Girls in Action

When the Church Gets It Right

Wheels of the World

Have you ever felt burdened by the woes of the church? I know I have. It seems like every morning there’s some new scandal or financial indiscretion plastered all over the daily news. Sometimes the weight of it all gets a little hard to handle. That’s why stories of encouragement, like the one I’m about to share with you, are so important to tell!

Salt Dough Recipe

Who doesn’t need to know how to make salt dough for an upcoming craft project?

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own salt dough to use in class and various other art projects!

What you need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup salt
• 1 cup cold water
• food coloring (optional)
• large bowl
• mixing spoon

What you do:

1. Combine the salt and flour. Mix well.

2. Gradually add a 1/2-cup of water and mix well.

3. Knead the dough on a counter or table. Add a few drops of water as needed, but be careful not to make it too sticky.

4. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Put the dough in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.

Mission Complete: Time to Celebrate

Ah, May! Welcome to the busiest month of the year! If you look at my family calendar this month, you will have to channel your inner sleuth to crack the code. Every single white block is filled with colorful reminders to help me juggle multiple kids’ activities—recitals, concerts, sporting events, open houses, banquets, parties, and exams. The list goes on and on, but, whew, you get the gist. I say it every year—May is even busier than December!

Even with the end-of-the year hustle and bustle, it's a great time to recognize the boys and girls in your missions organizations for their accomplishments this past year. How did they complete the Mission: My Life special assignment? Did kids participate in Children’s Ministry Day or the International Mission Study? Did they raise awareness and collect funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Did they participate in an individual achievement plan like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition? If so, celebrate their missions involvement and give them the recognition they deserve!

Jump-start your planning with one of these fun ideas:

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

Are We Spending Too Much?

Imagine this conversation between a pastor and a WMU director:

Pastor: “You know, I’ve been thinking about our missions education program. I’m concerned that we spend too much money on curriculum and missions products.”

WMU Director: “Pastor, I’m with you! We all want to protect God’s money that is given to the church. And, as the WMU director, I constantly watch how much we much spend and why we spend it. Our leadership team regularly evaluates our missions education budget and we try to squeeze as much out of it as possible.”

Pastor: “Have you considered dropping WMU materials and going with another missions education program? There must be a lot of them out there.”

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:

Girls' Friendship Party

Celebrate your girl friends by hosting a party or sleepover. Have girls take the lead in planning the evening—they will plan the food, games, and activities.

Here a few ideas:

Learn, Pray, Give — Now Do

Each week in Girls in Action, girls learn about missions. They pray for missions. They give to missions. But sometimes as leaders, we struggle to find time to actually do missions.

Well, look no further—we have the perfect opportunity for your GAs, and it’s time to start planning now!

Join other GAs all over the country on Saturday, February 18, 2017, for our tenth annual Children’s Ministry Day.

The theme this year is Love Your Neighbor. As girls participate in hands-on missions projects, they can share the love of Jesus with those who are hurting in their neighborhoods.

Before the event, lead girls in a discussion about what Jesus meant when He told us to love our neighbors, and help girls identify their “neighbors”—specifically those who are hurting in your own community, association, and state. Guide GAs as they brainstorm ways to reach out in a missions effort to connect their hurting neighbors to the church.

A New Idea for a Yearly Event: LMCO

For the last few years, the GAs at our church have hosted a “Latte Moon” café to raise awareness and support for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. While this whimsical play on Miss Moon’s name brings a few chuckles, this event has helped our congregation realize the impact our GAs can make on international missions simply by providing donuts and coffee in between Sunday School and worship services.

Here’s how we do it:

Turning a Ministry Project into a Missions Project

As a Girls in Action leader, it can be challenging to plan projects that give GAs the opportunity to take the lessons they have learned during their GA meetings and apply them to the needs in their community. It can be especially challenging to make sure the majority of the projects are missions projects and not simply ministry projects.

You may ask, “What is the difference between the two?” Missions is sharing the gospel in words and through actions. A missionary is someone who goes into the world to share the gospel. A missions project is an opportunity to share the good news that God loves the person you are helping.

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