Over the last 15 years, several Christian teachers and children's workers shared their burden for children's involvement in missions as they met at training events and informal gatherings. A pivotal meeting took place at the U.S. Center for World Mission in 1987.
People recognized that mission agencies had not filled the gap because children were not their major focus. Christian educators and publishers had not filled the gap because missions was not their major focus. The need for a platform was critical. As a result, the first biennial International Children's Expo was organized and Kids Can Make a Difference Network formed to connect children's workers with resource people and materials.
In July 1996 at Wheaton, IL, ACMC hosted a meeting of advocates for children's missions education where the need for a larger collaboration was discussed. Another ACMC consultation was held in January 1997 that involved publishers, missions advocates and missions-minded children's workers. Together they put in place a framework for a continuing children's mission movement.
In 1997 it was recognized that the children's missions movement needed to be attached to a larger network of mission agencies and mobilizers. Woman's Missionary Union, auxiliary to Southern Baptist Convention, hosted a meeting in April of 1997 to lay the groundwork for a network that was formed in September 1997, the Missions Education and Mobilization Network (MEMN).
21st Century Kids Connect is the children's missions education/mobilization arm of MEMN. This network provides 21st Century Kids Connect with the much-needed larger audience.
Since January 1997, the consultation group has been faithfully working together to birth the 21st Century Kids Connect. The first advisory board meeting was held in January 1998. Plans are underway with an administrator hired and a web master is being sought to begin work on a web site.
The 21st Century Kids Connect was officially launched at the International Children's Expo in April 1998. (The biennial International Children's Expo trains children's workers, parents and Christian schoolteachers in missions education and mobilization of children.)
Founding Organizations of MEMN: