Children in Action Blog

A Love of Calgary

I have been serving as children’s minister at Dixie Hills Baptist in Bolivar, Tennessee, for 16 months. Earlier this year, I started using the Children in Action curriculum during our Wednesday night ministry. I was so excited to see Calgary as the featured city for June! I’m originally from Mississippi, but God called me to attend the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Calgary. I had no idea God would have me on mission in Canada for almost 14 years! For most of those years, I served in full-time children’s ministry.

Creating an Inclusive Missions Learning Environment for Kids with Special Needs

When we create learning environments for missions education, we often forget to plan for kids with special needs. Many preparations for special needs children are easy to include in the classroom, but there may be some you haven’t considered. Understand that some adjustments need to be made as new children begin to participate in your ministry.

Physical Adjustment
Make your learning space clutter-free. Kids with mobility issues have enough difficulty navigating space without additional barriers such as toys, chairs, or other obstacles. Make sure the tables and chairs are the correct height to accommodate children with physical handicaps.

Sensory Adjustment
Some kids are negatively affected by loud noises and colors. Soothing, quiet music and low conversation tones help reduce sensory overload. Bright and busy classrooms often agitate special needs children. Include just the basic instructional tools for your learning space.

Why It's Important to Get Together

This week, Baptists from all over the country are getting together to share family news, tell stories, and even share each other’s burdens. They look differently, speak differently, and even have polite disagreements about who has the best barbeque. But still they come. They have a diverse collection of opinions, passions, and dreams for the future. But still there is something that continues to draw them together. What could bring so many different kinds of people together? Despite all the differences, they all share one thing in common: Jesus.

WMU’s Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting and the Southern Baptist Convention are both testaments to this fact. Jesus has a way of bringing us together. Through collective worship, prayer, and service, the love of Jesus binds us together in a common purpose and mission. He loves us, we love Him, and we are committed to sharing that love with the rest of the world. If this love were ever forgotten, there would be no reason to get together. We would let our differences divide us and our own desires drive us far away from one another.

God Speaks to Us in the Quiet

Have you ever noticed that you hear a lot of sounds at night that you don’t usually hear during the day? Maybe it’s a dog barking, a quiet clock ticking, or even the wood in your home making clicks and pops as it settles. The Bible tells us that when Samuel was a young boy, God spoke to him one night as he was lying in bed. Samuel did not know it was God at first, but once he figured it out, he responded, “Speak. I’m listening.” Then God gave him a message. For the rest of Samuel’s life, God continued to speak to him in this way.

God speaks to us, too, but we often have to settle down and listen so that we can understand His message. This is one reason it is so important to make time to spend in prayer with God. When nothing else can distract us and we can listen carefully, God can speak to us the best. Samuel knew this well.

Do you want to find out what God has in store for you? Just start listening!

Have children practice these exercises with a friend to see just how much they can hear when they are focused. Give these instructions:

Pen Pals

Making friends is so important for kids! It is especially fun to make friends who share your interests but live somewhere else—a different city or state, a different culture or family. Connect with other missions groups to pair children with a pen pal. Missions leaders can connect over social media with other leaders. Post a photo of your group and then send details.

Lead children to write a letter or email. Or, send a package as a group filled with items. Here are some fun ideas children can include:

  • natural items that you find in your hometown, such as flowers, leaves, rocks, or sticks
  • handmade items like a special photo album, artwork, a keychain, or a craft
  • a postcard from your hometown or state
  • a candy or snack item
  • a favorite Bible verse
  • a map you drew of your town and church
  • a copy of your favorite song
  • a sheet of stickers to share
  • anything from a dollar discount store

Disaster Relief

Helping others in a time of crisis is perhaps one of the most basic aspects of our faith in Christ. When we hear of someone in need, something deep within us stirs and urges us forward to see how we can help. Children understand when someone is hurting. In fact, they often grasp this much better than we do. Through all of our layers of reasoning, distraction, and comfort, we’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the pain of others. But children have a special way of taking on the pain of those around them, and they feel it deeply. They want to help any way they can. That is why it’s so important to teach our children about disaster relief.

There are many ways of doing this, but here are just a few ideas you can use to introduce your children to disaster relief:

What Should I Do First?

“If I knew where to begin, I would have already started!”

Have you ever thought that before? Working on any children’s ministry project, activity, or event can seem overwhelming at times—especially if you don’t have a great place to begin. And it’s the same way when you are planning a recognition service for your Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action members as well. So, let’s start planning this year’s recognition service in the right place: prayer!

(You didn’t expect that, did you? You expected me to say that you needed to total the number of badges and patches kids had earned this year and place an order. Nope!)

Start with prayer, and thank God for the kids and families who are part of your children’s ministry and missions discipleship each week. Ask God to show you how to best share with your congregation and community the missions projects and activities your kids have completed this year.

Isn't That What We Hope For?

Encouraging kids to live a missional lifestyle looks much different today from when Girls in Action started over 100 years ago. Children today have changed a great deal. Through quite a bit of research and observation, we know that today’s kids do not learn in the same ways as children of previous generations.

We know that today’s generation of children have a great need to control their world, solve problems in their own way, and come to conclusions based on creations they’ve made and lessons they’ve learned. Gone are the days of “sit and get.” So how do we, as children’s ministers and missions leaders, reach our kids in a way that will make God’s love and sharing that love with others a prominent part of their lives?

Summer Isn't for Boredom!

“I’m bored!”

“Me too.”

“There’s nothing to do around here!”

Ever hear your children say something like that? Especially during the summer? After school ends and before summer camp takes place?

Most parents have heard their children or the children in their missions organizations complain about being bored during the summer.

Here are a few ways to get your boys and girls up and moving and serving others during the lazy days of summer:

Teaching Kids about Pure Water, Pure Love

Water is kind of a big deal. Having clean water is an even bigger deal. Access to clean water can be a real challenge in some parts of the world. This is where Pure Water, Pure Love comes in. You may not know much about Pure Water, Pure Love or the ways it eases the challenges of obtaining clean drinking water; but don’t worry—I’m about to tell you all about it!

Pure Water, Pure Love is a pretty incredible ministry of WMU. It provides missionaries with water filters and the people they serve with wells that offer clean drinking water—free from disease-causing microorganisms. Pure Water, Pure Love provides thousands of filters to missionary families and helps to fund clean water projects through grants. This ministry is a very tangible way to provide for the physical needs of our missionaries and the people they minister to.

So now that you know more about Pure Water, Pure Love, how can you teach your kids about it?

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