|Missions Moments 2: 52 Easy to Use Missional Messages & Activities for Today's Family|
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Help your children develop a biblical worldview and learn about missions with this easy-to-use resource. Designed for home or church use, it offers 52 weeks of age-appropriate 5-minute talks, 15-minute application activities, memory verses, and "Make It Home" challenges that get the entire family involved in bringing Christ's light to the world! 160 pages, softcover from New Hope.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have been teaching children for over 20 years. What began as my youth minister encouraging me and preparing me to start a preschool choir, led me to using my gifts to teach and minister to children. Growing as a PK, pianist kid, I was in church every time the doors were open. My favorite part about church was a Missions education organization called Girls in Action (GA). It was through GA that I learned about God’s love for the world. In GA, I also learned that God had a plan for my life. God wanted me to follow Him and to tell others about Him through my words and actions.
At 16, I accepted the call into ministry. I knew that God wanted me to go into some kind of ministry whether that was counseling or missions work. In college I was very involved in the Baptist Campus Ministries where I led the missions program for several years. I served as a summer missionary my first year in college where I worked with one of the first Baptist church planters in the suburbs of Chicago.
The next summer I worked in the inner-city of St. Louis, Missouri and reached an important turning point in my life. I felt God leading me into Church Social Work. I served my two remaining college summers in Hawaii. In the 90s, I volunteered in an AIDS Clinic and did an internship at the Department of Human Resources in the child welfare division.
I attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in hopes of entering into the Church Social Work program, and then shifted to the Master of Acts in Religious Education with an emphasis in Family Ministry.
Out of seminary and back home with my parents, I applied for a Social Work position in England. After that fell through, I took a job working in a factory and doing Education Ministry part-time. I later joined the staff of Southside Baptist, in Southside, Alabama, and served there for about five years. I was the first Children’s Minister at Southside Baptist, so I had the opportunity to develop the program. I also helped coordinate an international church-to-church partnership with Lanzarote Baptist in the Canary Islands. During this time I began leading women’s conferences and training conferences for children’s leaders in Alabama, which led to my current job at WMU.
For over six years I have been the Children’s Ministry Consultant at WMU SBC. I also serve as the team leader for the Children’s Resource Team. As the team consultant, I create leader conferences to prepare people to lead and incorporate Missions education into their churches and homes.
I have the best job in the world. I get to teach children how God is working in the world and help them discover that God has a plan for their lives. I get to minister to boys and girls and help them discover a God-sized purpose for their lives. GA is the same organization that God used to make an impact on my life.
How did you become interested in writing?
I began writing from a passion to communication God’s word and his mission.
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Families need resources to help guide children spiritually and to teach their children how to live a missional lifestyle. At a time where it seems like families are retreating into the comfort of their churches and homes, families need to know how to reach out in their communities and world to be the presence of Christ.
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
God calls all believers to follow Him and live a missional life. Guiding children in a Missions lifestyle is easy, doable, and one of the most critical things you can pass down to the generations that follow. This book leads families and churches in how to adapt a Missions lifestyle in baby-step ways to make it part of your family and child’s everyday life.
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I hope children will see that God loves them and that He has a purpose for their lives. I hope families are encouraged to guide their children spiritually and to make missions a lifestyle.
Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?
My favorite chapter is the one on Indonesia, because it is so personal. The people of Aceh hold a special place in my heart. The Missions Moments lesson tells of the trip that I took to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, three month after the 2004 Tsunami to do disaster relief work. While I was there, I purchased a purse that had an embroidered symbol of Aceh called the Doors of Aceh. I purchased one for my best friend who coordinates WorldCrafts products. She was able to purchase purses that are now sold through WorldCrafts. Today the purse supports over 1000 families in Indonesia. And in the US the women use the purses as a point of prayer that the door of Aceh and all of Indonesia be opened to Jesus. It is amazing to see how God has used these purses. Just the other day, I noticed a woman in a local restaurant carrying an Aceh purse I just had to ask her if she knew the story. She didn’t, so I told her. It is so exciting to be on mission with God and to see him at work.
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
There are many children’s sermon books and family devotionals, but this is the only one that has a missional message and teaches children about Missions and how to integrate it in small and large ways into everyday life.
How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I believe early on that God called me to Missions. What I have come to realize, is that my missions field is to children. God has called me to minister to children and introduce them to God’s mission. That’s what I do on a national level with my job and that is what this book is about. If capturing the vision of Missions happens at an early age (as it did with me), then our challenge is to pass this passion on to children as soon as we can, engaging them in lifestyle evangelism and missional living
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?
Ephesians 3:14-21. This is my life verse. It personally reminds me of the goodness and grace of God. And that His Spirit is the power within me to live and to minister. I often close conferences with this verse to encourage participates to be filled with God.
Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?
Most definitely. Charles Sheldon, In His Steps. This book changed my life as a teenager. It gave me a lifestyle to strive towards. Andrea Mullins [Intentional Living] - Andrea lives the missional lifestyle that she writes about. She has been a mentor in my work and a personal friend. Barbara Joiner [Yours for the Giving] - Her mission stories are amazing. She lives a missional lifestyle and shares her passion for missions with others. She has ministered in migrant camps in Alabama for at least 40 years. She felt the call to go as a young mother and took her preschool children - along with several youth - to do a Bible School for children and adults. Every year she has led students and adults on trips to support migrant camps. Barbara has trained someone else to lead the trips, but she still goes. Every year her church now takes 40 volunteers. She has inspired thousands towards a Missions lifestyle through leading them on Missions trips. She has inspired hundreds of thousands towards a Missions lifestyle through her writing. There is no way to record the number of persons that have come to know Christ through Barbara’s work. Personally, she has been a role model and source of encouragement in my life.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
My favorite activity is being down in the floor laughing and playing with my son, husband Shane, and dog DJ.