Children In Missions Network (CIMN)

The Children In Missions Network (CIMN) is a strategic network of the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI). Therefore its vision and mission derive from the vision and mission of MANI.


Vision and General Objectives of MANI

The Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) is a network of networks focused on catalyzing African National Initiatives and mobilizing the resources of the Body of Christ in Africa for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

MANI’s purpose is to catalyze by affirming, motivating, mobilizing, inspiring and networking the Body of Christ in Africa with the vision of reaching the unreached and least evangelized in Africa, and the wider world.

The MANI Vision is that: “Africa be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14)



  • The Children in Missions Network (CIMN) is a strategic network of the Movement for African National Initiatives. CIMN is deeply convinced of and committed to the realization of the biblical truth that the Great Commission is a command given to all followers of Jesus Christ, young and old.
  • We also realise that children have a strategic role to play in the fulfilment of the Great Commission and in finishing the task of reaching the remaining least reached peoples of the world.


  • Encourage and empower children in missions by mobilizing them to play a significant role in reaching the least evangelized peoples and nations worldwide (world mission)
  • Encourage and advocate for the inclusion of children in the development and implementation of a cooperative national strategy designed to saturate their countries with accessible groups of believers (saturation church planting) and facilitate a process of transformation (radical transformation)
  • Develop partnerships and relationships with existing children’s ministry networks in Africa and seek to mobilize, encourage and empower them to help children discover their role and participate in God’s missional purpose.
  • Encourage the other MANI Strategic and Functional Networks including the Country Assessment Process (CAP), and national initiatives to adopt processes that are inclusive of the voices and possible participation of children in the realization of their objectives.

History of Children’s Role in Missions

Children and teens have been part of the harvest force God has used to fulfill His purposes in every generation. The little slave girl from Israel, who was a maid to Naaman’s wife (2 Kings 5:2-4); Samuel served the Lord as a boy (1 Samuel 2:11); Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach & Abednego were youths prepared from childhood to “still the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2)

Current Realities in Missions

State of Christianity Today

  • The number of annual births keep changing the statistics around the number of Christians around the world. Just when we think we are closing on the gap between Christians and non-Christians, more babies are born.
  • The whole Church, not just those who are directly involved in children’s ministries, needs to think more strategically on how to reach these children, majority of whom are born in non-Christian families and may never have the chance to hear the gospel
  • A great strategy will be to train, equip, disciple children and teens to reach this teeming population of children and teens. The harvest is plentiful and all hands need to be on deck.

Why Mobilize Children?

  • Children are the largest people group in the world. They have strategic potential that has remained largely untapped by the Church. Until we key into God’s purpose to reach the whole world – children, women, men, young & old with the whole gospel through the whole Church – children, women, men, young & old; we will miss a vital component that is desperately needed to bring about much needed revival that will lead to the final harvest.
  • Children need to be empowered to contribute to strategies that need to be developed in reaching this last frontier. Their unique perspectives, God given intuitiveness and gifting need to be brought to bear on current missions strategies. Their leadership skills are also very much needed in ensuring that the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ (Rev. 11:15).
  • Africa is the continent with the youngest % of population under 15 years[2]
  • Children are the next generation of disciples, families, leaders, business people and the Church in Africa. Children are the Now and Future! When they understand God’s missional purpose and the strategic role they are called to play in it, they will not depart from it (Prov 22:7).
  • By 2100, almost 50% of the children under 18 in the world will be African (=1.09 billion). Currently, the share is only 25%. By 2050, Nigeria alone will account for a 10th of global births![3]


We are standing on the cusp of a great opportunity to reach and disciple the next generation for Jesus and in doing so, shape the future of Africa!

“Every major movement in history has grasped the need to target the next generation in order to advance its agenda and secure its legacy into the future.” Wess Stafford


Opportunities for Children in Missions

Children are needed as:

  • PRAY-ERS. Children can pray for the unreached peoples of the world
  • Children can send financial, material and all other forms of support to missions to ensure that the task of reaching the unreached is completed in our time.
  • WELCOMERS. There are many unreached peoples in our towns and cities looking for better employment or educational opportunities. By befriending the children from these families, they become bridges that can lead to Christian families developing relationships with these unreached peoples. And these relationships serve as platforms to share the Gospel in creative ways.
  • MOBILIZERS. Children are natural mobilizers. They will mobilize others as parents, friends and others into missions. They will thus help to multiply and replenish the much needed resources that will ensure that that the task of reaching every people group for Christ is accomplished. When properly taught and guided, they will focus on creating missions awareness among Christians who are unaware of God’s global agenda to reach the nations.

