Missions is Essential in Children’s Ministry

Jim, an overworked, underpaid children’s pastor, doesn’t have a program for missions in his children’s ministry. “I have enough to do without teaching the children about countries they’ll never visit. Besides missions aren’t important to these children.”

Kathy, another overwhelmed children’s pastor, understands that missions should be a part of her children’s program. Once a year, she takes two weeks to teach the children about missions. She’ll have the children collect offerings for the church’s mission project, and she’ll teach about the missionary and country they’re supporting. She even has the children do a fundraiser. She knows she should do more, but she’s pleased that she’s teaching the children to support missions.

Beth has implemented missions into her children’s program for twenty years. She teaches about a different country once a month on Wednesday nights. She incorporates different stories from missionaries around the world to go with whatever message she is preaching on Sunday morning.

Last week, she preached about the three Hebrew boys’ boldness in proclaiming God as the one true God. She mentioned a sixteen year old girl in Azerbaijan named Sara who was expelled from school because she boldly told her class that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

Beth’s students have raised thousands of dollars for missionaries even though she never has fundraisers. The children are so overwhelmed by the need, they collect money on their own, sometimes working in neighbors yards to earn money for missions.

Every month, Beth’s students pray for a different nation. This month, they are praying for Azerbaijan. They also write letters to missionaries in different countries.

This is not new for Beth, and she is pleased with how God has moved. Three children in her ministry grew up to become full time missionaries in other countries. Twenty children grew up to go into ministry full time. Many of the children in her ministry have taken missions trips as teens and adults.

Next year, Beth will lead ten children in her ministry on a mission’s trip to Mexico. These children are between nine and twelve years old.  Beth is excited about what God is doing.

Missionary training for children is as important as training in prayer, Bible reading, worship, and other important tenants of our faith. God is not an American God. He is at work throughout the world. As we show God at work in other nations, we expand our children’s view of God. They see that God is at work throughout the world and will have a global concept of the Kingdom of God that most Christians don’t have.

Sometimes it seems time consuming to include missions in almost every aspect of children’s ministry, but it is a vital part of expanding your students’ view of the Kingdom of God and is worth the effort.

6 Ways to Promote Missions in Children’s Ministry

Most children’s ministers understand the important of teaching children about missions, but they’re not sure how to incorporate it into their children’s ministry program. Here are a few ideas to help you with a comprehensive missions program for your children’s ministry.

1. Adopt a missionary. Find missionaries that either have children or work with children and have your students adopt them. Have a mission’s emphasis month where you teach about the country these missionaries live in, and have the children write letters to them. Organize a drive for students to collect supplies that the missionaries need.

Give the children frequent updates about how their missionaries are doing. During the opening prayer of children’s church, mention these missionaries’ names in prayer. Constantly bring the adopted missionaries to your children’s remembrances.

Also give the children in your church names and faces to relate to missionaries by posting pictures on the bulletin board or handing out missionary prayer cards with pictures of the missionaries. You could even have a video display or have the missionaries video conference the children during children’s services.

2. Have a Missions Sunday once a month or once a quarter. These will be Sundays where you teach about missions. Feature a different country or missionary each time. Have fun with it, and decorate your room according to the culture you are featuring. You could even serve food from that country. Let the children know that any offering collected that week will go to missions.

3. Tell missionary stories. Give some thought to how stories of missionaries and the persecuted church, past and present, could emphasis the lesson you’ve planned for children’s church.

If you’re teaching about God being more important than things, teach about Jim Elliot, a missionary killed in Ecuador in 1956, and his famous quote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

If you’re teaching about God supplying our needs, tell the story of Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, and how God supplied his needs. This way, you can incorporate missions as a teaching tool.

You might also want to have a quarter where you teach about missionaries of the past and present and work the lesson around the missionary.

4. Pray for missionaries. Each week, pray for missionaries with your children students. Give the children names of missionaries and countries that need prayer and encourage them to pray every day. Missions is a great way to teach children how to intercede for others.

5. Have children reach out to their community. Missions isn’t just oversees. Missions is in your neighborhood. Involve your children in your benevolence ministries in your local church. Have them collect canned goods, toys at Christmas, and school supplies in August. Have them wait tables at your soup kitchen. Give them opportunities to be involved in missionary endeavors here at home.

