What can kids do? KidZ KaN…

While American churches are doing more than ever before for children, the most important thing we can do for our kids is to help them discover what they can do for others!

In the words of that great philosopher, Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” But just as the Whos needed Horton to stop and listen to them, so do our kids! KidZ KaN…make a difference! And they want to make a difference.

KidZ at Heart International is not a “foreign” missions agency. We are a mission for God’s kids, here and there! And we are passionate about equipping families in North America to reach and teach their own children for Christ.

And that’s why KidZ at Heart International is inviting you and the families of your church to register for our brand new KidZ KaN for Families program. Each month, your family will get easy-to-use tools to help you stop and listen to one another as you tour the world. You’ll receive creative, flexible activities that will help your whole family gain a heart for God’s work around the world!

In their landmark study, Search Institute tells us that “four family practices are particularly important in helping young people grow in faith:

  1. Talking about faith with your mother.
  2. Talking about faith with your father.
  3. Having family devotions or prayer.
  4. Doing family projects to help other people.”

And now your family can explore all four of these faith-formation factors through the creative activities of KidZ at Heart’s KidZ KaN for Families.  Each month, you will receive an electronic newsletter focused on a new country and packed with creative ideas for you to use at your own pace, including:

  • “Make It (create a family memento or do a project together);
  • “Play It” (enjoy a cultural game);
  • “Pray It” (gather to pray for the real needs of real children);
  • “Read It” (explore life in-country through a story);
  • “Taste It” (follow a kid-friendly recipe to make a cultural dish).

KidZ KaN makes a great Christmas gift for your own family, your grandkids or your friends! Subscribe to KidZ KaN today for just $22 for the first year and get age-appropriate activities and discussion ideas that will easily fit into your busy family life. Know that this small investment will help fund ministries to children around the world, through the work of KidZ at Heart International.

KidZ at Heart wants to help you maximize those special moments with your family – and give your kids a heart for the world.

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Why a bilingual kidmin conference?

From a press release dated May 17, 2012: “The U.S. Census Bureau released a set of estimates showing that 50.4 percent of our nation’s population younger than age 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011. The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011.”

But why is this important? Because it’s strategic.

No matter what your thoughts are on the immigration issues so prevalent in the news these days, it’s obvious that God loves these young children. It is also obvious that many children are coming to and being born in our country, cities and neighborhoods, and children represent a very strategic way of reaching the world! As we welcome these young lives into our communities, let’s welcome them in the name of Jesus. (Remember, over seven million children in our world have not yet even heard that name for the first time!)

KidZ at Heart is being proactive in welcoming children in the name of Jesus!

KidZ at Heart International is not a “foreign” missions agency. We are simply a mission to children. All children. Red and yellow, black and white. Here or there.

And that’s why, with the help of some godly Hispanic leaders from churches across America, KidZ at Heart is launching Corazón de Niño. This weekend training conference will equip moms and dads and church leaders in the Spanish-speaking community to reach and teach their own children for Christ! This is one of the only Spanish-speaking children’s ministry training conferences in the entire United States. And Corazón de Niño is just one of the ways KidZ at Heart is seeking to reach the children of this world, here and there.

National children’s ministry leaders are joining us in our excitement, as no other organizations are meeting this need. Read what Idanerys has to say…

“For many years I have attended English trainings only to come back to my home church and have to translate all the material in order to share it with the volunteers, leaders, and families of my church. I am firmly convinced that the Spanish/bilingual training of Corazon de Niño will be an enormous blessing to the Hispanic community by providing information and materials in our own language.”  (Idanerys Montalvo, graduate of KidZ at Heart training)

Now you can help, too!

  1. Consider giving just $49, one scholarship to allow a Spanish-speaking kidmin leader attend the conference.
  2. Prepare yourself for cross-cultural children’s ministry in your community by attending one of our regional sessions of KidZtitute! (English only) or Corazón de Niño (bilingual) this fall.
  3. Tell your Spanish-speaking friends about this exciting new training conference. They can get more details (in Spanish or English) and register online.

Who are the children that God is bringing to your neighborhood? What is being done to reach the children in the city or community next door to you? What is God calling you to do to help?

How do preteens become missionaries? (Part 2 – Involve them)

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!