As part of the Global Missions with Kids series, we’ve defined global missions, looked at Scripture regarding God’s heart for the world, and determined that missions can happen anywhere.
Finally, our last “foundational” post in the Global Missions with Kids series covers reasons for including young people in global missions. Beginning tomorrow, we’ll look at practical ideas for helping young people cultivate a heart for all nations.
1. Children and teenagers are a valuable part of the body of Christ, and missions is a vital activity of the body of Christ.
Every time we participate in global missions, the goal is that Christ is made known among the nations. By involving our children and teenagers, we are including them in this valuable ministry. I hope they are important contributors to our missions efforts!
There’s no reason young people can’t serve as well as an adult… maybe even better! They have skills we may not have, like the ability to play freely with children from another culture.
In some cultures, children are highly regarded and can be an excellent “open door” into a relationship. I find that when I have baby in my arms, it’s often easier to communicate with a woman from another culture.
2. Involving young people in global missions develops their talents for future service.
Young people have talents worth using for God’s kingdom, and it’s worth helping them grow in these areas!
One of my biggest frustrations is when people just give young people the grunt work to do, rather than allowing them to flourish by serving in a way that develops their talents.
Global missions often uses a unique set of skills that children and teenagers can learn from a young age. This may mean encouraging an interest in a foreign language, allowing them to observe medical mission work, encouraging an elderly refugee, or creating works of art to send to a sponsored child.
3. Participation in missions nurtures a global worldview that naturally considers and appreciates other cultures.
Have you ever noticed how the older we get, the more set we are in our ways? It’s harder to break habits and mindsets as adults. So, if you want your child to have a global mindset as an adult… start now!
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to begin developing global awareness with children.
4. Participating in global missions together provides a stronger bond between you and your child.
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, adult mentor, or Sunday school teacher, serving in missions together provides a meaningful experience together.
5. Including your child in global missions gives you more time and ability to serve.
I’ve struggled to find time to write to our sponsored child, partly because I usually try to do it once my kids are in bed so I can focus on writing the letter.
Using a time of day when I’m already spending time with my kids means I’ll actually be able to write the letter and include my children in the project, too.
By involving your children, you can accomplish two things at once: quality time with your child and participation in global missions. Your child may even help you work faster by assisting you with some of the work!
6. Through participation in global missions together, children learn valuable concepts.
They discover they truly can make a difference in the world. They learn gratitude for the many blessings they’ve received. They find strength in doing something new and facing a potentially uncomfortable new environment. They learn about God’s heart for the nations and His love for all people.