School Children Doing Mission Work with Media

Amanda Buelow (Mankato, Minnesota USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Mandy Buelow, since last spring a third grade teacher at Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Mankato, Minnesota, attended Mt. Olive as a student. Previously she taught for four years in inner city Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nearly five years ago she married her long time friend from high school. They have "an amazing" 19-month-old named Emma, and another baby on the way. She is excited to unite her two passions - working with kids and spreading the Gospel.

My heart starts pounding and I get all fired up when I hear the words of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." God has asked us to spread His Word to as many people as we can, however we can. I am so blessed to be able to work at a Christian Day School, Mt.Olive Lutheran School, where I can talk about God's love and forgiveness daily with my students.

The Preparation

One of our themes for the year is being a missionary. Many times when my kids hear about missionaries, they think of adults traveling to other countries and telling people about Jesus. We have talked about the many ways that the kids themselves can spread the message of Christ's salvation and that they are already missionaries. When I heard about the Christ in Media Institute, immediately my wheels started turning, and I wanted to find out more about how I could get my kids involved in mission work through media.

Dr. Kuster was invited to speak to our faculty in August of this year to share some information about Christ in Media and to see if we were interested in partnering together to create a project to help with their mission of spreading the Gospel through mass media. There was a lot of excitement and some uncertainty among our staff on how we would pull it all together. There was some back and forth discussion. These were some of our concerns. What would our children actually be responsible for making? Would we as the teachers know enough to guide our kids through the project? How would we front the funds to partner with someone from the technology department to make our projects digital? How would our final project be used, and who would see it?

I am the kind of person who likes to jump into things and just figure them out as I go. So I volunteered my third grade class to make a project and see it through from start to finish. I got everyone on board to select Christ in Media as our 2nd semester mission offering. The children throughout the school are invited to bring an offering every week for chapel to support each semester's mission project. Usually we collect money for a specific cause and just send it at the end of the semester. This spring, we will be raising money to support Christ in Media and the kids will be involved in making a hands-on project that will be used to spread the Gospel message. We have a bulletin board up in our cafeteria to raise awareness and get the kids excited about being a part of this Gospel mission project.

The Plan

My third graders are working on a project now, and our hope is that we will partner with someone from Bethany Lutheran College to make our project digital, and then with Christ in Media to distribute it. Here is the vision for our project. We will choose a song with a strong Gospel message, which lends itself well to dancing and actions. The kids will be able to help choreograph the actions to the song. They will draw pictures of the images in the song to help strengthen its imagery. We will be taking close-up photos of the kids as they are drawing the song's images that will later be used in the final video project.

Someone from Stone Path Studios at BLC will do the on-site filming in two stages. The first stage would be to record the kids in a group singing the gospel song a cappella a couple of times. This will result in a 4-5 minute recording that will be the basis of the video. This would be tape "A". The second stage of filming would be to film the kids in various combinations and locations as they perform their actions to the song. We plan to do some of these shots in our classroom, gym, playground, lunchroom, and hallways. This would be called tape "B" and would complete the students' role in the project. Once our videos, pictures, and drawings are complete, we will be passing them off to the people at Stone Path Studios at Bethany.

Stone Path Studios will be able to take the pieces of our project and edit them together to create the final project. They will be able to do audio mixing where the kids' singing from audiotape "A" will be enhanced by adding drum and guitar tracks. Then they would take action/dancing clips from tape "B", the photos of the kids, and their drawings, and cut them into the tape "A" sequence to produce the final video. Next, decisions will be made, based on inquiries in our world mission locations, regarding languages for sub-titling the singing on the video, and the subtitles will be added. That way kids in other parts of the world will be able to sing along with the kids in the video, both in English and their own language. Plans will then be made for the widest possible distribution in a variety of outlets around the world.

The Blessing

I am so blessed to be a part of this mission project and I am excited to be able to show my students one more way in which they can spread the Gospel message to others. God has a beautiful way of using the innocence and sincerity of children to strengthen the faith of others. In Isaiah 6:8 it says, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Although most of my students will probably never have the opportunity to travel to Africa or China or other places to share their faith, they will have the opportunity here to create this project together. Through Christ in Media, their project could potentially be seen all over the world. To God be the Glory.

Translate this page into your language
Return to original language with "show original" button at top left.


Stephanie Wentzlaff 28 days ago
As a former teacher, I think that what you are teaching your students is a foundation that will help them to always have a heart for missions. At this age they are so eager to be "home" missionaries themselves. God bless your class is this blessed endeavor.
Mandy Buelow 19 days ago
Thank you so much! The kids are so excited! Their passion and creativity is inspiring!
Tom Kuster 26 days ago
When KFUO International selected this particular session from the conference, and interviewed Mandy on the air on Tuesday morning, I think it signaled what an exciting concept this is: engaging children directly in mission projects using media. Good work, Mandy.
Mandy Buelow 19 days ago
I was honored to be interviewed! I think it is so wonderful to get the kids involved. I am hoping this project inspires other projects and creates a ripple effect!! Thanks for helping me get connected to the right people to make this all happen!!
Judy Kuster 23 days ago
Amanda, there is another paper on this conference you might want to take a look at. It is by Todd Hackbarth on Videography and Promotion Hackbarth’s paper includes a nicely done video of 4th graders telling why Christian Education is such a blessing.
Mandy Buelow 19 days ago
Thank you for sharing! I love to see kids in action, sharing the Gospel!!
Mark R. Harrington 14 days ago
Mandy: a very interesting and helpful post in getting kids and congregations more missions minded and outward looking! Do you think this would work as well for small Sunday School classes (as in the case of our congregation)? How would it work for Stone Path Studios to do filming at a local congregational level (such as ours in San Antonio) or could we do our own filming and submit to Stone Path Studios? Finally, how is it determined what countries/outlets that would receive the final product?
Tom Kuster 10 days ago
Good questions. I hope Mandy will address the first and someone from Stone Path Studios the second. About which countries: once we have a good idea of what the kids' video will include, Christ in Media with the help of the synodical mission boards will contact overseas fields with suggestions regarding how they might make use of it. We will ask their help in supplying lyrics in local languages that Stone Path will sub-title onto the video. Our hope is that kids around the world will be singing along, in both English and their own languages, to learn Gospel songs.
Mandy Buelow 10 days ago
Thank you for your comments and questions!! I think this would be a GREAT idea for Sunday school classes! Combining songs, music, photos, and even different age groups would be awesome! I think it would be difficult to use Stone Path studios to make your project, because of the location. I can check on that for you. Since Mt. Olive Lutheran School and the studio are both located in Mankato, they were able to pop over to shoot the video. I'm sure you could do your own taping and/or editing go from there. Maybe check with the technology department at your local college. Once it is digital, I assume that Christ in Media Institute could connect you to the right resources for adding different languages and distribution options. Hope this helps!
Mandy Buelow
Andy Krueger 10 days ago
Hi Mark, I help oversee Bethany's Stone Path Studios that is currently in the process of making the mission video for Mandy's class. In regards to how we can help you; we can probably do 2 options. The least expensive method would be to send us video and we can edit it together. We won't be doing the language work on Mandy's video; that is going to happen via another organization, but we can edit film to a final production. We could come down and shoot but that would likely be an expensive endeavor. There would be some more labor in shooting; not a lot more but probably a few hundred dollars more. The main cost would be getting us down there from Mankato. That would involve labor in the drive and mileage or flights and lodging. Feel free to contact me at or call me at 507-779-9136 and we can chat more. We are currently looking for some summer projects so the timing is great.