Each month in Mission Friends we focus on two things: missions area and a biblical concept.
The focus for part 1 of this two-part series is on the importance of laying a firm foundation for the missions. We do this when we focus on a “Missions Area” each month in Mission Friends.
Have you ever watched the pouring of a building foundation? We are aware of the importance of a strong foundation when building a house. In the Gospel of Luke (Luke 7:46-49), Jesus speaks of the importance of using wisdom when building.
Why are Missions Areas important?
God made a beautiful world. God made people. Because God loved all people, He sent His Son to show how much He loves us. Some people have never heard about God’s love. God calls men and women to go into all of His world to share about His love. A missionary helps others and tells them about Jesus. As a child grows, so does his understanding of these spiritual truths. As preschoolers grow, they build on previous spiritual truths. In Mission Friends, we want preschoolers to begin to have an awareness of God’s love for all people. Preschoolers learn what missionaries do to share God’s love and tell people about Jesus.
How do we teach about Missions Areas?
Look closely and learn from your preschoolers. Note the differences in personalities and interests. Even though they are curious, active, and energetic, each child is unique. Each one brings to your class different backgrounds, experiences, and approaches to learning. Listen to their questions and conversations for insights into what new experiences to provide. Tap into these resources when preparing to focus on the missions areas and the biblical concepts. Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in using the tools of teaching pictures, suggested activities, missions stories, and prayer requests to provide meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences.
Know and understand how God planned for preschoolers to learn. They learn through their senses and by doing rather than sitting for long periods of time. They are concrete not abstract learners. Missionary background information provides facts to help preschoolers understand that missionaries are real people. People with families. God gives us a family and a place to live. A missionary and his family may live in a place that looks different and work with people who look different. Help preschoolers learn about the ways the missionary family meets needs and shares Jesus’ love.
In today’s world, it is important to lay strong foundations for loving others as God loves us. Technology makes it easier to see places around the world. When introducing a new culture, state, or country, the information needs to be relevant to the young child. Use terminology a young child understands. To a preschooler, “far away” may mean down the street. Be specific but age appropriate in what and how you share information.
The more we know about preschoolers, the more opportunities we will have and see for teaching about biblical missions truths, missions areas, and missionaries.
by Brenda Morris