Mission Friends

By All Means

By All Means

Jesus’ love for people was evident as He reached out to others around him. As we read the gospels, we see the compassion He had for people. Read Matthew 9:36: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”(NIV1)

When Jesus looked at the people dotting the hillside and scattered here and there, He saw them with eyes of love. An image came to Him of sheep scattered across a hillside and in need of a shepherd.

The love Jesus had for people was evident in the care He gave to others. In almost every place in the gospels in which His compassion for others is mentioned, it is followed with a description of Jesus’ actions toward the people. Matthew 14:14 tells that Jesus had compassion on the people and healed their sick loved ones. In Matthew 15:32, Jesus expresses His compassion for the people, and then He proceeds to feed over 4,000 people with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish.

For Preschool Leaders

Why begin missions education in the preschool years? Because the significance of a strong foundation based on biblical truths cannot be overestimated. It's important to learn about God and His love for all people at a young age. Preschoolers can understand they are part of God's plan for the world and they can give of their time and abilities to serve Him through caring and sharing. Cultivating a heart for missions in preschoolers brings great value to preschoolers, families, and the entire church.

For Mission Friends leaders, you'll find resources designed to help you engage preschoolers of all ages in hands-on missions discipleship activities.

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Top 5 Tips for Telling a Great Story

Storytelling

Don’t you sometimes wish that the missionaries you are highlighting in Mission Friends could just stop by and visit with your preschoolers? Well, the next best thing is for you as a Mission Friends teacher to introduce those missionaries to your preschoolers through stories.

Here are 5 top tips for taking the words off the printed page and turning them into fun and enjoyable times of learning.

Teaching Tools

Three Teaching Tools

Everything is easier if you have the right tools. For example, the thimble is one of the basic tools for any quilter. I was updating a fellow quilting buddy that I was hand-sewing the binding on a quilt. I must have mentioned using a thimble, because that is when she told me she has never used a thimble. I was so surprised and wanted to react, “What?!” I still cannot imagine doing all that hand sewing without using a thimble. This little tool is such a help on the tip of your finger as you pull the needle and thread through the fabric over and over. It keeps your finger from getting sore, too. My friend said that no one ever showed her how to use a thimble when she was starting out, so she had just never picked one up.

Celebrating Mission Friends Teachers!

Preschoolers and teacher

As we celebrate preschoolers during Week of the Young Child, we also celebrate you for all you do as a Mission Friends teacher! Thank you for investing your time and efforts to teach preschoolers by doing all of these things.

False religion to personal relationship

Eric Maroney, his wife Julie, and 2 children, Nathan and Kayleigh, have served in Croatia for 18 years. Both children have spent their whole lives there. Sixteen years were spent in Split, while the last 2 have been in Zagreb. The Maroney family is involved in a church plant just outside of Zagreb that is around 2 years old. Mr. Maroney serves as the lead team strategy leader for south central Europe, which means he serves as an administrator and coach for 4 countries, including Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and parts of Bosnia. He grew up on the missions field in Africa, and felt his call to missions in his late teens. Mrs. Maroney felt the call after meeting others in seminary with a similar call.

Does It Matter that I Teach Preschoolers in Mission Friends?

Teaching preschoolers matters

One of the advantages to being—um, seasoned—in life is that I have been able to watch children around me grow up. Well, OK, granted, it’s a little less than flattering when your dental assistant turns out to be your former student—when she was in elementary school. Or when you call for an appliance man to fix your freezer, and the young man who shows up at the door says, “Oh, hi. Weren’t you my librarian in sixth grade?”

Children do grow up! But maybe you have discovered, as I have, the feeling of gratification that comes as you realize you had a small part in helping that grown-up become what he or she has become.

By All Means

show Christ's love

One evening as I pulled into the church parking lot on my way to teach Mission Friends, I prayed, “Lord, Help me to just love our preschoolers tonight. Help them to see Your love in me.” I always want my preschoolers to enjoy learning about missions. I prepare for the sessions in Mission Friends and choose activities from Mission Friends Leader that I think will be just right for my preschoolers. I tote some supplies from home and gather other materials at church. We have a good time learning about missions through the activities and stories. But on that night I was convicted that all of it was for naught if the preschoolers didn’t experience God’s love in our Mission Friends sessions.

Celebrate Preschoolers!

Preschoolers learning

What do you love about preschoolers? It may be their energy, the questions they ask, or their willingness to try something new. It could be their laughter, their hugs, or their creativity. It very well might be that all of these things are wrapped up in one special group of people: preschoolers! Across our nation, we celebrate preschoolers especially during the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) which is April 16–20, 2018. At church we can celebrate the precious lives of preschoolers whom God places in our care. Think of 1 way that you can celebrate preschoolers, reach out to families, or show appreciation to preschool teachers during WOYC. We share some simple ideas for making this a great week to celebrate your preschoolers in Mission Friends.

Easter with Your Preschoolers

Easter with Preschoolers

Easter is a time of joy and celebration. We are reminded of the price Christ paid for our sins on the cross and the power of His resurrection. We think about the empty tomb and the eternal life that God gives to us. For preschoolers, though, there is much about Easter that is beyond their understanding until later in their lives when they develop more abstract thought. There is also the temptation to focus on bunnies, colored eggs, and candy. How do we make Easter have meaning for preschoolers so they will grow toward God?

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