Studies continue to show us that between 80 and 85 percent of all career missionaries make their commitment to missions before the age of 12. Preteens are ready to be challenged to make a worldwide difference for Christ!
Our job is to challenge our students by giving them opportunities to explore missions firsthand.
Involve Students in Missions
Preteens learn best by doing! So get yours involved in meaningful missions projects. Here are 12 ideas – enough for one each month of the next year:
1. Write to prisoners. Contact a chaplain or prison ministry team in your area and establish contact with incarcerated Christians. Don’t use last names and only the church address.
2. Visit a Native American reservation. These sovereign territories are spread throughout the U.S. They do not require an interpreter, but still offer a cross-cultural experience.
3. Feed the hungry. Contact shelters in your area to find opportunities for your preteens to serve meals – other than during the holidays.
4. Get professional training. Some cross-cultural missionaries within the U.S. offer daylong training seminars to help supporters understand their work.
5. Go international. Contact your local college campus ministries to find a missionary to international students. Encourage the families of your preteens to invite these students into their homes or join the group for a social event or athletic activity.
6. Go south, or north. If you are fortunate enough to live within a reasonable distance of an international border, do anything you can to cross it with your preteens. The impact is worth the effort.
7. Minister to the mentally or physically challenged. Contact your social services department for help contacting a group home in your area. Then take your students to sing, play and share with the residents.
8. Collect school supplies, cosmetics, or Christian magazines for use overseas. A variety of organizations will distribute these for you or you can make them available to missionaries your church supports.
9. Visit the inner-city. Find a needier church that you can serve downtown or one that you can partner with to execute a 5-day club or sidewalk VBS.
10. Gather toiletries for shelters. Have your preteens collect, package, and deliver soaps, shampoos, and lotions to local shelters for battered women and neglected children.
11. Share the sweetness of the good news. Layer pre-measured ingredients for chocolate-chip cookies into glass jars, attach hand-written recipes and explanations of the gospel, and give to neighbors.
12. Bring the Bible to kids. Gather crayons, markers, coloring books and Christian books. Label these with your church’s name and a greeting and then offer them to facilities where children wait like doctors’ offices and hospitals.
Since our kids want to change their worlds, we need to help them. And in doing so, we will also change their lives. Helping kids make a difference will help them cement their commitment to Christ…and to the lost and dying world He loves so much!
Join me this week at the FourFiveSix conference in Rocklin, California!
The FourFiveSix Preteen Leaders Conference is coming: April 18-20 in Rocklin, CA. And we hope to see you there!