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FIRST-PERSON: Choosing Girls in Action helped me understand the Cooperative Program


Most scouting groups pride themselves on teaching girls to uncover their hidden talents, learn life skills and have real-world learning experiences. These groups provide an atmosphere where girls can build friendships with others who are seeking the same experience. Nothing wrong with that, but as a family committed to following the Lord there was a missing element.

Teaching children to “love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)” means that we engage them in real-world learning experiences but through the lens of a biblical worldview.

Just like the conversation that the scribes were having with Jesus in Mark 12, the most important command is to dedicate and live your life in obedience to the Lord. To realign our hearts, souls, minds and strength to His sovereign plan.

My parents believed that while they, too, wanted me to uncover my talents and learn life skills, they wanted me to explore those things shaped by a kingdom worldview. Where learning experiences would help me understand the urgency of the Great Commission and submit myself to the Great Commandment.

Girls in Action (GA) provided this and much more.

GA taught me the urgency of the gospel. It taught me that the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 was not a suggestion, it was a call to obedience. It helped me understand that I, too, was called to share the gospel and make disciples. My school, neighborhood and playground became my mission field.

GA helped me understand the skills and talents I had were God-given and designed in me with a special purpose. It taught me that Jesus’ words in Mark 12:30 meant that living my life as a Christian requires me to lay down my wants and align myself with His. I learned that my God-given skills and purpose were for His work according to His plan found in Scripture.

GA challenged me to see the world through His eyes. It burdened my heart to recognize that the harvest was indeed plentiful, but the workers were few. I learned about other cultures and how missionaries engaged that culture for the opportunity to make Christ known. Most importantly, I learned how I, too, could live on mission with my skills.

GA helped me know that my church and many others can come together to help others go. I learned that through my sacrificial giving, I could help ensure that missionaries are sent to share the Gospel to those who need to hear. I learned that giving was more than just a monetary donation, it meant that my gift went as a “representative” to support sent ones as if I was going with them. Giving to our missions offerings and the Cooperative Program meant that I was helping to provide more opportunities for people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

I know today’s church functions much differently than in the early nineties when I was in GA. There are so many more opportunities for programming for children, but I encourage you to carve out some time to teach your kids about missions and how we can work together to change the world.

       • Teach them at a young age the importance of working together through the Cooperative Program.

       • Raise them to understand the work of Southern Baptists and how we send missionaries to tell others about Jesus.

       • Teach them where their money goes when they give to missions offerings and the Cooperative Program.

       • Teach them how to care well for those we send out.

       • Help them recognize the gifts God has given them to be a part of His plan.

Whether you choose to start a missions group, have a weekend experience, plug in some missions learning into your existing program, or develop another type of educational experience, WMU has resources to help you equip your church in missions.

Check out the new Cooperative Program resource that teaches kids about How Southern Baptists Work Together. This resource includes a Bible study, group activities, extra ideas and ideas for families to learn together.

    About the Author

  • Liz Encinia

    Liz Encinia is the executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union.

    Read All by Liz Encinia ›