It seems that everywhere I turn these days I am being bombarded with messaging that surrounds a word that isn’t yet found in most dictionaries. Can you think what it could be?
The word - SELFIE - made it into the Oxford dictionary in the 21st century with a definition that isn’t new anymore. It’s become a part of everyday speak. You know it. A selfie is a ‘photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media’. I find it interesting that right below the dictionary definition the following statement appears:
Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a
new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary.
But there’s another word that has recently surfaced which is really intriguing me, and it’s one that I have built a theme around at church. It’s made its way into our Sunday School class, our Kids Church teaching and is even the title of a dramatic musical presentation we are doing this Spring. The word – UNSELFIE.
If you look, you will find this new word online. Unselfie (verb): A pic taken of yourself while donating to charity. Think "unselfish" and "selfie." I love the definition as it fits right with the focus of our PAOC annual initiative in the month of April. April 14 is a day that is globally recognized in Christian circles. The fourth month. The fourteenth day. Why is this significant? It all comes back to research released in 2003 by researcher George Barna. It stressed the importance of children’s ministry by contending that lifelong moral views are largely in place by the time a child becomes a teenager.
"What you believe at age 13 is pretty much what you're going to die believing," Barna said. Research compiled by his Barna Group shows that children between the ages of 5 and 13 have a 32 percent probability of accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour. That likelihood drops to 4 percent for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18, and ticks back up to 6 percent for adults older than 18.
This research has done much in the area of children’s ministries. In the last 15 years more curriculum has been produced, more conferences have been attended, more sermons have been preach about reaching a younger generation. Even the 4/14 Window has emerged as a global missions movement whose aim is to REACH, RESCUE, ROOT and RELEASE young people all over the world to grab hold of their inheritance in Christ and transform their world through His power.
In the last issue of Missions And Kids we talked about the spiritual measuring stick that is necessary to determine how kids today are being discipled. What character qualities are they living out – day in and day out? But let me take you back to that word UNSELFIE. I am presently reading a book entitled, “Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World”.
It describes how empathetic children recognize the feelings of others, and even seek to understand what others may be facing. They seek to gain perspective on learning to walk in one another’s shoes. Empathetic kids have a moral identity. They keep their cool by learning to manage strong emotions. Sounds like self-control – one of the fruit of the Spirit! They practice kindness and seek to show compassion. They think “us” not “them”. They desire to give of themselves in order to make a difference in the world.
In the just released book, Barna Trends 2017, it is interesting to note that
- 73% of all adults give to non-profits (or organizations including churches), and
- 54% give specifically to places of worship.
In compares these numbers to how Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) give today. 73% declines to 61% for giving to non-profits and 54% decreases to 45% for those who give to places of worship.
It is crucial as we seek to raise a God-focused, Bible-believing generation of young Christ followers, that we stress the importance of giving, both to God’s house and to God’s work.
TAKE UP THE 25 YEAR CHALLENGE!
– HELP US IMPACT THE LIVES OF 10,000 CHILDREN –
In an endeavour to teach kids to be unselfish - thinking of others before themselves - and also to celebrate a significant milestone in a charity that is part of our PAOC endeavours around the global in significant ways every day, we (the PAOC, together with ERDO) are issuing a challenge this year for our 4-14 Window focus.
ERDO (Emergency Relief & Development Overseas). ERDO is the humanitarian arm of the PAOC.
THE MILESTONE TO CELEBRATE?
ERDO’s 25th Anniversary of ChildCARE Plus, their child care program launched in 1992.
ERDO was recently awarded for two consecutive years to be in the Top 25 of Charities in Canada (The Financial Post – out of 86,000 registered Canadian charities). They were given a 4-star top rating by Charity Intelligence which audits charities and produces information to help donors make informed decisions.
ERDO’S GOAL AS PART OF OUR 2020 INITIATIVE:
To see child sponsorship commitments increase to 10,000 children. They presently are seeing 7,000+ children cared for daily through their ChildCARE Plus sponsorship program.
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE AND ALSO INSPIRE GIVING IN THE NEXT GENERATION?
Visit the FEATURED CHILDREN section on ERDO’s website together with the kids in your church: www.erdo.ca/child-sponsorship. Prayerfully choose a child you would wish to sponsor as a church. Make this a project of your children’s ministry, or your entire church.
Spread the word about this great opportunity for Canadian kids to give to a charity to help make a difference in the life of another child.
- Encourage your local schools and community groups to do the same.
- Inspire other age groups in your local church to also sponsor a child.
- Challenge your church families to do this as a family project together.
ERDO guarantees that 84% of all child sponsorship funding goes directly to the care of the child you will be sponsoring (remaining small portion is used for administrative purposes).
For only $37 a month, a child can experience significant life-change. They will be able to:
- attend school
- have access to nutritious food
- have access to healthcare
- be spiritually nurtured by on-the-ground ChildCARE Plus community representatives.
How will we know you are taking up this 4-14 CHALLENGE, helping Canadian kids see the benefit of giving to help other children in need?
Take an UNSELFIE of your group together with a sign that says:
UNSELFISH IN A SELFIE WORLD
We're supporting a ChildCARE Plus child!
Post it with the hashtags. Also, email your picture to Mission Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the pics of this generation living unselfishly!