God has called all Christians to get involved in global mission – children too! Just as children need to hear the good news of Christ, they need to know what it means to live as one of Jesus’ disciples. How can the local church play a part?
1. Pray for the world
This is the way children can have the biggest impact on God’s global work. Get them involved and tell them how it will make a difference. Suggest they could pray for mission partners on their own at home too.
2. Teach God’s mission in Sunday school
Show children how Jonah was sent to tell the Ninevites about the one true God. Open up the book of Acts to see the very first Christian missionaries. Or teach them how God’s mission is our mission too using the Crosslinks Sunday school material. Help them see how all people need Jesus and God has asked us to be a part of telling people.
3. Link children up with mission partner children
Ask the children to write letters or send small treats to your mission partners’ kids. Tell them that this is a great way to encourage missionary families to keep going when it can be tough to be a long way from home.
4. Model what it looks like to play a part in mission
Kids love to copy those they look up to, so parents and Sunday school leaders can lead by example. If they see you praying for people in other countries, giving money to overseas workers or on the phone to a missionary, they’ll want to be involved too.
5. Tell children about past and present missionaries
There are great books for kids about former missionaries that will show children the need for global mission and God’s call for all Christians to play a part. When your church’s mission partners come to visit, ask them to say a few words to the Sunday school. Regularly share photos and stories from your mission partner’s work with the children. Explain what your mission partners do and why they do it.
6. Help parents teach mission at home
Point parents to fun and exciting resources they can use at home. These videos from Torchlighters are free to watch and feature some well-known missionary characters. This book can help families pray for the world.
7. Challenge them to give to mission work
Take a collection during Sunday school each week and encourage children to donate some of their pocket money. At the end of the term, ask them what mission work they would like to give the collection to and why.
8. Teach them about the world
Put up a big map and show them how big the world is and how many people are in it. Tell them about other countries and languages and cultures – all of which need someone to tell them about Jesus.
9. Get them involved in local mission
From telling their friends at school about Jesus, to inviting their classmates to a church holiday club, to handing out carol service invitations – help children find ways to put their faith in Jesus into action.
10. Tell children about opportunities for overseas mission
Though you can’t send under-18s overseas on their own, it’s never too early to plant a seed. Tell your teenagers about gap year mission, year abroad placements or church teams.
On the Crosslinks Inside Mission podcast, we speak to Harriet Algeo. She shares what was running through her mind when she was weighing up whether to move her young family to The Gambia. She tells us what her day-to-day school run looks like, how she's benefitted from knowing Gambian mothers and much more.
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