Children, Salvation, and Missions Discipleship
Over the last few days, I’ve seen three super-inspiring posts on Facebook from leaders around the country. Our entire office has rejoiced over these posts, and I knew you’d want to join us in praising God for these children and their leaders!
“So thankful for the [Missions Journey: Kids] curriculum that puts emphasis on the ABCs of Salvation. Last night, in our GA weekly meeting, we had 3 precious GAs pray to accept Christ! Thankful for faithful leaders who study and pray ahead of these weekly lessons!” —Janice from South Carolina
“Today, Sammy and I were in the garden checking on our little cucumber plants and talking about different seeds we want to get for the garden. He said, ‘I want to get church seeds.’ So I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘We’ve been praying for the [missionary] family. They are church planters. I want to plant a church.’” —Holly from Texas sharing a comment from an RA mom from her church
Abigail shared this: “Just wanted to share a praise! One of our boys asked Jesus to be his Savior tonight after class!” —Abigail from Missouri
How does this happen?
Missions discipleship lays the groundwork for kids to begin to have an understanding of how God is working in the world.
While they may not have a relationship with God at the moment, learning why people move to other places to tell others about God, watching others see the need for God in their lives, learning to pray for someone else’s needs, and finding out how important it is for all of us to support missions work opens kids’ eyes to the need for Christ in their own lives.
How do we make this happen at our church?
First, let’s check ourselves.
As leaders of kids’ groups, it’s important that we live out our faith and what we are teaching. These kids are watching and listening, and the words we say and the choices we make are very visible to them. Let your kids know how you feel. Tell them about your experiences and how God has worked in your life.
We can display the plan of salvation, wear it on T-shirts, and quote all the Bible verses, but if we don’t have a trusting relationship with the kids and families in our care, it may be hard for them to see the need for a personal relationship with Christ.
Second, make sure to frequently discuss the need for Christ in all of our lives.
Help your children understand that we all need Christ—not just the people the missionaries minister to in our stories each week.
By showing the kids in your missions groups that you love them and showing them the difference Christ makes in your life, you invite them to understand the personal nature of Christ.
Third, help your kids experience hands-on missions activities in your own community.
Teach your kids to say, “I brought you this because I know God loves me and He loves you, too.” Learning to serve someone else while sharing God’s love is a crucial part of missions discipleship and our walk as Christians.
By keeping missions discipleship experiences in front of them and introducing them to SBC missionaries, you increase the possibilities for children to hear God’s calling on their lives and for the Great Commission to be continued for another generation!
It doesn’t get any better than this on this side of heaven
Heather Keller is the Girls in Action and Children in Action consultant at national WMU. She loves helping leaders learn more about working with children and gets tons of enjoyment in hearing from leaders and kids across the country. Email Heather your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag her on Facebook @HeatherDentonKeller.