Editor’s note: Sunday, Sept. 18, is Children’s Missions Day in the Southern Baptist Convention.
COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. (BP) – As our families settle back into school rhythms this fall, we can kick off the new school year with an important tradition: Children’s Mission Day. Since 2008, Southern Baptist churches have celebrated Children’s Mission Day. Held on Sept. 17, the Women’s Mission Union (WMU) established this day to practically connect children to a world in need of the Gospel by getting out into their local communities.
Where the mission meets its role
This special day helps families live out God’s love in tangible ways (1 John 3:18). Here are three ways your family can participate in Children’s Mission Day this year.
- Host a pancake breakfast at your home.
Create flyers to pass out, and invite your neighborhood to your home for a pancake breakfast. Keep things as easy as possible, including using disposable plates and utensils. If neighbors offer to contribute, always say yes. With a simple offering of coffee, tea, pancakes, and syrup, you can springboard into building connections and chances to talk about your faith.
Kids can help with the creation and distribution of the invitations as well as set-up and clean-up. Children also make excellent greeters! Create a basket of Christian books guests can take for free, including options for kids. Suggestions: Mere Christianity, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: Psalms, What is the Gospel? tract, Jack vs. the Tornado, and The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross.
Be sure to pray together for your neighborhood as you prepare, and continue to lift up your neighbors as you get to know them better.
- Arrange a visit to a senior center.
Connect with your local senior center about visiting with your family. Your children can prepare gift bags for the seniors and spend time interacting with the elderly during delivery.
Check with the staff about what items would be appropriate, but some ideas include: sugar-free candy, large print Sudoku or crossword puzzle books, puzzles, flameless candles, unscented lotion, coffee/tea, lip balm, potted flowers, or blank note cards.
Kids can assist with shopping and filling gift bags. Be sure to include a simple Scripture note card (or Bible verse) with a small note from your family. Pray for the seniors you’ll encounter during your visit.
- Combine picking up trash with a neighborhood prayer walk.
Help clean up your neighborhood while also praying for God to draw many to himself. Since the Bible is clear God wants all people to know him (1 Timothy. 2:4) and we should lift up those outside of Christ (Romans 10:1), we can pray for the Lord to work in the lives of those who don’t know Jesus in our community.
Prior to the prayer walk, write down Bible verses onto index cards that your family can pray over your neighborhood as you collect trash. Some verses to consider: Psalm 66:1; Psalm 117; 1 Chronicles 16:8; Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 15:8-9; and Malachi 1:11.
As your family picks up trash, pray for pertinent community issues, residences you pass, businesses in the area and local schools. Ask God to move in big, powerful ways in your community!
Gear up for a simple, but powerful way to show our kids the importance of living out our faith in the communities around us. As our families participate in Children’s Mission Day, we are a part of a larger community of churches doing the same – and our witness shines brightly to a lost world.