6. Take a missions trip. There is nothing like a short-term mission’s trip to help you and your children see the great need and opportunity in missions.

littlepreachersbk_largeCheck with your denomination to see if there are opportunities for children to minister to others in our nation or in another country. A manual called Little Preacher End-Time Missions  can help you plan your missions trip.

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is a day everyone loves to celebrate by wearing green and having parades. But most don’t know the spiritual significance of the man named Patrick. The story of St. Patrick would be a great story to tell the children in your ministry. You could use the story for a missions or evangelism emphasis.

Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in the year, 387. His parents were Romans living in Britain. At the age of fourteen, Patrick was captured by a raiding party and taken to Ireland to herd sheep. Ireland, at that time, was populated by pagans and druids. Patrick, during his captivity, learned the language and culture of Ireland. He also used his captivity to grow closer to God.

Six years later, at the age of twenty, Patrick had a dream from God to leave Ireland. In the dream, he was told to escape to the coast. When he arrived at the coast, a ship from Britain was waiting for him. He returned home to his family.

Later Patrick studied for the priesthood, became a bishop, and returned to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick preached the Gospel throughout Ireland, and many were converted. He died on March 17th, 461.

The reason the shamrock is used to represent St. Patrick is because he used the shamrock to illustrate the trinity. Since the shamrock is green, that color is also used to represent Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

Adventures in Prayer Map


An international prayer ministry, Every Home for Christ, has Adventures in Prayer maps for children. These maps are absolutely free and include steps and a schedule for children to pray for every nation on Earth within one month. What a great way to teach children about prayer and about missions. You can order children’s prayer maps here.

Adventures in Prayer (targeted for ages 5-12)

Features an easy step-by-step system to help a child understand the important aspects of daily prayer. The map also features an easy-to-follow numbered world map identifying all 228 nations of the world, photos of children from other regions of the world and even a survival challenge.

Global 4/14 Prayer Day

The Global 4/14 Prayer Day is the day designated for the church to pray for children around the world between the ages of 4 & 14. Here’s some facts about Global Prayer Day copied from this link.

What is the 4/14 Window?

The 4/14 Window refers to all children between the ages of 4 to 14. During this decade or “window,” most children in this demographic develop their moral and spiritual foundations.

Why do mission strategists consider this age group so important?

There are 2.3 billion children on earth under age 15 and they represent the largest unreached people group in the world. Boys and girls in the 4/14 Window are given priority because they are more open and receptive to the gospel than older youth and adults. Nearly 85% of people who make a decision for Christ, do so between the ages of 4 to 14!

What is the 4/14 Window Initiative?

The 4/14 Window Initiative is “to raise-up a new generation from the 4/14 Window to transform the world for Christ.”  This is simply the mission statement of the 4/14 Window Movement.

What person or denomination oversees the 4/14 Window Movement?

The 4/14 Window Movement is a partnership of Christ followers and Christian leaders from the Body of Christ around the world. While many denominations and ministries are represented, the 4/14 Movement is non-denominational. Many who serve within the movement are employed by local churches or other ministries. The 4/14 Movement has no headquarters, no formal organization and no paid staff. Everyone who serves, does so out their love for Jesus Christ and the children in the 4/14 Window.

What are the 4/14 Window Tracks?

See all 10 titles and descriptions of 4/14 Window Tracks in the 4/14 Window Tracks link on the right. Each Track is an ongoing research and work team that focuses on specific ministry needs within the 4/14 Window. Track members meet for consultation at global, national, and regional gatherings.

Is the 4/14 Movement gaining momentum?

Yes! More than 1,000 Christian leaders from 93 countries gathered at the third 4/14 Global Summit, September 6-9, 2011, in Singapore. While momentum at the global level has increased each year since 2009, the growth and impact of the 4/14 Window Movement at national and regional levels is blazing trails across six continents!

What’s next?

Mark your calendar! Global 4/14 Day is Sunday, April 14. This is an international day of prayer for children in the 4/14 Window. “ONE MILLION Christians praying for TWO BILLION children.”

To download a free prayer guide, click here.

Global 4/14 Website

Here’s some resource links to teach your students about Prayer:

Teaching Children How to Pray

Teaching Children to Pray Using a Model

Teaching Children to Pray by Example

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