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Missions Discipleship

A GA Leader’s Guide to Beginning Badges

So you’re considering using badges with your GA group but aren’t sure where to start. We’ve got you covered!

The Purpose

Let’s start with why using badges can be beneficial. The idea behind awarding badges is to present a physical reminder recognizing work girls have done that achieves a greater purpose.

Effective leaders use the incentive plan, projects, and activities to inspire a love and understanding of missional living in girls. The badge itself is nice, but what it represents in that girl’s life — learning how to live on mission for Christ — is so much greater than the badge itself.

The Options: GA Journey vs. Occasional Project/Activity Badges

As the leader, the first decision you need to make is if your group is ready to begin GA Journey (the individual achievement plan for GA) if you would rather use badges only for occasional projects and activities.

As we look at what GA Journey entails versus occasional use of badges, two things to keep in mind are budget and bandwidth. GA Journey will have more costs and take more time for planning, organizing, tracking girls’ progress, doing projects, etc. Using badges occasionally will cost less and take less time.

GA Journey

GA Journey is an excellent opportunity for a girl to learn about and participate in missions opportunities in her own way and at her own pace. GA Journey can be worked on during Week 4 (and Week 5) of the Missions Journey: Kids lessons, or can be worked on during lock-ins or special events throughout the year.

There are several resources you will need to add to your classroom to experience GA Journey:

How will you fund the GA Journey program? Books, badges, vests, and stars can be an investment, especially for a smaller church. So how will you fund this new adventure? Here are two suggestions:

    • Plan and budget according to your church’s financial policies. Plan to present the needs to the appropriate committee well in advance of budget planning time. Because churches all prepare budgets at different times of the year, you will need to find out when new budget items are considered.
    • Ask women in your church to “adopt” your GA group and help purchase badges. Even if you only have one former GA in your church, she may be thrilled to help get badges started and could be the catalyst you’ve been looking for. Begin by talking to your WMU director about the value of the individual achievement plan and the possibilities of an adult missions group supporting the GA group.

How will you manage the bookkeeping of GA Journey? Do you have someone (a co-leader, a mom of a GA, or a WMU friend) who will help keep up with the badges and stars each girl has achieved? Click here for a chart available just for this reason. It is best to keep up with badge achievement as girls finish the requirements so one isn’t forgotten.

Will you require all girls to work on the same activity badge, or will girls be able to pick additional activity badges to complete? Consider these options:

    • Having girls complete the same activity/project badge simplifies bookkeeping.
    • If all girls work toward the same activity badge, leaders need to establish clear criteria for receiving the badge.
    • If girls choose badges to work toward, older GAs can help determine the criteria for the badge.
    • By working on different badges, girls can explore areas of missions that interest them and can lead to a deeper appreciation for the Great Commission.

What will you do to award earned badges and stars? Will you have a formal or informal recognition service?

    • Formal: Consider asking your pastor or calendar committee for a recognition service during Sunday morning or Sunday evening services.
    • Informal: A small, informal recognition service in front of parents could include a pizza party, a missions outreach opportunity for families, or a night of show-and-tell activities presented to parents.
Occasional Project/Activity Badges

What can you do if you aren’t ready to start GA Journey, but want to provide badges and activities for your GAs?

Consider working on project or activity badges as a group or individually. As the leader, you can choose projects for your group to begin working on. One of the great parts of working on project/activity badges is that you can determine the exact requirements for a girl to complete to achieve each badge.

You can find monthly Earn a Badge activities in the Extra Activities section of Missions Journey: Kids Leader and you can find project suggestions in the free GA Badge Catalog (PDF).

Badges are available for purchase on