Two Things to Teach in Mission Friends, Part 2
Each month in Mission Friends we focus on two things: missions area and a biblical concept.
The focus for part 2 of this two-part series is on the importance of teaching basic spiritual truths from God’s Word. We do this when we focus on a “Christian Concept Area” each month in Mission Friends.
Christian concepts areas are biblical truths for preschoolers that help them hear, understand, and apply Bible thoughts and Bible stories at their own level of development. Nine biblical concept areas provide a strong foundation for preschoolers and missions: God, Jesus, Bible, church, God’s creation, self, family, community, and world.
Why are Christian Concept Areas important?
Christian concept areas are important because a child’s level of understanding and vocabulary will change as he grows. As preschoolers grow, the foundational truths grow with them. Younger preschoolers are developing a sense of trust. We guide them to an awareness of God’s love and care. Threes and Fours become aware of talking to God using their own words. Older preschoolers become aware that they can pray, give, and do for others. Like the missionaries, they can tell others that God loves them and sent Jesus.
How do you make connections to the monthly Christian concept? Know and understand how Mission Friends learn. Be familiar with the Christian concept areas. Utilize suggestions found within each session for each age level.
“Jesus loves me, the Bible and Miss Rachel tell me so,” sang Jennifer as she and her family drove home from church. Jennifer is a musical learner. Jennifer’s teacher used music along with other activities to help Jennifer connect and apply information about the Christian concept area for the month.
How can we include Christian concepts in our classroom?
Look for opportunities to connect the Christian concept in ways preschoolers learn. Preschoolers are active and learn by doing. Providing hands-on activities stimulates creativity, curiosity, and imagination. Opportunities to move about the room are important because preschoolers are active and have short attention spans. Teaching preschoolers as God planned for them to learn makes learning fun.
Some of the activities in each session in Mission Friends Leader relate to learning about the Christian concept area for that month. Activity choices provide opportunities to relate classroom and life experiences with Christian concepts. Leaders have the opportunity to build relationships with children through conversation. Whatever the activity, comments and questions can reinforce and connect the child’s experience to biblical truths. For example, a preschooler may discover a way that missionaries help others through a nature activity. Or opening the Bible and saying “Help one another” shows preschoolers how the Bible tells us how to live. Seeing the Bible used makes the connection that the Bible is a special book. Relevant connections to the Christian concept area and missions can be made through conversation, Bible stories, and Bible thoughts.
Preschoolers learn by repetition and experience. While experiencing missions activities and stories, and repeatedly hearing about biblical concept areas, preschoolers will gain knowledge and understanding about missions and Bible truths.
by Brenda Morris