Enlisting Leaders

One of the more challenging tasks for a church missions leader is enlisting leaders for the various age level organizations. While it may never be totally painless, there are a few tips to keep in mind when recruiting Mission Friends leaders.

The first step is to pray. Pray that God would show you those within your church who would be a good candidate for the role of preschool leader. Pray that God would prepare the person’s heart to consider taking the position.

You will naturally begin to identify persons who could be good preschool leaders. Those to consider might include parents and grandparents of preschoolers who may welcome more involvement with their children at church. You may also discover experienced preschool teachers who have taught preschoolers in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, or other preschool programs at church and have an interest in missions. Or there may be a young couple or single adult in your church that has a good rapport with young children and would be open to teaching preschoolers in missions.

After settling on the one or two people you want to approach about being a Mission Friends leader, the next step is to ask. How you ask your potential leader may make all the difference. You are asking this person to take on the important job of teaching your little ones to love God and to love others, to know about what missionaries do and the places they serve, and how preschoolers can be involved in missions. Rather than catch your candidate in the hall at church, make an appointment to talk with them. Go for coffee or lunch or meet at the church. Treat this conversation with significance equal to the job you are proposing.

As you talk with your potential leader, share with them the expectations you have for a leader. Explain the time commitment. Share with them the qualities you see in them that would make them a good fit in the preschool classroom. Acquaint them with the material in Mission Friends Leader. Explain the resources available such as art supplies and classroom equipment. Be sure to include the possibilities for training—either through your association, state or online through Develop.

Probably the most impactful thing you will share with your prospective leader is the “Why?”. People are far more likely to commit to a program if they see it as worthwhile and valuable. Let them know that preschool missions education builds the foundation for further missions involvement as a child grows. Preschoolers learn about missions, prayer, generosity and compassion for others among other aspects of spiritual development. One day these children may be lay leaders, pastors or even missionaries. What an awesome privilege to be someone who took time to lay the foundation for a missional lifestyle in them!

Give your candidate time to prayerfully consider the opportunity, but also give them a time when you will need their answer.

After your candidate agrees to serve in Mission Friends, be sure to support them. For safety, security and shared responsibility, have at least two leaders in every classroom. Give encouragement and appreciation to both your new and established leaders. Most of all, pray for them as they lead preschoolers to love God and love others.

Article from Mission Friends Leader Spring 2020

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