Missionaries help spread the word of a church around the world to impoverished and suffering areas. They also help these areas financially and culturally by giving them food, medicine and education. Use simple games to help teach the children in your church about the importance of missionaries and missionary work.
Puppet shows are a simple game suggested by the Dual Reach website that can teach your children about missionaries. It is appropriate for children from 7 to 12 years old. Start by designing and creating a group of puppets. Make one set look like missionaries while the other group should look like villagers from another nation. Don’t use stereotypical representations of different cultures. Write a brief play about missionaries. Hold the puppet show for the children. Discuss the lessons learned from the play. Let the children write and perform their own plays about missionaries. Give them a few days to prepare. Preparing the play gives them a chance to process the information they have learned.
Fishing for a Mission
“Fishing for a Mission” is a game suggested at the Royal Ambassadors website and is available on a free PDF download. This game is appropriate for children from ages 5 to 10. Cut out several construction paper men and women and clip a paper clip on them. Pick famous missionaries from history, such as Lydia and Paul from Acts 16. Write the name of the missionary on the paper. Place them in a bowl. Use toy fishing poles with magnets on the end to catch them. Kids hold up the missionary and say his name. Briefly discuss what this mission has done for his faith. Continue until each kid has had a chance to fish.
"Bible Smugglers” is a role playing game suggested by the Source for Youth Ministries website that teaches children about the difficulties some missionaries struggle with in foreign countries. Play this game outside with kids from age 8 to 16. Tell them they are in a foreign country to spread the word. Hide 20 plastic spoons throughout the play area. These represent Bibles. Pick two of the kids to be missionaries. The other kids try to find the spoons to take to the missionaries. A group of adults serve as the “border guards.” Guards try to tag the missionaries who must answer whatever the boarder guards ask. Answering incorrectly causes them to go to jail, which they can escape by answering questions.
"Barrier Ball” is a game created by the Dual Reach website for their Global Outreach Fair. Use this game with children of all ages. Place bowling pins up on a hard wooden or concrete floor. Place these pins around the floor in different areas. Explain that these pins represent the various issues missionaries run into, such as money, governments, prejudice, history, war, false religions, laws, crime and any others. Children have to knock down these barriers to spread the word. They only have one ball per pin. This game will help children understand how hard it can be to spread the Word around the world.
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Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.