ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Rachel, 8 years old, has lived in four states, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia. “My life’s dream is to share Jesus with children all over the United States and even the world,” she said.
Her parents, James and Mindy Carter*, are home missionaries appointed by the North American Mission Board and jointly supported by the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. They currently serve in West Virginia where Jeff is the church starter strategist for the state.
Rachel’s story and 51 others are included in the 1997-98 MissionKids Leader Book. MissionKids is a simple missions program for children in grades one through six. Children learn about missions from stories about other children whose parents are missionaries.
“I am thrilled that this material is available,” said Jason Hoke, minister of youth and children at Morningside Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. “We average 60 people on Sunday mornings. With this material we average 12 children on Wednesday nights. We needed a plan for a small church and MissionKids fits our needs perfectly.”
“Missions education is crucial for our churches,” said Mary Branson, children’s missions education strategist for NAMB. “The next generation of missionaries are in our churches today. MissionKids gives us a way to guarantee that tomorrow’s missionaries are informed, responsible and dedicated followers of Christ.”
A typical MissionKids meeting consists of missions games and activities to teach children about basic missions ideas and self-study missions activity books offering children a way to earn recognition for personal missions study. Awareness of missions needs and Southern Baptist missions information and Scripture memory also are highlighted in each missions book.
MissionKids provides a wide range of options in organizing groups of children. Younger children in grades one and two begin a World Adventure missions study. Children in grades three and four receive a World Passport for missions understanding. Older children in grades five and six venture on a Missions Trek to learn about missions.
“Whether your church is large or small, MissionKids has an effective grouping option,” Branson said. “MissionKids is flexible. The material can be used as a missions emphasis during a lock-in or for a neighborhood club.”
Not all children will grow up to be missionaries. What does MissionKids do for the children who become doctors, teachers, sales clerks and homemakers?
“MissionKids gives our children a concern for others, a foundation of Bible knowledge to know what God expects of his followers and hands-on experience in ministry and evangelism,” Branson said. “Whatever God’s plan for our children, we know that his plan includes having a heart for missions.”
MissionKids, originally World Trek, started as a joint project with the Woman’s Missionary Union and the Brotherhood Commission in 1992. In 1995, the Brotherhood Commission took over the entire production, renamed as MissionKids. It is now produced by NAMB.
While the 1997-98 MissionKids Leader Book is currently available in Baptist Book Stores, the 1998-99 edition will include a Spanish- language version and will include improvements such as stronger Bible memory, easy-to-learn music, clearer evangelism emphases and simplified preparation and easier-to-follow instructions. Available at the same time will be a 10-session packet of MissionKids materials that can be used for special events or short-term programs.