​Impacting Kids’ Hearts

March 8 2019

As a missionary, I am frequently asked where I serve. Ordinarily, I am not shy, but this question always makes me a bit nervous. It isn’t that I don’t have an answer. No, this awkward feeling in the pit of my stomach is because, well, my response isn’t what most people expect. You see, my mission field is the USA– the place I have lived my entire life.

My husband Jason and I live in a duplex in the suburbs with our cat Cheddar. We don’t eat unusual foods (unless, of course, we choose to). I didn’t attend language school, get a passport, or apply for a visa. I am keenly aware when I describe my missionary life in this way, it sounds less like missionary work and more like an ordinary life, at an ordinary job. After all, don’t missionaries live in remote areas of the world in order to reach the world for Christ?

Yes, some do. For others, however, like my husband and me, the answer is more difficult to explain than simply naming a specific geographic location. There is no refuting our lives differ from our missionary friends serving overseas, but if you ask us why we are missionaries, you will discover that there is shockingly little difference. Regardless of where God has us, we all desire to make a global impact for Christ. We long for all men, women, and children to have an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ … no matter where that is. We all work with the same goal in mind, the same heartbeat, the same purpose. Where and how we do this just looks different.

In Jason’s and my case, we are two big kids with a global heartbeat who God has chosen to impact the world for him by helping grow missionary hearts right in our own country. We do this through One Mission Society’s ministry of One Missions Kids (OMK), a unique kids’ ministry that partners with churches, camps, schools, and families to teach world missions to the next generation.

The impact that helping grow these young missionaries’ hearts has on the world is profound! In fact, just this past year, we trained more than 1,000 kids through OMK programs and witnessed them reaching far beyond the U.S. borders, all the way to the other side of the globe to the people of South Asia! These mission-focused programs gave kids opportunities to learn about other cultures and better understand how God wants to use them to share his love with everyone. During small group prayer circles, they prayed for their world. They used prayer tool and prayer calendars to pray for missionaries and discovered new ways to pray through interactive prayer stations. Their bold faith moved the hand of God and moved adults. As they prayed, the kids asked God how he wanted them to personally be involved and it moved them too! They listened to God cheerfully and sacrificially giving their time, talents, and treasures. This, in turn, inspired others to give more than $15,500 to God’s work. More than $9,600 went to the Be a Light in South Asia project, providing emergency relief aid and life-changing opportunities to hear the Gospel for 82 families. In addition to learning about, praying for, and giving to missions, they discovered how to go out and tell (GOAT) others about Jesus!

Time and time again, I am amazed at all that God is doing here through kids in my homeland and it is in those moments I am reminded why God has me here; and it is the same reason he has placed you where you are to best impact our world for him!

By Lora Campbell, One Mission Kids


Editor's Note: If you'd like to give to the OMS Global Impact Fund that will help ministries around the world, including One Mission Kids, give here.

Tags: one mission kids, kids ministry, serving children, teaching missions to kids,

Beyond Babysitting - One Mission Kids

May 31 2017

People are often surprised at all the items we travel with for a One Mission Kids (OMK) event. Our SUV is often filled to the roof with storage tubs, background sets, hand props, tables, a media projector and screen, audio speakers, and anything else we can pack in. That’s because OMK programs are packed with high-energy music, missionary stories, Scripture memory, games, and a Gospel invitation. We strive to make every event an interactive mission learning experience, using every minute to help grow missionary hearts in today’s generation known as iGen (kids born after 1996.)

When you book One Mission Kids for your event, like a VBS, camp, school, mission conference, or workshop, it’s important to understand one thing, we are OMS missionaries, we are teachers, and we are trained evangelists, but we are not babysitters.

After attending an OMK closing program, one evangelist at Peniel Holiness Camp shared, “What you are doing in this room is undoubtedly the most important work of the conference. You aren’t babysitting, you are equipping these kids for future ministry.” —Rev. Gary Bond (Revivalism coordinator, Church of the Nazarene)

A mom of one of the participants shared this, “Sometimes a mom needs a break. A moment where she can sit and listen to the Word of God being spoken without a child pulling on her shirt, asking a question, or trying to keep the kids quiet while someone is praying. These moments became possible during our annual missions conference when Jason and Lora lovingly took our children on a missions journey. As parents, we want our children to learn and grow in Christ but sitting through a sermon isn't an easy task for an active 4-year-old. Jason and Lora don't just bring our children to another room to occupy them, they help them discover Christ and who they are in him. Each night, our son came home, raving about what he learned, practicing his verse, singing songs, and having a genuine excitement and love of learning about his Lord and Savior. Even now, a month later, he sings songs and talks about stories from the Bible he learned with the Campbells. Knowing he is learning in a way he connects brings joy to our hearts and a sincere gratitude to those God has blessed with a gift to teach them.” —Janelle Bowman, mom

While it is true that we spend most of our time with kids, we understand the privilege that God has given us to interact with these children, a responsibility we take seriously, even though we are big kids at heart.

