Lesson #9: Multiply your ministry through
Dorothy did the math and came up with the figures that show the
results of her ministry. “In a 10-year investment, 251 youth have
been trained. They in turn have worked a total of 976 weeks for a
total of 18 years…Our goal is twofold. Of course, we love to see
the children taught the Word of God and [given]the opportunity to
respond to salvation. Yet we have seen what a wonderful
discipleship program this has been for our youth who return to work
with us summer after summer.”
My narrow perspective on world missions has expanded since those
childhood stories of enlightened Americans bringing civilization to
poor savages. Last year I had lunch with Taiwanese-born friends who
told me of their plans to minister to the Chinese community in
Panama. Just this past summer, I said goodbye to a friend whose
Samoan church had just commissioned him to serve in Uganda.
Times have changed. North America has, among so many other
material blessings, a wealth of resources and trained personnel to
devote to children’s ministry. Yet, let’s not be so sure that we
have all the answers. Children’s ministry around the world has
grown up, and our colleagues have valuable lessons to teach us.
Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
Lesson #10: Keep an open heart and mind when you think
and pray about worldwide ministry to children.
Robert Choun is professor of Christian Education at Dallas
Theological Seminary. Jane Choun is a co-librarian and teacher at
Pantego Christian Academy in Arlington, Texas.
There are several national and international organizations
training teenagers to work as support staff at home and overseas on
short-term mission projects. One organization is the American
Missionary FeIIowship (formerly the American Sunday School Union).
The American Missionary Fellowship trains teenagers to minister in
housing projects in Dallas. Teenagers also serve in Oklahoma City
and the Hispanic communities of the Rio Grande Valley.
Child Evangelism Fellowship has a similar program for training
and mobilizing young people. Their Overseas Summer Missions and
Summer Urban Missions programs challenge teenagers and provide
support for missionaries. Involving teenagers in ministry proves to
children that Jesus isn’t just for babies.
For more information contact American Missionary FeIIowship,
www.sonic.net/~mfergie/amf/ or call (610) 527-4439; Child
Evangelism Fellowship, www.gospelcom.net/cef/ or call 800-748-7710,
Around The World
In addition to what God is doing in these countries, keep these
needs in mind as you pray for mission work around the world.
- Portugal — Pray for God’s provision for missionaries. The
Portuguese church has difficulties supporting its workers
- Argentina — Pray for the visual presentations in the cities –
that God would help Christians to communicate clearly and with
- Romania — Pray for the people who minister through the
instant-stage puppet trucks. Ask God to help children understand
and respond to the gospel.
- India — Pray for the positive response to Awana clubs. These
clubs are also effective in South America, Russia, Argentina,
Brazil, and Haiti.
- China — It’s illegal to share Christianity with anyone under
18 in this country. Pray for the new emphasis in family
discipleship to help parents understand what it means to “raise up
a child in the way he should go.”
Tokyo Union Church
Although Japan is a nation where less than 10 percent of the
people are Christian, Tokyo has a lot of churches because of the
expatriate community. Our church, Tokyo Union Church, has been
around for more than 125 years.
Even so, last year was the first year that any Tokyo church had
a vacation Bible school program (that anyone could remember). The
two reasons for this are the language challenges and that most of
the expariates are gone from mid-June to mid-August because of the
We used David C. Cook’s VBS program Passport to the Holy Land.
More than 80 children attended the VBS, and it was a great success.
We had so many volunteers helping. It was wonderful. The language
differences ended up not being a problem after all. Although the
VBS program was held at Tokyo Union Church, it was a joint effort
between Tokyo Union Church, the Tokyo Baptist Church, and the
Christian Academy of Japan.
In our church, we also have a regular Sunday school program
where we teach 40 to 60 children between the two worship services
on Sunday, using Group Publishing’s Hands-On Bible Curriculum.
During the worship services, children ages 3 to 6 go to our Worship
Child Care program where they hear a Bible story and do craft
projects. On Wednesday afternoons, we also have the LOGOS program
which has 40 to 50 participants from first to fifth grade.
For more information about our church and its ministries, check
our Web site at www2.gol.com/users/tuc on the Internet.
Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices
are subject to change.