Mission Friends

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?

Selfless ambition — doing all things for the glory of Christ

Mahon Family

Through preaching, praying, and having a raw desire to be hospitable and evangelistic, the Mahon family have learned what it takes to rest, and grow in selfless ambition, for the glory to God. In 2006, Brian and Jenny married, after meeting at Clemson University. A couple of years into their marriage, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for Brian to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southern, they had their son, Luke, and daughter, Kate. Jenny suggested that Brian pursue ministry when, “I couldn’t do much of anything without landing in a conversation about Christ,” shared Brian.

The Third Teacher

preschool classroom teachers and kids

Have you ever thought of your Mission Friends classroom as your third teacher? A few weeks ago I visited the Early Learning Demonstration Classroom at Childcare Resources, a local agency that provides training for child-care teachers and directors. They have recently opened a model classroom to provide hands-on training for teachers in understanding how to provide a classroom setting that encourages learning. When I visited the demonstration classroom, people from several local agencies gathered for our first visit and introduction to the classroom. As we walked around the classroom, two Childcare Resources consultants described the setup and uses of the learning centers and Group Time area. One of the consultants made the comment that the classroom really is the third teacher in the room. The classroom makes a difference in the ways preschoolers learn as well as what they learn.

Using Technology with Preschoolers

sharing screen time

The preschoolers we teach today are called digital natives because they are growing up using technology. They know which apps are their games or stories on mom or dad’s phone. They swipe a tablet to read a preschool book, and they turn on the audio to hear the book being read to them. Technology is part of their everyday lives. How do we incorporate the use of technology in our Mission Friends classes?

By All Means

By All Means logo

“It’s all about relationships.” I must have heard that statement 100 times over the course of one summer. I served as the assistant director of the preschool program at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in North Carolina, and Marge Sherman served as our director. As I worked alongside Marge for the weeks of that summer, she focused on the importance of the relationships we formed with the preschoolers and their parents. She reiterated that relationships came first, above policies or programs. Her words made an impact on me over the years since that summer.

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