Archive for March, 2011

What you can do now!

Posted on 31. Mar, 2011 by .

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For days now you’ve read my posts that have been building a case for a new way of thinking about missions. Maybe there are some of you who who learned something you didn’t know before. Maybe some of you desire to resource and fund project among the unreached. If that’s the case, I’m very glad. Be sure to let me know. :)

So, if you want to do something, where can you start? You understand that the 10-40 Window is where the need is the greatest and within the 4-14 window is where the efforts are most effective. So, what can you do?

Conveniently, I’m going to point to my advertiser on the right. Compassion International is an amazing organization that has been working with kids for decades. Although they help kids across the globe, they have many projects within unreached people groups right now. You can sponsor a child every month and your resources will enusure that they group up educated, healthy and ready to take on the world. Most importantly, they’ll be discipled by a local church. Through your help, you’ve empowered a Christ follow in a nation that desperately needs Christ. Consider adopting some kids through your ministry or through specific small groups. Let the kids pray for, give to and correspond with children from unreached countries. Click here for more information.

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Global Missions – Aim lower!

Posted on 31. Mar, 2011 by .

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Below is a somewhat tongue in cheek  but very informative video about this idea of reaching the world’s most unreached by focusing on the kids. Enjoy!

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The 4-14 Window

Posted on 31. Mar, 2011 by .

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As I wrote yesterday, I first learned of the 10-40 Window almost 20 years ago. However, about 4-5 years ago I began hearing about another window. It was the 4-14 window. Huh? Was this an even more specific area where even less evangelized people lived? Not quite. I’m sure that a lot of what I’ve written this week during missions week hasn’t appealed to everyone in kidmin, but this post probably will.

Where the 10-40 window is a geographic window in the world, the 4-14 window is a demographic window in the world. Here are some stats taken from the International House of Prayer website:

  • The 4/14 Window describes a demographic frame—a life season comprising the ten years between the ages of 4 and 14
  • There are 1.2 billion children in the 4/14 WindowAt least two-thirds of these children do not know Christ. Many have not heard about Him even once
  • In the U.S., nearly 85% of conversions to Christ happen between the ages of 4 and 14
  • 70% (833,378,570) of the 4/14 Window live in the 10/40 Window, which describes the geographical area with the greatest need and opportunity
  • 4/14ers are the most ready and reachable “people group”. Children are a strategic part of mission efforts, the world’s ripest mission field

What we know is true is that children between the ages of 4-14 are incredibly receptive to the Gospel, regardless of where they live in the world. Since nearly 1 billion 4-14ers live in the 10-40 window, a strategic shift is in the making. If we truly want to reach the unreached, then the most strategic efforts lie in ministry to children within the 10-40 window.

Here are some more statistics for you:

  • Right now, only 15% of global missions giving goes to efforts reaching children
  • 60-80% of all responses to the gospel are made by children

It’s another injustice, right?… Read the rest

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Family Mission Projects: Backpack Buddies

Posted on 30. Mar, 2011 by .

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One of the most startling realizations I’ve had over the past few months is the statistic that in our little Alabaster, Alabama (suburb of Birmingham) there are 2,000 kids on free or reduced lunch.  We have a fantastic group that has grown out of Westwood called Sowers of Seed, whose mission is to provide lunch for those kiddos during the summer and to share Bible-based teaching about nutrition.  It was a real wake up call to me that there are hungry kids, not just in other places of the world, but right here in the shadow of our church.

So, I was already pretty fired up about figuring out how to partner with them this summer.  Then one of my very good friends who teaches at a public school commented about these same kids coming into breakfast at the school on Monday morning absolutely starving.  I felt pretty silly that it had occured to me that kids that might be undernourished during the summer would also be hungry over weekends.  Either their parents can’t or don’t provide them enough food.  Wow.  Kids right here in our area.

My small group (by the way, you need one of those if you don’t have one) has been looking for some type of mission project that we can do that our kids can also do with us.  We found out that several organizations in our area and across the country have been doing a project called “Backpack Buddies”.  Counselors at the schools identify kids who might need food over the weekend and discreetly pack easy to prepare/serve food in their backpacks such as fruit cups, pudding, macaroni and cheese, etc….  Organizations provide this food.

