Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16
If you have ever worked with kids in any capacity, then you understand how much of a blessing they are to be around. Over the last few summers, I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a Bible study leader for CentriKid Camps, and it has been an incredible experience. One of the greatest gifts of working for CentriKid has been seeing the Lord draw kids to Himself. It is a tremendous blessing to see kids passionate about the gospel, and even more awesome when a child has a passion for spending their lives proclaiming it. Two areas of ministry that I am very passionate about are kids and missions. I believe that that the Lord has given me a unique desire for these areas and I get especially excited when I get to share my passion for missions with kids.
No matter the capacity of your influence in the life of a child, your main role is to live by example and teach them how to live out the gospel. As one of my favorite pastors, Voddie Bauchum, says, “Children are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord, and we want a [world] full of ballistic missiles who have been fully trained to be launched to this lost, hurting and dying world.” This is why it is important that we teach kids about missions. We must show them what it looks like to daily live out their faith so that they are ready to make an impact for the kingdom of God. Here are three steps for teaching kids about missions:
1.) Teach them the gospel and how to share it.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands us as believers to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, ” We are called to make disciples, and that begins with discipling kids. How can they make disciples if they do not know why they are doing it? If our lives are supposed to be lived out for the gospel, we need to teach children that very truth.
2.) Teach them that missions is not about where you go, but rather where you are.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus said “… and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth..” Translation: you are to live for Me in your community, in your state, in your country, and wherever else in the world I lead you. It is important to teach kids that missions is not just about leaving the country to go and make disciples. Yes, we are called to take the good news to the nations, but living on mission means living out the gospel where we are right now. As Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there!”
3.) Spark that interest (and calling) in them by getting them involved.
Here are some ideas you can use in your ministry to get kids excited about missions:
- Focus on a specific community, nation, or people group each week.
- Have speakers come in and share with the kids about their trips.
- Host events to raise money for a project, a ministry, or a mission trip.
- Plan a one-day parent-kid mission trip.
Whatever it is, you will see the excitement that kids get when they feels like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Children are blessing; they are beautiful gifts from God. However, we must remember that they are the Lord’s and we are simply stewards of them to train them up in righteousness so that they are ready take the gospel to a lost and dying world.
About the Guest Blogger:
Tim Wells is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in International Studies. He currently works for a finance company out of Biloxi, MS. He has served two summers with CentriKid as a Bible study leader and will serve as a Camp Pastor at CentriKid at Timber Creek Camp in Mississippi this year.