As leaders, it’s our goal to ensure kids are “developing a missions lifestyle.” But what does “missions lifestyle” mean? And, how do we know if this concept is being applied in a child’s life?
A missions lifestyle is evident in a person who continues to learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions offerings and causes, and do missions throughout his or her lifetime. For kids in Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action, this means they do missions activities outside of your meetings without being prompted by a leader. They even encourage their families and friends to be involved in activities they are passionate about. What does this look like? This could mean that a leader introduces children to visiting residents of a local assisted living facility, and a child enjoys it and decides to encourage his family to visit there once a month.
Seeing kids apply what they’re learning in your children’s missions organization to their lives is wonderful, but it’s even sweeter when you hear from former GAs, RAs, or CAs who have continued the “missions lifestyle” as young adults. This could mean they have gone on short term trips, are now leading missions discipleship in their own churches, or are taking their families to experience and participate in some of the same outreach activities they experienced as GAs, RAs, or CAs.
So, how can leaders ensure kids are on track to develop a missional lifestyle?
- Choose projects wisely. Find projects and activities you know will help make a personal connection with individuals in your group.
- Make sure most of your projects are missions projects, not ministry projects. While collections are good, make sure kids have plenty of opportunities to deliver collections to people who need them and share God’s love with them at the same time. A simple God loves me, and He loves you too is a great place to start.
- Include families by sharing information about what you are learning and how the entire family can get involved in learning, praying, giving, and doing missions.
The goal is to create missions-minded kids who grow into adults who still enjoy serving their communities and their world as they tell others about Jesus. And what a goal that is!
by Heather Keller