John 3:16 – possibly the Bible’s most quoted verse.
We use it to help children understand how they can enter God’s family. Often, however, we skip something that’s very important. “God so loved the world!” He does it all year long. That means each and every day, not just once in a while.
Let’s incorporate ways – all along the way – to present this to kids: God loves the whole world – not just “my” world. As any good teacher knows, important truth must be repeated consistently before it stays in kids’ minds and hearts. Creative repetition is what I call it. Here are enough ideas for a year.
January – Global New Year Celebrations Millions in our world today do not celebrate Christmas. These people do make a big deal about the New Year. Present some of these to your students this month.
February – St. Valentine – not the cupid figure with the bow and arrow. Talk about this ancient hero and let children pray for those in today’s world who suffer for their faith, rather than deny it.
March – A Month for Heroes! Focus on a missionary hero, or heroes. Where students are old enough, encourage them do research on their own and report back to class. Get to know Patrick of Ireland.
April – Jesus’ Death and Resurrection – the central focus of the Gospel. Develop lesson designs to help your students better understand and share the Good News with people they know.
May – Missionary Mothers Many women have taken on mother roles in faraway lands. Pick one for the month, or one a week, and tell their stories. Pray for women from your church who “mother” their families in cross-cultural settings now.
June – Celebrate the Global Day of Prayer for Children at Risk (first weekend) Tell the story of George Mueller, orphanage builder (among other things) and “Dad” to thousands of street children in England.
July – Let Freedom Ring! Create exercises that help kids express their gratitude to God for their freedom. In age appropriate ways, depict the plight of peoples who have their personal freedoms taken from them. Pray for these people by name.
August – Christmas in the Summer Focus on the kids who live in missionary families supported by your church. Put together boxes of goodies. Include notes of encouragement and mail them off.
September – Back to School Tell a different story each weekend of children who can’t go to school. Buy a sturdy backpack and let your children fill it with new things and contribute this to a needy kid nearby.
October – Harvest Time Show the movie, The Harvest, one half each weekend. Use the lesson design based on an apple to teach how God wants transformed lives that lead to growing churches, not just decisions.
November – Persecuted Church Find ways to let your children join in with the adults in your church, praying for believers in lands where Christians are persecuted.
December – Advent with a Global Foc s Before the first Sunday of Advent, create an Advent wreath. Using the familiar advent activities, focus on a missionary theme, place, or people each time a candle is lit. “Jesus was born for….”
If you want amplification or resource list for each month’s suggestions, e-mail me at Ftichy@aol.com and tell me how I can help.
Nancy Tichy, KidZ At Heart International author