is a great program with a strong tradition of missions education. I know a lot of churches that have replaced it with other programs but could never figure out why. I appreciate your feedback.

    Sally – It sounds like a very moving experiences. I like the way it gets the children physically involved in supporting the project. Sometimes the best lessons are the ones we learn through doing. Thanks.

  12. Sally Wall says

    My husband and I are in charge of Family Ministry at our our Church. (Church of Christ, Porterville, Ca.) I co-teach our “Tweens” with emphasis on becoming Ambassadors for Christ. We also implemented a children’s mission project that we were told was like a program that friends saw when they visited family in Texas. With the Children’s help, we choose a mission project, we have a representative come and give a presentation about their mission. As part of the Sunday Service we sing a children’s song and all the children come forward and drop their coin into a bucket. At the end of the quarter, we have the representative come back and we give him a check for the amount collected. It has been such a wonderful part of our service, parents bring children up that cannot walk all the way through teens. The older members bring their coin and give it to the kids to drop in the bucket. It is such a wonderful introduction to missions and it can bring you to tears to see the children come forward.

  13. says

    I teach 1st – 3rd GA’s, that is how I found this link. It is a link listing and linking to many good missionary books and at the very bottom of the page, there are several that a free to download and print.

    http://www.wmu.com/userfiles/file/childrensmissions/ReadingList.doc

    The mission stories that I heard, as a girl in GA’s, were what made me want to DO missions, no matter where I was. I think reading these stories to your children or grandchildren can help shape their desire to love and help others. If I had it to do over, I would have required my children to read about 6 per year as part of their leisure reading.

    I do read Voice of the Martyrs “Kids of Courage” newletter to my 7 year old grandson and he can’t get enough.

  14. says

    Tony,

    Teaching our kids that missions is across the street just as much as it is across the ocean is vitally important. Mission trips can happen when one goes to their local grocery store, retail shop, or even to the city park for some sporting game.

    Children – the same as youth – are not just are missionaries of tomorrow. They can be missionaries today. They can make a difference. The same of course is true about them being leaders.

    If we stop and look at some of the ages of individuals that God shared with us about in the Bible – we should encourage – not discourage our children being involved. Church is not a physical building as you know. We, His followers, are the church. We should be “on mission” wherever we are and go. Just as no one should “retire” from being a Christian… no one is too young to learn and share about the love of God.. Jesus.

    Camey’s last blog post..Basic Needs. Tana.

  15. says

    Glenn,
    It sounds like 13 weeks would definitely give them enough reinforcement to get the picture. I didn’t think about doing a conference call. With Skype and other voice over internet applications that could be an easy thing to set up. Thanks for the ideas.

    Brenna,
    We’ve done some local missions project, like delivering goodies to Fire Department. But I hadn’t thought of taking the kids on an actual missions trip. That sounds like a great way to show them what it’s really all about. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  16. says

    Children (and adults) learn by doing, so do missions. Take a mission trip to a region damaged by a storm or other disaster, invite and encourage parents to bring their child along with them.
    Deliver goodies and thank you treats to area businesses.
    Collect and deliver toys and clothes to shelters. Take the kids along with you when you deliver them.

    Brenna’s last blog post..Homeschoolers

  17. says

    We just completed 13 weeks of learning about missionaries in our kids church. Each week we were introduced to new missionaries around the world. In several cases we met real missionaries in person. In our final session we had a conference speakerphone call with a missionary on the field. The end result is a group of kids excited about missions not only around the world, but in their own neighborhood.

    glen@glenwoods.net‘s last blog post..Kids Play Photos: Hip Hop and His Famous Face

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