Our world is getting smaller. Staying connected with family and friends far away has become so easy with cell phones, Skype, internet and social networks. We can easily see that many of us enjoy the same things and even face the same trials as people across the globe. On the other hand, our world is bigger than we may think. The world is full of people who think and live differently from us. There are many needs in the world beyond our borders. So our kids and grandkids and those we teach can have a balanced view of their world, we need to teach them to be mission minded. Here are a few suggestions on how to begin.
1. Tie every lesson to some kind of mission focus.
Don’t save missions just for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Search for ways to tie each lesson to some kind of mission focus. Look for needs that could be met or a missionary story that could be shared. Perhaps you could even make contact with a missionary that your class could Skype with on a Sunday morning.
2. Plant the possibilities.
Short-term mission trips are becoming common. Plant the possibility that some day the kids will be able to go on a short-term mission. Invite people who have been on these kinds of trips to speak to your class. Go on a short-term mission trip yourself and get your class involved in your trip. (It is life changing! Your view of the world will definitely be different.)
3. Be local as well as global.
Look for needs that can be met by your group both in your area and across the globe. Our children’s church collected backpacks and made salvation bracelet kits for our recent trip to Honduras. Our church also collected clothes, shoes and other items. The children had a major part in our mission trip. In a farewell speech to our team, the mayor of the village even mentioned how grateful he was for the kids to have received the backpacks because many of the children walked long distances to school each day.
Each summer during Vacation Bible School we collect pennies. We use the pennies to buy school supplies for kids whose families may be struggling financially. Our local Baptist association holds a school supply giveaway before school starts and our kids are able to give out the school supplies that they helped to purchase.
Pray for missionaries, short-term as well as those who live on the field full time. Pray for children around the world. Kids are the same all over. They all love to play and have fun no matter where they live. Display some pictures of children as reminders to pray for them and their country.