Preschool Devotions

By All Means

Linda Cooper

She is a petite woman who wears the cutest shoes, so how did she come to share about Jesus with a big rig truck driver? Linda Cooper, national WMU president, tells the most amazing stories about opportunities she has had in sharing the gospel with others. Once on a flight home from an overseas missions trip, a refugee family sat next to her on the plane. They were coming to the United States to be resettled. Though they spoke no English, by the end of the flight Linda had befriended them and they understood that she knew Jesus. Another time as she parked her car and started into the dental office where she works as a dental hygienist, she noticed a semi-truck was broken down in the parking lot. She spoke to the driver to offer help, though she did not know what she could possibly do to help out. Through their conversations that day, she shared the gospel with the driver and told him about Jesus’ love.

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.

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.

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.

By All Means, Step into the World

First Steps

One of the big milestones in a preschoolers’ life is when he takes his first steps. We will even ask a parent, “Has he learned to walk yet?” We bend down, hold out our hands, and urge the little one to step toward us. Sometimes we stand behind him and hold his hands so he can step toward others. Learning to take those steps is important as preschoolers grow physically.

As I Have Done to You

Friends

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15 ESV1)

Recently I asked my Mission Friends® how Jesus wants us to treat others. “Be nice.” “Love each other.” “Take care of each other.” “Help each other.” Ah, we were on the right track. And then, sweet little Sadie said, “Do what others need, even when it’s hard.”

Yes. Even when it’s hard. Do what others need, even when it’s hard. Even when you are tired. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when the person in need has hurt you or treated you unjustly. If we really think about it, doesn’t this statement get to the very heart of grace—serving and loving others even when that service and love is unmerited?

By All Means

Channapatana Nativity Set

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

As Christmas draws near, we are reminded of the greatness of God’s love for us. The above verse is not typically known as a Christmas verse. It does not refer to a Bethlehem stable, shepherds on a hillside, or wise men who saw the star. The verse does not speak of an innkeeper, swaddling cloths, or a manger. The verse does encompass the very meaning of Christmas in that God loved us so much that he sent his Son. Christmas is a time for us to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world and God’s love for each of us. We rejoice at this time of year as we are reminded of His love and the eternal life that we have through Christ.

Cultivating Relationships and Sharing the Gospel

Praying friends

“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 (1 Cor. 9:22—23 NIV1).

Cultivating relationships often begins by meeting the needs of those around us. In communities where arts are valued, missionaries develop creative studios. In areas where international students need after-school care and homework help, missionaries open their homes for dinner and tutoring. In cities where sports are esteemed, missionaries offer free summer sports camps. In towns where men and women enjoy quilting and woodworking, missionaries purchase supplies and provide crafting workshops.

By All Means

By All Means

Our first session of Mission Friends® for the new church year started in a most exciting way. We had a big group of preschoolers coming up into our class of 3- and 4-year-olds. The first session is usually a little more hectic because the preschoolers don’t know the schedule, and you are trying to figure out preschoolers’ names. I expected to have 8 or 9 preschoolers, but we had 13! I had planned the painting activity suggested in Mission Friends Leader for the session, and it took a while for the preschoolers to take turns in sets of 2 or 3 preschoolers at a time. When we finally gathered for Group Time, the power went out in the whole church! We spent the remainder of our session in the dark, using the flashlights from our smartphones.

Developing a Heart for Missions

Jason and baby

We are thrilled to share the following devotion from Jason Hyche, one of the preschoolers in Robin McCall’s first Mission Friends® class. We pray that as you read Jason’s words, you will see that by teaching preschoolers today, you are touching the future.

“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”
(1 Cor. 9:22–23).

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