Tag Archives: Missions

Missions 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 when they were older.

 

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.

Children’s Missions Resources from the Internet:

Pray Kids

Kids of Courage

African Children’s Mission

KidMission

Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge

Developing a Children’s Ministry Missions Program

Here are a few ways you can incorporate a comprehensive missions program into your children’s ministry.

 

Adopt a missionary. Find missionaries that either has children or works with children and have your children adopt them. Have a mission’s emphasis month where you teach the children about the country these missionaries live in. Have the children write letters to them. Have the children 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. Give the children in your church names and faces to relate to missions.

 

Have a missions Sunday. Once a month or once a quarter, have a Sunday 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.

 

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.

 

Pray for missionaries. Pray for missionaries with your children every week. 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.

 

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.

 

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. Check with your denomination to see if there are opportunities for your older 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. 

Kid Missions To Help Japan

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The recent events in Japan are a great opportunity to emphasize missions in children’s ministry. Here’s some ideas for doing that.

Teach the children about the nation of Japan. Children love to learn about other cultures. When you teach the children about Japan and about the disaster and turmoil that they experienced, you give a face to the disaster. Children will want to help when they know more about the situation there.

Tell some encouraging stories about Japan. God has moved in a variety of ways in Japan. Tell the children some of the encouraging stories coming out of the disaster so they can see how God is moving in the nation of Japan. Here’s a link to a news story about a baby found alive in the rubble. Even the news media calls it a miracle.

Have Children Pray For Japan. Teach children the power of prayer by having them pray for Japan. Give them specific things to pray for such as these:

  • Nuclear reactors will stop leaking radiation.
  • Those without food, water, or supplies will get the help they need.
  • God will use this event to help the people of Japan turn to Him and get saved. 

Do Fundraisers For Relief Organizations. Here’s a link to some fundraiser ideas. Some organizations you might want to contribute to are:

Fundraiser Ideas

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Fundraisers for missions seem to always be a source of frustration for many overworked children’s pastors. Yet, they are important to have a successful missions program. Today, I’ll give you some tips on fundraisers and some fundraising ideas. Effective fundraisers normally follow certain principles.

First, if you want the children to have a heart for missions, you need to choose a fundraiser they can participate in. How does it help a child to know that giving to missions is important if you do all the work and the giving?

Second, you want a fundraiser that isn’t more work than it’s worth. For each fundraiser, consider the profits you’ll make. You don’t want to spend days and months of hard work on a fundraiser that will only net you ten dollars. Decide wisely. Only expend a lot of time and energy on fundraisers that promise greater profit.

Third, plan your fundraiser carefully. Sometimes choosing the right date of the fundraiser can increase your profits greatly. For instance, if you have a bake sale on Mother’s Day, you’re more likely to raise money than if you have on in the middle of summer.

Here are some ideas for fundraisers that have worked for me:

Carwashes: Carwashes can be very effective if they’re done in the right way. First, go to WalMart or a fast food store, and ask if you can have the fundraiser there. Most places will agree readily and let you use their water. Some WalMarts will even match the funds you earn. You’ll have a lot more traffic then you would at the church. Also, make pre-carwash tickets on the computer, and sell them before the carwash. Many people in your church and community will by the tickets and forget about having their cars washed.

Cake and Pie Auction: Have kids help their parents bake pies and cakes for the auction. Then auction them off to the highest bidder.

Art Sale: Have the children do craft and art projects. Sell them after church for whatever the children can get for them. It’s amazing what a grandparent will pay for a drawing of a duck by their seven year old grandchild.

A-Thon: Bowl-a-thons, rock-a-thons, skate-a-thons, and just about any other kind of a-thon work well if the children are enthused about them.

Restaurants: Some restaurants have fundraising programs where they will give you a share of the profits for whatever they make on a certain night. That night is the perfect time for your church to have fellowship at that very restaurant. We church people love to eat. Why not make money for missions while we’re doing it?

These are just a few ideas for fundraisers. If you’ve had a successful fundraiser, please leave a comment and share it with us. Happy fundraising.

Missionaries Guest Blog

Every children’s ministry should have missionaries that they support to give students a practical way to show a heart for missions. Click here for ideas for fundraisers to support missionaries. This week, we have a guest blogger, Keisha Lennon. Her and her family are going to Thailand as full time missionaries. I know this godly couple. If you’re looking for missionaries for your ministry to sponsor, they are well worth supporting.

One Family, One God Dream

The Lennon’s Call to Thailand

Our lives are but a story, line upon line being written by those who influence and change us, but even more so by those who we influence and change.  Simply put, this defines the desire of our lives—to bring hope to those who had none before coming into contact with us, through the love of Jesus Christ.  Come and be a part of our story, and allow us the privilege of becoming a part of your story!

Meet the Lennon’s

We—Ryan and Keisha—have been married for seven years and have been blessed with two children—Hannah (age 5) and Noah (age 2 ½).  Participating in the fulfillment of the Great Commission has been a passion of ours, even before we were married.  In fact, our family mission statement is “To know God: His Heart and His Character.  To be on the front lines of communicating the Good News to the lost by building a ministry that effectively reaches out and evangelizes.  To disciple, equip, and motivate believers of all ages to willingly abandon their own lives for the salvation of every tongue, tribe, and nation.”  Within the past few years, God has refined this desire and focused our hearts on Northern Thailand, more specifically the city of Chiang Rai, which is located in The Golden Triangle.

Our entire marriage has been a season of preparation!  Between the two of us, we’ve participated in or led 14 mission trips, all of which deposited something different within our hearts for what we are about to embark on next.  In terms of education, Keisha has a bachelor’s degree in English, and Ryan will soon have a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology, both of which will be useful tools in Thailand practically and spiritually.

In light of all this, our family plans to move to Chiang Rai, Thailand during the early fall of 2010. Our home church, Canton Temple of Praise Church of God will be sending us out to serve with Emerge Missions (www.emergemissions.org).  Emerge is an “innovative missions outreach to young people in emerging nations,” primarily Asia.  While Emerge’s influence is far reaching, in Chiang Rai, we (the Emerge team) will be focusing on university campus ministry, community and tribal outreach, orphanage ministry, and the establishment of a discipleship school. In focusing on young people, we hope to influence not just one generation, but the face of an entire nation!    

About Thailand

Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, in the 10/40 Window, where 95% of the world’s unreached peoples live.  While Thailand is not hostile to proclamation of the Good News, it is surrounded by persecuted nations: Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.  Most Thais (95%) practice Buddhism, with Islam (4%) and Christianity (0.7%) also represented.  About 66 million people live in Thailand, including many hill tribes, who originate from Myanmar, Laos, and China.  Due to growing socio-economic issues and the AIDS epidemic, the number of orphans in Thailand continues to increase.  In fact, within an hour’s drive from where we will live, approximately 60 orphanages exist do to handle influx of unwanted children or children whose parents have died as a result of lifestyle choices. 

As a whole, Thailand has a sexually-oriented culture.  Prostitution and homosexuality continues to affect this developing nation, as they have for years.  Undoubtedly, the most heartbreaking aspect of Thailand is the ever-growing child sex-trafficking industry.  Men from all over the world come to Northern Thailand to engage sexually with little girls as young as eight or ten years old.  As a result, these young sex slaves often die before adulthood due to disease or other misfortunes due to the lifestyle handed to them.  Most times, these children die without ever hearing the name of Jesus. 

Thailand & Faith

Thailand is predominately Buddhist (94%) and is located in a region of the world known as the 10/40 window.  The 10/40 window is defined as 10 degrees north latitude to 40 degrees north latitude, stretching across northern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia.  Ninety-five percent of the world’s unreached people call the 10/40 window home.  To be unreached simply means that one does not have access to the Good News.  In other words, the lost in Thailand is different than the lost in the U.S. because while many Americans need Christ or may even need to hear about Him, physically and geographically they have access to many churches and Christians, essentially giving them opportunity to make a decision for Christ.  Because Thailand is less than 1% Christian, most Thai live and die without ever having that chance. 

While 95% of the world’s unreached peoples live in this region, less than 5% of all monies ever given to world missions make it to the 10/40 window.  In other words, the church as a whole continues to sow (and sow and sow) into regions where the Good News is available locally, but we are leaving the unreached untouched.  For so many reasons, this does not make sense, but unfortunately it continues to be the case.

Getting Involved

In an effort to change the reality in Thailand through the love and blood of Jesus Christ, our family plans to relocate to Chiang Rai, Thailand in August or September of 2010, but we cannot tackle such a huge task alone. 

Our heart is to see children’s and youth ministries link arms with us to change the face of their generation worldwide.  We invite your ministry to go on this mission to Thailand with our family, either as a prayer partner or a support partner.  Because our ministry is fully support-based, we need churches, ministries, and families to give financially.  To meet our family’s living expenses, we need $3000 per month, which covers housing, utilities, phone, internet, food, transportation, educational costs, health insurance, and finances to return to the States every two years.      

Financially, our family’s need  can be met in a number of different ways.  The following examples provide a few options for your consideration:

  • 120 ministries/families giving $25 monthly
  • 60 ministries/families giving $50 monthly
  • 30 ministries/families giving $100 monthly

If you feel led to invest in to the youth of Northern Thailand, please consider sponsoring our family monthly or giving a special offering.  Please keep in mind that all gifts are tax deductible when given through Emerge Missions.  To partner with us financially, you have two options.

1.  To begin partnering with us by check:

  1. Just make the check payable to Emerge Missions.
  2. Write “Ryan and Keisha” in the memo line.
  3. Mail to the following address,
Emerge Missions
c/o Ryan and Keisha Lennon
3444 Hampreston Way NW
Kennesaw, GA 30144

2.       To begin partnering with us online:

  1. Go to our website at http://web.me.com/ryankeisha.
  2. Click the “Getting Involved” link.
  3. Click the “Donate Now, Just Give” icon, and follow the prompts.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you and remain in contact with your ministry.  If you have any comments and/or questions about our family’s ministry, please feel free to e-mail us at onegoddream@gmail.com.  Too, check out our website and blog at http://web.me.com/ryankeisha.