Preschool

Let’s Learn About . . . The Christian Concept Areas

Let's Learn About . . .

The Christian concept areas are the building blocks of faith development for preschoolers. Each weekly session includes one learning outcome based on the work of the missionaries and one learning outcome based on the concept area being featured that month. How are you incorporating the Christian concept areas into your Mission Friends® sessions?

The book Let’s Learn About . . . by Angie Quantrell is an excellent resource for helping your preschoolers learn about how specific facets of Christianity apply to their lives. In this book, Molly and Mikey explore the concept areas with their teacher, Miss Goodwin. Here are a few suggestions for using Let’s Learn About . . . during your Mission Friends sessions:

  • Each month, during your first session read about the month’s Christian concept area as an introduction before your begin your group time story.

  • Bookmark the section about the featured Christian concept area and place the book in your Books area. As preschoolers find the book and the bookmark, picture-read that section.

Update from Guatemala

White family in Guatemala

David and Regina White recently sent us an update on their ministry. We pray that these updates will help shape your prayers for the White family:

In Guatemala now, the hot season has arrived. With daily temperatures over 100 degrees, families have to deal with water shortages and power outages. The Whites have been experiencing some head colds and congestion. The heat makes these illnesses even more difficult. Please pray that their health will be fully restored.

The Whites held 10 Bible studies last month. In 1 village, there is only 1 family of believers. Pray that this family will remain strong and will be a light in their community. Additionally, a Bible study group from 1 village is visiting another village to begin a weekly study. Please pray for the visiting group to soon see fruit from their visits.

The Whites are involved in the construction of a new church building. They report that this construction is going well, and ask for continued prayers for this project. They ask that we especially pray for the construction workers and the project manager.

Cultivating Relationships

By All Means Emphasis

Preschoolers are pros at cultivating relationships. Have you ever watched them on the playground? From about the age of 3 and on up, they love to play with their peers. You can see them learning together as they pick up a leaf and peer at its veining. You can watch their delight as they chase a butterfly or compare snowflakes that have fallen on their gloves. When another child falls, preschoolers will rush to the child to help them up. They don’t discriminate based on age or race or gender or socioeconomic situation. Preschoolers just have a natural love for each other, even when they are meeting for the very first time.

Missionaries become pros at cultivating relationships, too. Wherever they go, that is their missions field. At the coffee shop, they are looking for 1 who looks lost or alone. At the laundry, they look for the single parent who needs a special touch. On campus, they seek out those who may be homesick or lonely. In the park or the athletic field, they connect with families who don’t know the Lord.

Oh, Those Babies, Ones, and Twos! Part 3

Terrific Twos

I think they should be known as Terrific Twos! If you teach two-year-olds, you know how terrific they can be, as well as what a challenge they can be. During this year, twos really move out of the baby stage of life as they grow in so many ways. Twos begin to do many things for themselves, but may still be like a baby at times. The word mine can be heard over and over, which is the result of their growing independence. They begin to speak in sentences and ask questions. Twos gain in the use of the small muscles of their hands as they hold crayons or pound play dough. We can guide them to learn about missions as they use their new skills as two-year-olds.

  • Say the Bible thoughts often. Relate Bible thoughts to activities. As twos look at nature items in a box, tell them: The Bible tell us, Look at the wonderful things God made (see Job 37:14).

Oh, Those Babies, Ones, and Twos! Part 2

Toddler

How would I describe a one-year-old? On the go! During this year one-year-olds literally take off with their newfound large muscle skills. We call them “toddlers” because of the way they bump and wobble around as they learn to step, walk, and then run. This is when they begin to climb too. They not only develop in the use of their legs, but their arms also. This is known as the “dump and fill” stage as they use their arm muscles to dump everything out of a container and then refill it. While this is a year to gain in large muscle development, ones also gain ground in their speech and vocabulary. Those ones are such fun, and we can help them use these new skills to learn about missions and Jesus’ love.

  • Use the Bible with ones by saying Bible thoughts as they turn the pages. Say a short statement about a picture in the Bible, such as “The four friends helped their friend to see Jesus.”

Update on the Woolstenhulmes

Woolstenhulme Family

Jeff and Tessa Woolstenhulme have added a new member to their family! Join us in thanking the Lord for their wonderful 4-month-old son, Nate.

Jeff reports that he and Tessa are persevering in their ministry. He says that their primary prayer request is that students will begin building community within their ministry. Students often attend ministry events, but they socialize elsewhere with other friend groups. Jeff says that he would love to see the college students building strong relationships within the ministry so that they can all grow together. Jeff says that seeing a community that enjoys being together is a power testament to the gospel. This is a reminder of Jesus’ statement, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:13 NIV1).

 

Ways to Pray for Campus Ministries

This month, as you study the Woolstenhulmes’ ministry at Riverside, consider ways that you can pray for campus ministries in your area. Ask God to guide you in praying for your local schools. Use this prayer list as an idea generator:

Oh, Those Babies, Ones, and Twos! Part 1

baby

At no other time in life do people have more growth and development than during the years of infancy, 1, and 2. They grow from totally helpless infants who are dependent on others for all needs, to two-year-olds who run, laugh, talk, and play. How can we help them to grow toward God through missions learning at such a young age?

This week, we’ll talk about the youngest ones, and how we can guide babies in beginning to learn missions concepts. Throughout the first year, it seems that babies gain new skills almost every day. How can we use their new skills to guide them to learn of God and His love for all people?

  • Provide loving care as babies pick up the attitudes of caregivers. They will learn of God’s love from the example you set.

  • As you care for the physical needs of babies, use those times as teachable moments. Say a sentence thank-you prayer when feeding a baby with a bottle. Place a picture from the Mission Friends Leader Picture Set on the wall above the changing table. Talk about the picture as you change a diaper.

By All Means

By All Means Graphic

My brother-in-law, Kyle, is the best at making connections with people. Within a few minutes of meeting someone, he will make the connection that he knows their great aunt’s cousin’s nephew. If he doesn’t connect through someone they know in common, he makes a connection through a common place by telling a story about someone he knew from the place where the person is from. Kyle seldom meets a stranger because he knows how to make these connections with people.

Paul talks about making connections and cultivating relationships with people in 1 Corinthians 9:22–23: "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." As we look to what it means to share Christ with the world around us, making connections with people is crucial. The connections we make are openings that lead to conversations, and our conversations can lead to sharing about Christ.

Attention Grabbing Group Time: Prayertime

Praying Preschooler

Praying with your preschoolers is one of the most important things that you get to do with them. When you pray with your preschoolers, you are modeling for them the essential skills for a close, personal relationship with God. You are both the model and the participant in this time of prayer, and the only way to learn to pray effectively is by praying yourself! Teaching preschoolers that God is active and listening to them always, and that they can talk to God like they’re talking to a friend are very important. Shaking off the formality and stiffness of a group prayer can help your preschoolers develop a positive attitude about prayer.

Here are several tips for opening your preschoolers’ eyes and hearts to prayer, and some tips for keeping their attention.

  • Preschoolers have notoriously short attention spans! Keep your prayer brief and simple, but meaningful.

Teaching Preschoolers to Help Others and to Give

child on bike

During the months of March and April, Southern Baptists will focus on giving to North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. We will focus on praying for North American missions during the Week of Prayer, March 5–12. For Mission Friends®, our March unit will serve as the North American Mission Study.

Our focus on North American missions provides a natural opportunity for Mission Friends leaders to teach preschoolers that we are never too young to be on mission with God! Two resources that can deepen your preschoolers’ understanding of the missional lifestyle are I Can Give  and I Can Do It! 

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