HOW TO TEACH MISSIONS IN SUNDAY SCHOOL
HOW DO YOU TEACH MISSIONS?
Sunday school presents an excellent opportunity to involve your students in the concept of worldwide evangelism. Christ’s Great Commission is central to the purpose and life of His church. What better time is there to offer instruction in this noble purpose than during childhood! A study of missions can be a key factor in a successful program.
In order for your missions program to be effective, you must have organization and advance preparation. Here are some organizational guidelines:
* Seek to meet needs of specific age groups. Don’t miss out on an effective teaching opportunity just because you failed to consider such important areas as attention-span differences, areas of student interest, differences in conceptual understanding, and physical characteristics. By presenting the mission lesson to individual departments, the needs of specific age groups can be met. If this arrangement is not practical in your school, perhaps you could divide your group into pre-school, children, and youth/adult sections. The missionary leader would make three presentations to these divisions.
* Follow a specific schedule during your mission periods. As for preparation, all necessary and/or personal correspondence should be completed at least two weeks before Sunday school begins. The kind of preparation and depth of preparation will depend on the mission program you select.
Don’t miss out on the fun you can have because you have forgotten to take care of last-minute details.
The opportunities and methods for presenting missions are limitless. Here are some suggestions to provide maximum teaching power during your missionary time.
* Missionary Speaker. Ideally, this would be the time to acquaint the young people with the missionary work supported by your congregation. The blessings reaped by the students as well as the missionary are innumerable. If he can be in your community during Sunday school, make arrangements with him as to these details: number of times he will present each day’s talk, availability and advisability of using visual aids, age groups involved, time limits, and personal housing arrangements. Try to arrange for a personal interview with him before the first day of Sunday school, in order to go over last-minute plans and questions that may arise.
* Representatives/Recordings. Don’t miss out on the blessings your students can receive, simply because your missionary is not on furlough. Perhaps you can enlist a forwarding agent or other worker to speak for the work of the missionary. Audio cassettes and slides from your missionary would be valuable, as well as display materials (curios, maps, etc.).
* Home Missions Experience. If your church building is located near an orphanage, nursing home, or Bible college, a field trip affords firsthand experience, and perhaps even participation in mission work, Representatives from home-missions areas may also be willing to visit your congregation and make presentations.
The goal for teaching missions to pre-schoolers is to develop in the child a concern for others as well as a desire to obey Jesus’ command to go and teach. A third goal is to give the child firsthand experiences in carrying out the Great Commission at his level of development. How can this be accomplished!
* Missionary interest centers. Feature pictures and materials to emphasize the missions project for Sunday school.
+ Missionary surprise box. Every day take out something to talk about-a letter, picture, or object. Each should relate to your Sunday school missions emphasis.
* Missionary bulletin board.
+ Pray for the missionary.
+ Simple stories.
FOR CHILDREN (GRADES 1-6)
The goal for teaching missions to children is exactly the same as for preschoolers. So how is it to be done!
* Missionary interest center.
+ Missionary scrapbook. Let the children make it to summarize the work of the Sunday school missionary.
+ Pray for the missionary.
+ Teach missionary songs.
+ Stories from the mission field.
+ Teach games from the country studied.
+ Emphasize missionary offerings. Designate the offering for a particular project.
+ Missionary bulletin board.
* Make tapes to send to the missionaries.
+ Taste foods from the country represented.
FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS
The same goals for teaching missions exist for youth and adults as do for children. All of the same means of teaching are also applicable.
Consider also the possibility of planning a missions Sunday school at another place in your community or in another part of the country. Many home missions works would welcome your youth and adults to assist in doing that. Your own Sunday school, then, can be used to present relevant cultural and communications information to enable the pupils to do an effective job and to plan the Sunday school to be conducted.
Remember that whatever method you choose for missionary instruction in Sunday school, you need to make careful preparation and do adequate planning. There are musts in any successful missionary effort.
Don’t miss out on missions. Use every means available to instruct and interest your students in God’s work and workers on the mission field. Help them grow in their sense of responsibility toward spreading the gospel. Above all, encourage them to become missionaries among their friends, families, and classmates.
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