Mission Minded Kids began when lay servant Anna McCain invited the pastor to talk about a new vision she believed to be God-inspired. Anna felt the church could reach out to the community for Christ with children in mission. Duncan and Sunny Level United Methodist Churches listened and followed the call to support M&M Kids.
From the beginning, Anna assembled a team and we moved into a process that honors the vision and hears the voices of our children and youth. The M&M Team meets for listening to one another and God. We pray and plan our next mission event for the next calendar quarter.
Our first event was an intro session. Wearing our new M&Ms Kids T-shirts, we packed kits for UMCOR. In the spring, our children wanted to plant flowers and carry them in bloom to homebound people in their neighborhoods. In August, M&Ms hosted a “Free Yard Sale.”
This is not a “kids only” mission ministry. Youth and adults serve with our children in preparation for and during every event—but the kids give us the ideas for mission and lead the way! When several children found coins and a few dollars on the floor, they turned them in with the instruction to put these funds in our “Ones to Warm” (hearts and homes) offering box. When a child missed the group thanksgiving prayer, he asked to pray again.
At the Free Yard Sale, I watched in awe as Jesus’ guests were offered home-baked cookies and water or fruit juice, before and while they shopped. It took real effort for me to talk with two guests as I helped them carry their “purchases” to the car. I only made it once; the other times, youth and children caught up with us and wanted to take my place serving our guests!
How do we know what God’s kingdom sounds like? It’s a mystery! And a time we will remember always and give thanks to God—for children and youth leading adults in ministry; and adults who listen and follow. After all, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14, NRSV) Now, we can tell you from experience: in Alexander City, it looks and sounds—it feels—great!