International (MNN) — Proverbs tells us that "a wise son heeds his father's instruction." But how can a child heed instruction that he hasn't received?
"We teach our kids how to read, how to write–do all the things that are going to make them a wonderful citizen as they grow up and get older. But a lot of times we don't think in terms of what we want them to do when they get older."
Bill Lohr with Faith Comes By Hearing is referring to missional thinking. Lohr says missions-mindedness is something seldom taught in the church.
"We're thinking that'll just be something [our kids] pick up as an adult, when really, just like anything else, they need to be taught. They need to see examples."
It's one thing to say, but another to do. How can the church get kids involved in missions work when children are too young to have an income to fund missionaries and too small to go on most missions trips?
A child's value to the missions field is often overlooked for these reasons.
But throughout its history, Faith Comes By Hearing has seen kids get involved in missions in a number of ways. They have found that not only do young people have the ability to get involved, but many kids really do understand the importance of missions when it's explained to them.
"They realize, ‘I have four Bibles in my house, but these people have none.' They are impacted just as we are as adults," says Lohr. "If we give them the opportunity, they're going to want to do the same thing–they're going to say, ‘I want to be a part of fixing this, because if I have God's Word, I want to make sure these other people do.'"
FCBH saw evidence of this understanding in a boy who gave all $50 of his birthday money to provide two Military Bible Sticks.
They saw it in a Vacation Bible School that raised $775 for Military Bible Sticks just by collecting spare change around the house.
They saw it in a youth group so heartbroken for a people group in Kenya with no access to Scripture that they raised $10,000 for a language recording just by grasping that the support of each verse costs about the same as a cup of coffee ($3.22).
Kids get it, and they have a part to play in missions. Pray about how you might get the kids in your life excited over God's work around the world. Learn more about ways they can bring the power of Scripture to those without it at www.faithcomesbyhearing.com.