Having the chance to share God’s Word with people around the world by traveling to other countries on mission trips has always been a part of the church’s outreach program for teens and adults. However, until recently, there have been very few opportunities for children to get the chance to serve and experience outreach in the same hands-on manner.
In 2012, Lutheran Hour Ministries started a program called Online Mission Trips (OMT). This program began as a way to share LHM's ministry work around the world, as well as provide an opportunity to teach students about different cultures.
Beginning in 2019, LHM evolved from OMT to a new program called Gospel Adventures. In partnership with Group Publishing, a leader in creating innovative children’s ministry resources, LHM gives children the chance to “travel” the world, experience other cultures, and see how the Gospel is being shared around the world, from the comfort and safety of their classroom or home.
Gospel Adventures gives kids in Christian schools, churches, and homeschools who are in preschool through middle school, and even some adults, an inside look into the day-to-day lives of people like them around the world through music, videos, and fun characters.
“It was amazing to see God’s hand at work around the globe, and to be able to ‘meet’ people in faraway places,” says Kristin Schmidt in Athens, Georgia. “Gospel Adventures helped our students connect and realize that kids in other countries are not much different from them.”
Children can see, through the engaging videos, that there are children who share the same faith as them who are located all around the world. Not only do participants get to see how people live and work in other countries, but they get to see God’s work in action with examples of how they can share the Gospel with people in these areas through prayer and designated chapel offerings.
“With high-quality videos and engaging activities, the curriculum helps kids learn about life and culture from kids like them—but who live in another part of the world,” says Ashley Bayless, curriculum development manager at LHM. “Kids are constantly surprised by how life isn’t that different in other places around the world. Kids go to school; they help with chores; they play soccer with their friends—and yet life can still look very different: new foods, different transportation, another language. One of the greatest similarities, though, is God’s love for all His children, no matter where they live in the world,” Ashley adds.
Elementary vs. middle school options
Depending on the child’s age, the program features two curriculum styles. There is an interactive curriculum for grade school-aged children and an online experience for middle school-aged children. The grade school curriculum is set up to be teacher-led and allows for interactions between the teacher and students.
On the other hand, the middle school option gives older kids the chance to dive into the culture at their own pace on the interactive Gospel Adventures website. Since the curriculum is so flexible, schools are encouraged to decide if they want to implement the program in individual classes, or if they want to gather all the students to participate in a school-wide Gospel Adventures activity together.
Gospel Adventures curriculum can be downloaded and utilized at any time throughout the year. Anyone can register their home, school, or church for the program at Gospel Adventures. The teacher or parent registrant will receive access to the teacher curriculum as well as access to the interactive webpage. Videos are pre-recorded so the instructor can determine the flow of activities based on the child’s learning schedule.
Celebrate India with Gospel Adventures this year! Just like our past adventures: Zambia Bound, Thailand Trek, Go Mongolia, and Passport to Peru, Gospel Adventures: Celebrate India is a free resource available to Christian schools, churches, homeschools, and individuals across the United States, filled with fun activities and an interactive website.
As a way to support children’s ministry around the world, schools and churches can choose to collect donations from the children through chapel offerings or change drives to put toward LHM’s Global Kids Fund that supports ministries similar to the one they saw during the Gospel Adventures program.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade at First Immanuel Lutheran School in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, participated in Gospel Adventures: Go Mongolia in January 2020. In addition to participating in the educational aspects provided by Gospel Adventures, the students and congregation members raised more than $2,000 for our Global Kids Fund. Students raised money through coin crusades and competitions in various activities against other grades or classrooms.
Since OMT began in 2012, children have donated over $200,000 to LHM’s Global Kids Fund. This year, gifts made to the Global Kids Fund will supply games and resources for youth clubs in India! Donations can be made online at Lutheran Hour Ministries or mailed to the LHM office in St. Louis, MO.
What about you?
Interested in using Gospel Adventures in your church or school? Visit Gospel Adventures to register, or to download the sample containing the day one curriculum to see what this program is all about. We look forward to being able to Celebrate India with you this year!
About the author
Megan McDaniel is the Content Manager for Lutheran Hour Ministries. She has a passion for ministry work and is dedicated to helping share the Gospel around the world.
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*This is a sponsored blog post from Gospel Adventures. Thank you to Gospel Adventures for their support!