Click here to continue reading and see what they did.

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Where the unreached live: 10-40 Window

Posted on 30. Mar, 2011 by .

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There’s a good chance you’ve actually heard of the 10-40 window. I know that I first heard about the 10-40 window when I was preparing to go on one of my first mission trips when I was 15 years-old. That seems like a really long time ago. In case you’ve heard about the 10-40 window and didn’t know what it was, here’s your missions primer.

The 10-40 window is a rectangular area between 10 degrees north latitude and 40 degrees north latitude spanning from North Africa to covering most of Asia. It is in this region that the worlds poorest live, it’s where the the three largest non-christian are most highly concentrated (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and non-religious) and it’s where practically all of the worlds most unreached live. It’s also called the resistance belt because many of the people groups in this area are very difficult to reach with the gospel.

Remember, less than 2% of all missionaries are being sent to this part of the world. Less than 1% of all giving to missions goes to this region of the world. Hopefully this gives you a visual picture of where greater emphasis needs to go. When considering giving to world missions, I’d encourage you to pick a work being done in the 10-40 window. I’m not encouraging you to stop giving to other mission projects or to no longer give to missionaries in “reached” regions, but when looking to give more (which we should), make it a priority to give to the unreached.

Do you ever teach your kids about missions? You should. It is biblical you know. I’d encourage you to consider teaching the kids about the unreached who live in this part of the world… the 10-40 window. What if the next generation of kids raised up in the church had a heart of completing the Great Commission by focusing on these unreached peoples?… Read the rest

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Unchurched vs. Unreached

Posted on 30. Mar, 2011 by .

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On Monday I wrote a post about why I’m a missions snob. I think that the post is fairly informative and points to a real problem when it comes to world missions. Our efforts are grossly unbalanced. Since I’m continuing my “Missions Week” series, I thought that I’d explore the focus of my snobbery a little more.

In my post, I talked a lot about the unreached peoples. I wanted to bring some clarity to this term. Very often I will hear someone interchange unreached with unchurched in reference to missions. These words are not interchangeable and do not refer to the same people. Let me clarify.

The word unchurch is basically defined as “those not belonging or participating with a church.” This has become a pervasive term in the modern day church. Where I live in Austin, it is estimated that more than 80% of the population does not attend church. These people are unchurched. Although there are many unchurched who have never once attended a church, many stats reveal that most of the unchurched have attended church at one time in their life… many even more often than that.

The word unreached is quite a bit different. According to the website “Joshua Project” the term Unreached “is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.” The criteria is usually when less than 2% of the population are evangelical Christians and less than 5% are Christian adherents, the people group are considered unreached.

Although less than 10% of Austin regularly attends church, Austin is far from unreached. Well over 2% of the population are evangelical Christians and I’d imagine that the majority of this city would classify themselves as Christian adherents (it doesn’t mean they’re following strong convictions).… Read the rest

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Local Missions Projects for Kids: Thanksgiving Care Baskets

Posted on 29. Mar, 2011 by .

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For years we used the Sunday before Thanksgiving as a missions opportunity for our  kids.  It was a combination of a “bring stuff” project and a “go and do” project.  Kids brought items to fill baskets for senior adults.  They brought in kleenex, hard candy, snacks, toothpaste, shampoos, lotions, etc…  They also made cards that told the recipients that Jesus loved them.  During small group time, groups filled as many baskets as they could. After church, kids and small group leaders gathered back for a pizza lunch.

First and second grade small groups were given addresses for shut-ins connected with our church.  These were usually a little less intimidating for the little guys.  The small groups took baskets to the senior adults houses, told them Jesus loved them, and wished them a happy Thanksgiving.  We divided the 3rd-5th grade groups up among three local nursing homes.  These small groups took as many baskets as they could carry and delivered them to each room at each nursing home.

The kids really got to see how this simple act brought joy to so many of the senior adults.

