by Mark Entzminger/ October 1, 2018
Each October churches are encouraged to take one Sunday to place a special emphasis on Speed the Light (STL). This may not be the first ministry on the minds of children’s leaders, but if we are interested in the continued nurturing of a missions heart that began in Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC), then Speed the Light and missions must be intentional.
Many churches consider ways to help children successfully transition from children’s ministry to youth ministry. But placing a specific focus on helping nurture the hearts of young givers who are moving into their teen years may benefit from a specific focus.
Below are some brief ideas to consider as a partnership between Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge and Speed the Light.
As you teach about BGMC keep the focus on reaching the lost. The funds are a necessary tool the missionaries rely on, but never place more emphasis on the money over the life transformation and the power of salvation.
In addition to setting BGMC and STL goals, consider tracking lifetime giving for every child and student. What would be a goal for kids to reach before they transition to youth ministry, and how would that goal grow once they reach their teen years and get a job?
Kids and teens should both be provided time to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as they set goals and respond to His calling in their life. As you create missions moments, never underestimate the power of providing time for the Holy Spirit to speak.
As you present BGMC to your older kids take occasional moments to mention, “One day you’ll be buying cars and sound systems through Speed the Light.” This helps them begin to look forward to what they do.
I still remember being challenged that the first car every teenager should buy is one they will give to a missionary. See how that can inspire a child to begin dreaming big!
When you schedule the transition event for kids moving into youth ministry, be sure to create conversations around missions and how Speed the Light is where their money will go but the prayers for missionaries and the passion for the lost will remain the same.
In the spring or summer of the year as kids are getting ready to “move up” consider having the youth leader come in and take one or two Speed the Light offerings. This begins to help the kids ease into the youth ministry and introduces the missions program to all of the kids.
This could become an annual tradition and something every child looks forward to.
Some kids may have heard God speak to them about a “call” to ministry. Give the youth leader this information so they can help nurture that call. You may also want to create common language to be shared between both youth and children’s leaders in how you discuss God leading people into missions work at home or around the world.
Regardless of the ideas you implement, helping kids continue to grow in their missions heart and giving must not be overlooked.