CLAYTON — State missionary Karen Pace has been involved in the teaching profession for 33 years in one way or another. Her experience has ranged from children to adults and secular to religious settings.
She has brought everything she has learned to her missions education role with Georgia Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union and is using it to shape tomorrow’s leaders at Camp Pinnacle.
“From the very beginning of my life I have been on both the receiving and now giving end of missions education,” she says from her Duluth office. “I was raised in Sunbeams and then progressed to Acteens and later led WMU in the local church and taught Mission Friends, GAs, and Acteens.”
Now she leads the Acteens at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, where she is a member. But her educational experience doesn’t stop there. She taught high school for a decade and was involved in communications at BellSouth.
And now in the Kingdom Generosity Moments podcast on Life With Purpose Radio, she is sharing that insight through a discussion with fellow state missionary Buck Burch.
Pace serves as a children and preschool consultant with WMU & Women’s Ministry at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, overseeing the ministry at Camp Pinnacle in Clayton. Through the interview with fellow state missionary Buck Burch, Pace draws on that experience and explores the issue of teaching Kingdom Generosity for the kinesthetic learner.
WMU: teaching Kingdom Generosity and missions since 1888
WMU has been helping churches be involved in Kingdom Generosity and missions worldwide since 1888.
In the podcast, Pace mentioned several opportunities churches have to connect with missions.
- On the international level, “Pure Water – Pure Love” provides clean water for missionaries and those they serve.
- “Christian Women’s Job Corp” and “Christian Men’s Job Corp” offer help for learning life skills and acquiring a GED, but they also provide evangelism opportunities.
- Church-based opportunities like “Project HELP,” seek to provide intervention in cases of human trafficking and to seek advocacy for fair trade practices. Pace believes that the fight against social injustice provides opportunity for the gospel to impact both the victim and the abuser.
For the kinesthetic learner, sometimes missions teaching requires hands-on activities. Pace described how some activities at Camp Pinnacle have been useful. For example, one associational missionary provided play money for the girls attending camp one summer.
He used the exercise to teach campers how to give an offering and then to physically show how the money was distributed to ministries of the local church, was passed on to the association for missions work, and then went beyond to the state, nation, and the world.
Pace believes missions teaching should start early, and hands-on activities help kids understand missions better. She gave an example of how God used a pamphlet in a church closet to foster a commitment to tithe. Pace also described an incident when a young girl at Camp Pinnacle was encouraged to listen for leadership from the Lord about missions giving, and she saw first-hand how that girl was impacted for Christ in spending time with Him. Pace says, “you can never underestimate the power of God in the life of a child.”
Pace uses Culture Camp, a dimension of a child’s missions week at Camp Pinnacle, to share knowledge.
“Our activities are based around personal encounters with a missionary rather than just studying from a book. They leave camp with a far stronger understanding of what people on the mission field – both the missionary family and those they are trying to reach – encounter on a day-to-day basis,” she adds.
Everyone leans differently “so we try to touch on a variety of learning styles so each camper will have the opportunity to walk away from camp with an understanding of what God is doing around the world … and what He is wanting to do in their lives, as well.”
Churches with a WMU make up 78 percent of CP giving
“We want them to connect with God and understand that He is already at work in their lives … and not just in the lives of those they are learning about,” she maintains.
“Much of that learning is teaching the campers to give sacrificially of whatever resources they have to spread the Gospel and to remind them that God truly does love a cheerful giver. We do not give out of obligation but out of gratitude,”
Women in the church have historically driven local churches to be greater givers. But in Georgia, recent statistics have shown that churches with a WMU make up 78 percent of Cooperative Program giving, while churches that lack a WMU give only 21 percent of missions offerings through Cooperative Program.
This podcast interview is episode #4 in a series entitled “Kingdom Generosity Moments” designed to explore how pastors and church leaders can foster a spirit of generosity in the local church by employing varied teaching methods for different learning styles. It can be accessed freely for streaming or download.