After a decade of doing children’s ministry with OMS, Mr. Jason discovers that many of the kids he taught are now teenagers and young adults enthusiastically helping in their children’s program. “My 19-year-old still remembers Jason when he came to our church when she was very young! As my kids have become teens and leaders themselves in children's ministries, they've asked him to send them some of the songs he's done after they spent a week with him at summer camp.” —Donna Asche, Neshannock Alliance Church.

Currently, OMK offers a variety of mission-focused programs, many of which can be tailored for VBS or used as a stand-alone mission event for kids. OMK also offers workshops to help equip parents and teachers to grow their kids’ missionary hearts too.

For more information about One Mission Kids resources, email info@onemissionsociety.org.

To give to OMK, click here.

Tags: kids ministry, one mission kids, kids missions, children's ministry not babysitting,

​Reaching the iGenerations

May 9 2017

More than four generations of youth have been impacted by the children’s ministry of One Mission Kids (OMK). During these 10+ decades, every OMS missionary involved in children’s ministry has found himself or herself asking the same basic questions. How do we reach the present generation with the Gospel, and how do we inspire them to do the work of a missionary?

As unique as each individual child is, so is the generation they are born into. For example, the present generation of youth that OMK is reaching, Generation Z (those who were born after 1996), represent more than 23 million young people under the age of 20 in the United States alone. They carry the appropriate nickname iGen, due to the high-tech world they live and thrive in. This simple fact, along with the list of other unique characteristics of iGen, such as innovative thinking, increased access to information, and heightened desire for visual stimulation, is shaping and molding the way OMK helps to grow missionary hearts. Now more than ever, technology and visual approaches are key to developing programs and resources.

Recently, OMK developed a mission-focused evangelistic program entitled One Night in the Wax Museum. Jason and Lora Campbell drew upon what they learned about iGen to create this visually appealing and interactive program. It is designed with high tech visuals, sound effects, costumes, and props that are used to present the Gospel and challenge young people to take the Gospel to their family and friends. They have been able to share this dynamic presentation at events in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How exciting to see God reach the hearts of young people as they respond to this interactive program. For example, one young man who trusted the Lord as his Savior, enthusiastically took the Gospel tool that was created for the program and immediately ran up to his parents and began telling them how they too can trust the Lord as their Savior. This is what One Mission Kids is all about, helping this generation to both hear and understand the Gospel and equipping them to reach future generations or, as we like to say, helping them to grow missionary hearts.

Statistics Source: Genhq.com, The Center for Generational Kinetics.

Tags: kids ministry, one mission kids, reaching igens, focused ministry,

OMK Through the Ages

May 3 2017

One Mission Society’s children’s ministry began more than 100 years ago when Aunt Julia Kilbourne introduced the monthly prayer coin calendars. The money collected supported mission projects around the OMS world. News articles were even written for kids in the OMS Standard publication (today’s OMS Outreach magazine).

OMS family conferences introduced the PALS program, allowing kids to rub shoulders with OMS missionaries. They also raised funds for OMS projects, which helped them learn firsthand that OMS is a family. Kids knew by name Pat Winfrey, Gwen Pinkerton, and Aunt Ruth Hunter (see clown photo).

Their use of puppets, songs, games, clowning, and exciting missionary stories brought missions to life every year.

In the 1990s, God burdened Susie Howard to bring missions to kids beyond missionary conferences through the quarterly Missions to the Max newsletter. Cartoon characters Otto the Missionary Sender and Max the dog joined the One Mission Kids (OMK) team to introduce each article. Each issue focused on a specific country or region, allowing kids to get a snapshot of what God was doing. A prayer and birthday calendar for OMS MKs was also included.

In 2004, OMK partnered with Men for Missions to produce the first Kids Can Do (and Big People, Too!) book (KCD) of 10 lessons to help raise funds for the Operation Saturation solar-radio project in Haiti. Soon, more mission projects were given the Kids Can Do treatment so kids could “experience” a mission trip at home, through the interactive Missions to Go lessons.

In 2006, Jason Campbell brought his audio skills to the team and produced the Music-to-go CD for kids. Workshops became a yearly focus with trips to EQUIP in Peoria to educate parents, teachers, and church workers to train their kids in missions.

In 2007, Jason created the MAXers summer program (previously PALS), resulting in the creation of the Good News Reporters, later released as a VBS in 2013. Jason continued his summer ministry of speaking at youth camps as a way to test the VBS-type programs. To date, One Mission Kids has developed 8 VBS-like mission programs.

In 2009, Missions to the MAX! morphed into an interactive website, allowing kids to explore the world of OMS. In 2010, when OMS changed its name to One Mission Society, OMS’ children’s ministry rebranded to become known as One Mission Kids. During this time, the Champions of the Great Commission book series began with the story of Charles Cowman.

In 2015, Lora Jones Campbell joined One Mission Kids, bringing her skills as an educator and curriculum developer.

This year, with the help of a cartoonist, OMK is updating the Missions to the MAX! cartoon characters for web animation to breathe new life into the OMK website. Mr. Jason and Aunt Lora continue the long-honored tradition set by Aunt Julia to find new ways for kids to grow their missionary hearts through the ministries of OMS.

Tags: kids ministry, one mission kids, vbs, kids learn missions, oms children's ministry,