This week’s special edition comes from a long-time friend of Missions Catalyst who now works with the Center for Mission Mobilization, home to a variety of mobilization ministries. Check ’em out at www.mobilization.org.
Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!
A Purpose Bigger than Ourselves: Thinking Big about Kids and the Kingdom
By Karen Hardin
We all know some pint-sized members of God’s family – kids. They have the simple faith God requires, eagerly crave involvement, and long to be committed to a cause. By God’s spirit, believing children are full members of Christ’s body. Yet we as adults often minimize the contribution they can make, putting kids on hold until they’re older or more grounded in their faith.
It’s time to think big. What if we teach children that God loves not only them, but also all the peoples of the world, and is at work making his name great among the nations? What if we affirm that our kids’ lives have meaning because God has uniquely designed them to partner with him in a work that impacts eternity? What if we give children opportunities to commit to the greatest purpose of all – advancing the kingdom of God?
Two sets of adults are uniquely positioned to turn these “what ifs” into reality – parents and children’s ministry leaders. Here are some resources to inspire and equip the boys and girls sitting around your dinner table or in your church class.
Free Resources from Weave
Weave, a new children and family ministry of the Center for Mission Mobilization, has created the following tools to help families to embrace both the person and purposes of Christ in their home discipleship.
The Journey family handouts reflect the same themes as the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. This set of 15, one-page lessons was crafted to help parents shape their family into World Christians.
Each handout includes a Bible passage, thought-provoking discussion points, suggested family activities, and prayer points. Free to download.
The Weave website provides monthly activities that connect families to the global story of God. Free subscription.
- Hands-on activities that help families discover God’s global heart and purposes in Scripture and unpack how and why we do missions.
- First-person stories of boys and girls in unreached cultures along with a cultural activity and prayer points.
- Practical ways for families to live out their unique role in the Kingdom in everyday moments – bedtime, mealtime, in the car, on vacation, at school, etc.
- Recipes that allow families to explore other cultures with their taste buds.
- Short videos of families who are living out God’s global purpose in their own, unique way.
- Journal articles and posts that offer wisdom, support, and encouragement.
- Ways to join a community of families who are on the same journey.
- Compilation of 200 recommended mission resources gathered from across the publishing and ministry world. (A few are highlighted below). Multiple search features enable you to sort by the age of your children and the type of resource you need. Each resource description includes a direct link for ordering.
- Suggested service projects (use the category tab to sort by service projects).
If you register with the site, you will receive a free copy of Living Your Legacy, an eBook that helps families develop a vision statement that reflects their unique makeup and aligns with God’s purposes.
Three Ministries Focused on Kids
Kidz at Heart
Kids at Heart offers families a way to learn about other cultures and cultivate a heart for the world through their Kidz Kan program. Monthly content focuses on different countries like Uganda, India, and Latvia. Activities include crafts, games, recipes, stories, memory verses, and giving opportunities. US$22 annual subscription; discounts available for bulk orders.
Window International Network
Window International Network has developed Window Kids, a mission website that helps children explore countries and peoples in the 10/40 Window. Kids can visit the 10/40 Window Wardrobe to create their own character, learn geography, play online games, and explore cultures through photos, music, and recipes. This website also includes a monthly online magazine and offers opportunities for children to pray for their peers in unreached cultures. Free subscription.
Woman’s Missionary Union
The WorldCrafts division of WMU has four sets of felt finger puppets you can use introduce preschoolers to people from other cultures around the world: South America, West Africa, World Set A, and World Set B. Each five-puppet set is US$19.99.
Churches worldwide participate in the following observances in November. Here are related activities and lessons for children and families.
Orphan Sunday is November 3. My Life As An Orphan is a 45-minute simulation that helps children compare their daily life with that of boys and girls living in orphanages. Rotating through five stations, participants read short stories and look at photos from several different countries. The simulation culminates with scripture on God’s heart for orphans as well as prayer. This is a great large-group activity for parents and children to participate in together. A related activity for youth groups is a Pizza and Porridge Movie Night. Both lessons are free downloads.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is November 10. Here are two lessons for children that explore forms of persecution around the world, address reasons why God allows persecution, and explain how God uses the suffering of his children to expand his kingdom. Both lessons introduce our God-given responsibility towards believers who suffer as well as towards those who persecute them. Persecution: What Can I Do? is a 45-minute lesson for children in grades 1-3. Persecution: What and Why? is a 60-minute lesson for grades 5-8. Both include hand-on activities, scripture, and prayer. Download each for US$5.
Karen Hardin serves with Weave, a children and family ministry of the Center for Mission Mobilization.