By Melita Thomas
Children learn by doing. They want to participate. What better way is there for kids to learn about missions than to be involved in it themselves? Mission opportunities shouldn’t be reserved only for teens and adults because missions is the job of every Christian. So how can we involve kids in missions in age appropriate ways?
1. Prioritize teaching children about missions.
Ideally this would be both a church and a home initiative. Kids need to learn about missions and what God is doing around the world. If they don’t hear it, how will they know if God is calling them to this important work?
2. Provide exposure to modern-day missionaries, as well as historical missionaries. You can bring the nations to your children’s ministry through communication with Christian refugees or missionaries who are stateside. Have international meals together. Invite mission teams to visit your children, and involve kids in praying for them both before they go and while they are gone. Give the children in your church opportunities to connect with missionary kids overseas so they can see how other kids are participating in God’s mission around the world.
3. Help children embrace the biblical truth that all people matter to God and all peoples need God.
This begins with Scripture. We need to show kids that the reason missions matters is because people matter to Jesus. Model and provide opportunities for kids to learn to love people who may be different from them.
4. Teach kids to love, serve, and give.
The best way to teach is by example. Take kids on local mission projects. Plan family mission trips where parents and children serve together. Give kids an opportunity to earn and save money to give to a missions offering.
If you look around, there are tons of ways for children to begin serving others here and now. They don’t have to wait until they are grown up. Help the kids in your church learn that they are part of the church and can participate in its mission.