I loved that this project got kids out of their comfort zones as they got to share God’s love, but it was still a safe environment.  I also liked that small group leaders got to do this with their kids.  This could also very easily be turned into a family project instead of just a small group driven project.… Read the rest

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Planning A Local Mission Event for Kids

Posted on 29. Mar, 2011 by .

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When we think  missions in kidmin, often our default is: a) teach about foreign missionaries or b) collect money or “stuff” for missions.  Both of these things are great!  But I know in my life, I didn’t really “get” living on mission and serving others without DOING something.  However, the other challenge is that it can be challenging to find projects that kids can do.  While grown-ups can go paint a house, a kid will make a mess. :)

Here’s what we’ve learned about creating events/projects/trips that get kids outside of their own little worlds and living on mission:

  • Kids want to serve.  What happens when you say to a group, “I need a helper.”  They’re knocking each other over to help.  While kids are naturally selfish (as are adults!) they like to do stuff and when encountered with situations their hearts grow softer faster than adults’ hearts.
  • It is important (and challenging) to find something that kids are really doing – not just watching grown-ups do.
  • You have to plan these events in much more detailed fashion than you would a grown-up project.   Anyone in kidmin knows that dead time, waiting, and uncertainty are ingredients for kid chaos.
  • You have to find a project that is safe.  Roofing and hanging out in inner-city alleys may be challenging, but are a disaster waiting to happen.
  • You need a lot of adults.  Adults need to be trained to help kids serve, not jump in and do the project themselves.  They also have to be trained to coach kids to serve and to be patient with their immaturity.  Sometimes it is hard for adults to remember that kids aren’t going to act like kids.
  • Identify if your project is for families or just kids.  I’ve been leaning more towards family projects.  I think the potential for the impact sticking is greater when the family does it together and creates a memory.
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Why I’m a missions snob

Posted on 28. Mar, 2011 by .

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I am what I am and I’m not ashamed. If you ask me, “So Kenny, what do you think about missions,” be prepared for some very strong opinions. You’ll certainly get more than you bargained for. Yes, I’m very idealistic. True. However, I think that my opinions aren’t totally grounded in my idealism. I’m a very logical person and when I see something that makes a lot of sense and other people just don’t see the whole picture, I can get very passionate about these ideas. This is the reason for my snobbery.

Here’s the deal. The needs in our world are great. I’m not denying that. There are needs on every corner of the globe. Kids are starving, people are being enslaved and hospitals need to be built. The needs are great. However, if you only have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of resources, wouldn’t you want that to go where the need is greatest? Do you just give to the need that is loudest or easiest, or do you give to the need that is most helpless? Logic would tell me that at times, there is a need to prioritize. Sure, the local single mom’s clinic needs money (and is a worthy need), but there are scores of individuals and organizations that are available to help… but there are needs out there that have little access to any resources or any help. That’s where I want to meet a need.

I am a factual person. Let me share with you some facts:

Currently there are about :

  • 2 billion people in the world who claim Christianity as their faith and have access to a Christian witness.
  • 2.4 billion people in the world who are not Christians but do have access to a Christian witness.
  • 1.6 billion people in the world who are neither Christians nor do they have any access to a Christian witness.
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CMO:GO – Mission resources for kidmin

Posted on 28. Mar, 2011 by .

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Over the years I have written quite a few posts about missions in general, missional resources for kidmin and practical ideas for getting kids excited and passionate about international missions. You can always use the handy search bar on the right to find such posts, but when writing the “Kids on Mission” article for K, I decided to gather all the posts I’ve written about missions and put them in one place where things are easier to find. That places is CMO:GO which is simply childrensministryonline.com/go. This site has always been about resourcing kidmin leaders and if content is too hard to find, then I’m not serving kidmin well. So, if you’re looking for ideas on missions, check out childrensministryonline.com/go.

A word of caution though. CMO:GO isn’t comprehensive. There are probably 30-50 posts categorized by local missions, foreign missions and other resources. Over time, I’ll be adding content here as well as inviting others to add content too. I expect that in a few years, this little portion of chidlrensministryonline.com will be a great resource for kidmin inspired missions. Let me know what you think!

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