The Global Ministries Office publishes a yearly set of MMK group lessons, along with a set of short (5 minute) VBS lessons to be used in educating the children about that year’s VBS offering project. These are available each year after National Conference through your pastor, missions director, or through the Global Ministries office in Myerstown (800-866-7584). These lessons generally contain many ideas and suggestions that can be adapted to fit the needs of your group. They can be used exclusively as they are, or they can be used as a base from which to grow in the creative use of other resources.
- OMS has some wonderful children’s missions curriculum called “Kids Can Do”. They have several sets of lessons. Each set is produced in a binder and consists of approximately ten lessons on a particular theme or country. Each lesson is a set of large pictures to show the kids with the dialog for the teacher printed on the back. They are very easy to use and very well done. A small, refundable fee is asked. These can be ordered directly from OMS from their website http://www.onemissionsociety.org, or by writing to OMS International,
- OMS also publishes a “Missions to the Max” newsletter that can be used for a lesson time, or sent individually to a child’s home. This is a very kid friendly and fun multi-page flyer that comes every three months. It focuses on a different country each time and gives fun facts about a child’s life there, stories about children, puzzles, recipes, maps and country facts, prayer needs, and much more. These are free and can be ordered from the above OMS website or address
- Wycliffe has a great set of children’s pages, called “Fun Facts”, each one focusing on a different Mission Field. These are for elementary age children and include enough material to build a whole lesson from one double-sided page. Order one page for each child, as there are puzzles and activities to do during the lesson and fun information and recipes to take home. These can be ordered from www.wycliffe.org/kids/ or over the phone by calling 1-800-922-5433 ext. 3778.
- Many books contain stories with spiritual lesson that are based in other lands or cultures. These provide a basis for many discussions about how other people live, what they believe, how missionaries can reach them, etc. Because of the great variety here, you should choose your own and gear your discussions to your own group. Your local Christian Bookstore can show you what they have in stock. A good place to start is the Junior Jaffrey Series of children’s missionary stories and a book of African Folk Stories by Ines Penny, called “Never Hide a Hyena in a Sack.”
- Hands-on Missions projects are very fun, exciting and educational for children. Consider doing 1-3 individual projects with your children’s group each year, or one ongoing long term project that your kids can connect more deeply with. Following are some ideas to get you started.
- Adopt a missionary family with young children (preferably the same ages as your group) for one year. Put together a goodie box of school supplies, small clothing itesm, toiletry items, snack food items, or anything else you think would be appreciated. Make a special craft to send to them, make cards with pictures of your kids, or make a large poster to put on their wall as a reminder of your love and prayers. Raise money to send to the family to be used for the children’s specific needs. Adopting a family is an excellent way to teach your children about how missionary families live, the country they live in, and the culture they are ministering to. If you are using EC missionaries, order prayer cards for each of your children from Church Center, by calling 1-800-866-7581. These can be placed on a refrigerator, or kept by their beds to remind them to pray for the family, and deepen the bond they feel for the children in the picture.
- Use some of the above ideas to “adopt” some people within your church or local community. These might be senior citizens or people with long-term illnesses, or it might be a needy family with young children. You could gather items and put together Christmas stockings, Easter baskets, or Back-to-School backpacks. Personal visits when delivering these items are a blessing for all.
- Participating with a local shelter or community organization in gathering canned foods, school items, or gloves and hats can also be enjoyed by young children.
Samaritan’s Purse carries out a huge ministry to children around the world every Christmas, called “Operation Christmas Child”. If your church does not already do this, it is a wonderful way for children and their parents to connect with needy children in other places in a very practical and tangible way. For more information, you can visit www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949. This organization is run by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham and ministers to many needy people in every part of the world throughout the year. At Christmas, they deliver millions of gift-filled shoeboxes to the world’s neediest children, along with the Gospel message.
Following is a list of websites that have various missions lessons, activities, ideas, and resources. They may supply unlimited options to feed your program as it grows.