Episode 438

New podcast about dying church planter released and the importance of missions discipleship for kids

Sep 15, 2023

“Terminal: The Dying Church Planter,” is more than just a story about a guy with cancer. Four ways missions discipleship can help shape children in your church.


“Terminal: The Dying Church Planter,” is more than just a story about a guy with cancer, said producer Tony Hudson. It’s a story about one man’s monsters, metamorphosis, church planting ministry and church members. Most of all, it’s the story of God’s kindness through it all and His ability to work all things together for good.

“Terminal” follows Richard Pope, a Send Network church planter who found out one month before launching Canvas Church in Salisbury, that he had terminal cancer and three to five years left to live. Despite his diagnosis, Richard and his team launched Canvas Church on April 4, 2021, and since then, more than 100 people have made decisions to follow Christ and have been baptized there. This past year, the church has doubled in size, trained a dozen ministry leaders and is sending out its own church plant, Garden Church in Cambridge, later this year.

“Terminal” is available on every major podcast platform, with photos and additional podcast materials on TerminalChurchPlanter.com.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

Here are four ways missions discipleship can help shape children in your church:

1. Learn about missions

Children are naturally curious. Whether learning about missionaries serving across the street or around the world, children want to know all about that worker. It is natural that the work of North American Mission Board (NAMB) and IMB missionaries featured in missions discipleship curriculum becomes exciting and engaging for kids. It offers them opportunities to learn how those missionaries share Christ and then place it into their own context. They begin to see their world as an occasion to share Jesus.

Also, learning about missions helps children understand the enormity of the world’s lostness. They see maps, pictures and videos of faraway places and people who live different lives but share the same desperate need as the people around them: a relationship with Jesus Christ.

2. Pray for missions

As believers, most of us realize what a powerful privilege we have been given to participate in prayer. Through missions discipleship, children are encouraged to pray for specific concerns for missionaries. Birthdays are something all children understand. Praying for missionaries on their birthdays can help children realize how necessary prayer is to personnel on the mission field. Over time, they learn that prayer is an active, vital part of supporting God’s mission.

3. Support missions

While children may not fully understand how much it costs to send missionaries across North America and around the world, they are beginning to understand how money works. Even more important, they can get excited about supporting missions work with their efforts to collect needed items for missionaries and through acts of encouragement.

Children can understand and grow by sending a missionary a card and telling them “We are praying for you,” collecting items for missionaries during Christmas in August, and encouraging church members to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

It is a game changer when children realize their support enables a missionary to have the needed supplies to be able to share the Gospel and, quite often, the emotional support and encouragement to be able to continue to do the work God has called them to do.

4. Do missions and tell others about Jesus

When children learn about a NAMB or IMB missionary through missions discipleship, they are not only learning about the missionary’s specific work on the mission field. They are able to see the wide variety of ways in which Christians share Jesus Christ with their communities. But don’t just leave it there — let kids put into practice what they have learned during missions discipleship.

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