Transitioning from Mission Friends to a children’s missions group like Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action is a big step in the life of a young child.
There is so much newness and change all at the same time that what should be uplifting and exciting can often become quite daunting. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be!
Here are a few things to consider when helping your preschoolers as they transition to children’s missions groups.
Secure answers to the following questions and you will be on your way to a smooth transition!
Where am I meeting?
Take the time to show your transitioning preschoolers exactly where their new meeting area will be. Walk over as a group before your final session with them. Allow them to explore the space, sit in the chairs, and view the pictures on the walls. By doing this, preschoolers are creating a mental map that will help ease the process of transition.
Who are my new leaders?
Set up a time for your preschoolers to meet their new children’s group leaders. Work out a time for the leaders of your church’s children’s missions groups to come visit your meeting area. Ask the leaders to prepare a short introduction about themselves and what they love about leading children’s missions. If time allows, ask the leaders if they would bring an item that correlates with what children learn to show your preschoolers. It could be a missions magazine, a globe, or even a badge or patch!
Who will be in my new missions group?
Coordinate with the children’s missions leaders at your church to invite a few of the children from their group to spend time with your transitioning preschoolers. You may even want to pair each preschooler with a “buddy” in the children’s group who would be willing to help your preschoolers get acclimated to their new environment. Transitions go much smoother when you know you will have a friend in the group waiting to welcome you!
What will I learn?
It may be comforting to know that preschoolers and children using WMU’s missions curriculum are learning about the same missionaries each month. Show your preschoolers the new curriculum they will be using and even try an activity or two while you’re at it! Your transitioning preschoolers will be excited to see this material in future sessions once you have started things off on the right foot.
What do I need?
This will vary from group to group, so it will be important to hear from your children’s missions group leaders exactly what this special class of newcomers will need on their first day.
Ask your children’s leaders to prepare a list of materials they need transitioning preschoolers to bring along with them as they go from one group to another. Distribute this list to your preschoolers’ parents and guardians and even offer to work with them to secure the materials they will need. You may find that all preschoolers will need to bring to their new children’s groups is themselves, but it never hurts to ask.
by Zachariah Seanor