As WMU seeks to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission, we want to instill a heart for missions within preschoolers by developing in them four missional characteristics:
- Learn About Missions
- Pray for Missions
- Support Missions
- Do Missions and Tell About Jesus
In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at how preschoolers pray for and support missions in Mission Friends.
Missional Characteristic: Pray for Missions
My favorite memory of a preschooler praying happened while I was a kindergarten teacher at my church.
We prayed before we had our snack each day. One kindergartner was always eager to lead the prayer. He began, “Ohhhh, Lord!” and then proceeded to thank God for our snack and everything else he could think of. His was a fervent prayer!
This example teaches us some things about prayer. First, preschoolers are fully capable of talking to God in prayer. Second, adults can learn from preschoolers’ passion for God and their trust in Him to answer prayers.
Since preschoolers naturally talk to God, leaders can guide them to pray for missions. A prayertime suggestion is included in Group Time for each session of Mission Friends Leader. These suggestions relate to the mission stories preschoolers are learning.
Preschool leaders can also find opportunities to pray with preschoolers during Activity time. Praying spontaneously and in conversational tones will help preschoolers understand that God is their friend and is interested in them and their concerns.
Praying for missions is not just a lesson we teach. We are joining our prayers for missions with those of preschoolers to grow the kingdom of God!
Involve parents in praying with their preschoolers by sending home copies of “Mission Friends at Home” (monthly) and “Mission Friends at Home for Babies, Ones, and Twos” (quarterly) which are included in Mission Friends Leader.
Missional Characteristic: Support Missions
Preschoolers may not have an income, but they have a huge capacity for supporting missions. Teaching preschoolers to give to missions helps them develop a lifelong desire to support missions.
Suggestions are given in Mission Friends Leader for helping preschoolers participate in giving to special offerings like the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Check with leaders to find out if your church participates in a state missions offering. Involve preschoolers in churchwide events that support missions.
Share about the offering taking place and plan an activity to focus preschoolers’ attention on the offering as they learn about supporting missions. As you teach preschoolers about the special offerings, tell why each is important. Help preschoolers understand that the money they give will be used to help missionaries tell people around the world about Jesus. At other times of the year, encourage preschoolers to give at church, as part of their offerings go to missions work.
Some activities for preschoolers to learn about supporting missions are:
- Make savings banks for preschoolers to save their offering. Or give out Missions Banks for preschoolers to take home to use for collecting offering money.
- Preschoolers can make ornaments to give in exchange for donations to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
- Lead preschoolers to create paintings for an art gallery. Donations for each painting could be given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
- Involve parents by sending home sending home copies of “Mission Friends at Home” (monthly) and “Mission Friends at Home for Babies, Ones, and Twos” (quarterly) which are included in Mission Friends Leader. These flyers are a good source ideas about praying for and supporting missions.
by Stacy Nall