Challenges for Children in Missions

  • Poor or limited access to financial resources
  • Lack of parental/adult support
  • Lack of recognition of children’s contribution and under-utilization of their skills and gifting by parents and Church leaders

Stories of Children Who Took Action

     Hope’s Story

The year was 1997. The place was the United States – Hope was a nine-year-old girl. For a school assignment, she researched the country of Mongolia. She was sad to learn that in a country of three million people, there were only five known believers of Jesus. Most people had never even heard of Jesus. They did not worship the true God, but prayed to little idol statues in their tents. Hope also learned that people in Mongolia did not have Bibles. Hope began to pray for the people of Mongolia. She asked God to send Christians from other countries to Mongolia. She prayed that inside their homes, the Mongolian people would have Bibles instead of idols. Hope prayed every day for two years. In 1999, Hope saw a magazine article about Mongolia. The title said, “Hope for Mongolia.” The article reported that 500 Mongolians had believed in Jesus. God had answered Hope’s prayers. Today, thousands of Mongolian people believe in Jesus and worship Him instead of idols. There are churches where people can read the Bible in their language and learn more about God. The largest church in Mongolia is in the capital city. It is called Hope Assembly

Elim International Christian Church, Wellington, New Zealand

“In 2000 we began a children’s prayer meeting: Turbulence.  This prayer meeting was for children – with the specific aim to help children grow in their personal prayer life.  We started with about 5 children meeting together on a weekly basis for one hour.  Soon our Sunday children’s programmes as well as our mid-week outreach programmes began to grow.  The number of children attending the prayer meeting rose to about 30: learning how to pray, to intercede, to declare the Word, to claim God’s promises, to release healing and salvation and to prophesy.  In 2001 we established another arm to our prayer meeting: Outreach Team.  The object of this was to equip a team of children in outreach, specifically through testimony, drama, song, dance and music.  This team travelled to several locations with children doing everything: leading worship, praying, preaching and performing.  Since 2001 this team has done outreaches at local schools, churches, clubs, holiday programmes, Christmas and Easter community events, City Council events and overseas mission.  This has had a powerful effect on the lives of all those involved as hundreds of other children have come to know Jesus.  We have also developed a discipleship training programme for children.” 

Praying Children in Ghana

There was a recent case in Ghana where a group of school children gathered to pray as they were getting ready to write an exam that fateful morning. And as they were praying, a boy walked into the room where they gathered. Suddenly, as he approached them, he fell to the ground. One of the boys lifted his Bible over the boy and began to command demons to come out. The boy on the floor resisted and screamed: “Don’t touch me with that book!” Suddenly, the boy on the floor (manifesting demonic presence) got up and started to run away. However, the other boys ran after him and caught him in the village market. They continued to pray until the boy was completely delivered/ set free…!

A Vision for the Future

Imagine a child …

  1. who knows and cares that Jesus is present with him and will never forsake him – even when the pain of his life never fully goes away
  2. who finds that hope and the kingdom of God are not mere concepts but acts of love by those who gather her into a place of protection away from fear, war, exploitation and abuse
  3. with special educational needs who encounters Jesus’ unconditional love and responds with smiles and noises of joy  – and becomes worship-leader in church
  4. who in spite of being mutilated by culture, religion, or neglect realises that she, a girl child, has been created in the image of God – and gains hope
  5. who shunned by school and community because of HIV/AIDS finds Jesus’ love through the pastor walking him safely to school each day
  6. who has something of the Scriptures in a format that will assist her to encounter Jesus
  7. who although half-naked and very hungry, sleeps peacefully and safely in the shelter provided by the church
  8. whose regular prayer partners include adults and together they share their concerns
  9. who finds that Jesus can help him understand the difference between sinning and being sinned against, and that both of these are wrapped with healing grace and constant love
  10. who finds a home with God’s people: a place where she wants to be and a people she trusts
  11. who is sharing his relationship with Jesus with peers and family
  12. whose parents are the first to introduce Jesus to her and accompany her on a journey of discovering Jesus
  13. who experiences with the Church what it means to know Jesus and have life in all its fullness.
  14. Imagine a church that …
  15. commits the necessary resources to reach children, 30 percent of the world’s population
  16. builds a ‘good news’ relationship with every child in their community
  17. believes that, like the biblical child Samuel, children can have a voice in their congregation
  18. allows children to be in the midst of its teaching, worship, evangelism and discipleship.
  19. Imagine a world where children are …
  20. able to be safe, be cared for and live in hope
  21. given many opportunities to know and respond to the love of Jesus Christ
  22. encouraged to bring hope, healing, comfort and Jesus to one another
  23. able to be discipled no matter how diverse their family or faith background.
  24. Imagine families that …
  25. move beyond healthy nurture into their God-ordained role as spiritual caregivers
  26. are empowered to be the models of Christian values in their communities
  27. are equipped to create spiritual traditions in the home.
  28. Imagine theological institutions that …
  29. allow a theology of childhood to inform all disciplines
  30. esteem children’s ministers as highly as all others in ministerial training
  31. create a synergy between theory and practice that is rooted in the harsh realities of a child’s world.
  32. We can make all of this possible when we join God to make the imagined become a reality; when with His help, we establish partnerships that …
  33. recognize that as the body of Christ and together we can do more than we could ever do alone
  34. combine the strengths and resources of children, family, church, organisations, and institutions across nations.


Pause and think for a moment what it will be like if we have ‘the whole Church– women, men, young women, young men, girls & boys- taking the whole Gospel to the whole world– women, men, young women, young men, girls & boys.’

Let us deliberately remove the barriers that hinder children from coming to the Lord and participating in His mission, like Jesus our Master did.

Finishing the task is possible!

For information about Children in Missions Network (CIMN), contact us by email at

[1] Justin Long – State of Christianity presented at Ethne 2015

[2] Population Reference Bureau, 2012 World Population Data Sheet

[3] UNICEF Gen2030 Report, 2014


[4] Kids Making A Difference by Pete Hohmann

[5] Evangelization of Children – Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 47, 2004


[7] Evangelization of Children – Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 47, 2004