Six Ways to Engage Families in Missions

Helping Others

When families learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions, and work together to help others, preschoolers will develop an “all in” heart for missions. While preschoolers certainly learn a great deal about missionaries in Mission Friends®, we must also enlist our preschoolers’ families to engage in missions at home.

Our ministries consultant, Lena Plunk, recently shared a story about how her nieces are on mission in their neighborhood. While Lena was visiting, her nieces were watching a video when they heard the garbage truck coming up their road. Her niece MJ jumped up and said, “The garbage truck, hurry, we don’t want to miss them!” Lena thought the girls were going to the window to watch the truck. Instead, they grabbed thirst-quencher drinks and ran out to give these gifts to the men on the truck. Lena says that her nieces enjoy sharing water, cookies, and snacks with all of their community helpers. Out of their love for Jesus, her 2 nieces enjoy giving to others.

How can you help your preschoolers’ families become Families on Mission?

  1. Encourage families to be involved in their communities. Do they have neighbors who are ill or who have lost a loved one? Guide them to create cards or bake a snack for the neighbor (or both!). The neighbor is certain to enjoy a visit. Remind families that the ministry of presence is priceless.

  2. Teach families about prayerwalking in their neighborhoods. Challenge them to walk with their preschoolers and pray together for each neighbor by name.

  3. Lead families to engage in helping others at local homeless shelters. Many shelters welcome baked goods or meals for their clients. Some shelters will allow you to bring crayons and coloring books, or craft activities for the children who are there. Guide your families to look at the websites of local shelters to determine what needs they can meet.

  4. Help families connect with local nursing facilities. These elderly residents are often lonely. They love to sing hymns and even silly songs. They enjoy telling stories from “when they were little.” They relish a hug and smile.

  5. Tell your families about our new web page for Families on Mission. Here they will find blogs and products that families can use to be on mission with their preschoolers. Everything on our Families on Mission page is designed to teach families that missions is not just a lifestyle—missions is our life.

  6. Share Mission Friends at Home with your families. As you hand out the leaflets, share what their preschoolers will be learning. Tell them to place the leaflet on their refrigerator as a prayer reminder. Show them the Families on Mission calendar on the back page and challenge them to engage in family missions at least weekly.

Each week Mission Friends leaders around the country teach our preschoolers about missionaries around the world. Just over the past year, we have learned about collegiate missionaries, missionaries who work with the Deaf, missionaries who engage in chronological storying in Guatemala, and church planters here in the US and in Norway. Our studies are a lovely way to help preschoolers see how God is working around the world.

As you prepare for your sessions, pray for your preschoolers’ families. Pray that parents and grandparents will join you in keeping missions a top priority in their homes. Pray that they will be encouraged to become personally involved in missions with their preschoolers. Pray that preschoolers’ love for missions will deepen as families talk about missions, pray about missions, and do missions together. 

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