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Seven ways to engage youth in overseas mission

CMS missionaries Mike and Tania Snowdon work with high school students in Valencia, Spain. Here Mike shares seven ways you could get your youth group, small group, or Sunday school engaged in God’s global mission.

Over the last number of years, I’ve been particularly thinking about how to engage Aussie teenagers in what God is doing around the world and how they can be partners in his work. I find that loads of youth pastors, churches, youth groups, Sunday schools are all looking for ways to partner, or think it would be a great idea, but aren’t sure how to begin. We’ve found that when groups and their leaders start doing small things regularly, they’re much more likely to have ongoing connections as individuals. Here are some ways to get started.

1. Pray regularly

This might seem like an obvious one! But it’s important to pray both regularly and specifically. Try picking teenagers that are about the same age, or who have similar interests as those who will be praying for them.

2. Tell the teens or missionaries that you have prayed for them

This simple step goes a long way to encouraging those working overseas! You could send a video filmed just after praying, a short note written by the teens, or a photo of the group taken while or after praying.

3. Commit a regular time as a group to follow CMS missionary updates.

This ensures you stay connected and up-to-date with those you support. You can do this as a small group or youth group.

4. Use songs that kids and teens in the other country are also using

This is something we’ve done in our ministry and with our link church youth groups. Here’s an example.

5. Use resources that kids and teens in the other country are also using

You could try my Bible overview video or gospel summary. Every time you do it, then say “Did you know that teens in Spain are doing this too?”. They can even try the Spanish version if they’re brave!

6. Run a fundraiser

Do a fundraiser BBQ or event for CMS (but focused on the missionary or group like GBE that they know) or for a project (like the translation of a book into Spanish). You could have a donation box where they collect spare change over time.

7. Go on a camp

There are a whole bunch of CMS Camps and Conferences throughout the year. CMS Camp Milimani is one especially for kids.


Pick something from the list above that you think would work well for your youth group or small group. Who could you talk to in order to get it started?