Resources to Help You Teach Your Kids About Missions

Our greatest desire for our kids is that they would believe the gospel. We pray for their salvation every day, specifically that the Lord would save them at a young age.

Beyond that, we desire to teach our kids about gospel-centered obedience to the Great Commission. The Lord may or may not call them to be full-time missionaries, but we are convicted that all Christians should seek to obey the Great Commission.

Our kids are 4 and 3, and I have spent a lot of time reading and researching books to help teach them about the nations in general and missions in specific. Below is a list of books that I’ve read to my kids or look forward to reading to them as they grow older, sorted by age group.

Most of these books fit in one of two categories: missionary biographies or general world knowledge. Missionary biographies help us tell stories to our kids that illustrate to them how others have obeyed the Great Commission. Books about the world give kids a frame of reference for a world outside of the small one in which they currently live. Who knows? God may call us or our child to take the gospel to one of the countries we have learned about in these books!

Age 0 - 4

People on the Go

Big Planet, Small World: People on the Go

Disclaimer: I got this book for free at our local library, and I cannot find it anywhere but the Scholastic Teacher website. However, if you can find a copy, it’s a great little book for exposing babies and toddlers to other countries. There are two others like it—one about celebrations and one about cuisine.

Go Tell Everyone

Go Tell Everyone: 9 Missionaries Who Shared the Good News

This is my book, so I know it’s a bit self-serving to list it here. However, as I’ve written before, one of the main reasons I wrote this book is because when my kids were babies, I had a hard time finding board books on missions or missionaries. I can’t give you a neutral opinion on it, of course, so check it out and let me know what you think!

Good Night Our World

Good Night Our World series

My husband and I discovered this series while looking for a souvenir to bring from Virginia for our very young kids. This series is great for introducing kids to different places within the US, and there are a few international options, too.

Age 4 - 8

Betsey Stockton

Do Great Things for God series

The Good Book Company has produced several books on female missionaries (and other influential Christian women) that I’ve been excited to read to my kids. There are two that focus on women I included in my own book: Betsey Stockton and Betty Greene. I appreciate that there are free downloads available for further discussion and study with older children. (Note: I actually emailed the Good Book Company and asked if they were developing a similar series for boys. They said yes, so I will add those in once they’re available.)

Lottie Moon

Lottie Moon: The Girl Who Reached the World

My friend, Amy, wrote this book on the golden child of Southern Baptist missions. This book takes a closer look at Lottie Moon, describing how she shared the gospel in China and encouraged the American church to support missionaries—prayerfully and financially. Lottie paved the way for many others to become missionaries, so her story is worth telling to little girls and boys alike.

This is My World

This is My World: Meet 84 Kids from Around the Globe

This book, from Lonely Planet Kids, surveys kids from 84 different countries. I checked this book out from the library on a whim, and my daughter really enjoyed looking through it. We were able to see pictures and learn about how kids in other countries eat, play, dress, and other fun facts about their diverse backgrounds. Though it’s not about missions specifically, it’s a great book to expand kids’ knowledge about other countries and cultures.

Age 8 and up

Hudson Taylor

Christian Heroes: Then & Now series

I’m looking forward to reading this series with my kids in a few years. It include almost 50 books, many on missionaries from Christian history—Adoniram Judson, Gladys Aylward, David Livingstone, and many others. This series builds on many of the same figures we read about in the books listed above. Through chapter books, older kids gain a broader picture of some of the complexities and hardships that come with the missionary life, while still understanding the joys of obedience to the Great Commission.

Children's Atlas

Children’s Illustrated Atlas

Again, creating awareness of the world outside of the small one in which our kids live is always helpful in sparking conversations about missions. I would likely show this book to my kids earlier than age 8, but an atlas is a great way to help kids learn geography. An atlas like this one can help us focus on and learn details about specific countries.

Brave Heroes

Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders: 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God

From my research, there seem to be a lot of missionary biographies geared toward little girls in the younger ages. That’s not a criticism—I’m thankful for it and will read those to both my daughter and son. However, I am glad to see a book that tells stories that my son would be able to identify with more as he gets older. This book doesn’t focus solely on missionaries, but I like this because it tells stories of ordinary men—past and present—who have been faithful to God through all walks of life. (There is a book like this geared toward girls, too.)

I’ll update this as I come across new books. I’m always looking for recommendations, too. Feel free to send them to me via this contact form and I may add them to the list.

Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash