International Day of Children and Young People 2024
Join us in celebrating the presence, power and promise of children and young people within The Salvation Army!
Every year The Salvation Army celebrates the International Day of Children and Young People on the last Sunday of April. In 2024 this is Sunday 28 April.
The day is not just an opportunity to pray for children and young people, but also to create space for them to participate in every aspect of our mission. It is about giving them a voice and a stage.
We believe that, although children are developing, they are, at the same time, whole and complete human beings. God calls each individual human being into a real relationship and to a real vocation, not a potential vocation somewhere in the future.
This means we see children and young people as full, active members of the Body of Christ, equally important as anyone else.
Join us in celebrating on Sunday 28 April, or on another Sunday of your choice.
Theme for 2024: GROW
This year we will focus on the miracle of growth. Did you ever see a flower grow? Or a baby? Or maybe a dog or cat? It is just amazing to see growth!
The Bible talks a lot about growth. The materials for this year feature Bible stories which show us what we need to grow spiritually and how God will build his Kingdom. It's amazing to see how God's Spirit enables all of us to grow our love for God and for others so we can shine as bright lights in this world.
We hope the 'Grow' theme brings you joy, inspires you, makes you think and encourages you to have conversations with your friends and family.
Materials for all ages
This year the materials have been created by the Korea Territory.
A team of talented and passionate leaders under the supervision of captains Sung-Eun Jo and Yun-Taeg Kim have created materials for all ages:
- a fantastic theme song with a real K-pop sound
- a Bible reading rap
- a meeting plan and sermon outline
- intergenerational devotions
- activities, icebreakers and questions for different age groups.
There are also instructional videos to help you make the most of all the materials.
Download the materials
Download all the materials as PDFs and Word files you can edit. We have also included graphics you can use to promote the International Day of Children and Young People on your social channels.
If your territory is translating the material into another language, please send us a copy so we can make this available to others. Send your translation by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to use the materials
We invite you to use the materials as a framework. Feel free to add, adjust and adapt them for your own unique context and culture.
Most of the materials focus on meetings and activities for people that already connect with The Salvation Army. Here are some ideas how to connect with people who do not connect (yet) with The Salvation Army.
We believe our children and youth should be fully engaged in the mission of The Salvation Army. They are not supposed to stay on the side-lines! So here are some ideas for activities in your community:
- Use the theme song to go public with the message about ‘Grow’. You could introduce the song at school or organise a competition for children and young people in your neighbourhood. Use the opportunities in your community to reach and involve children, young people and families.
- Plant a community garden with vegetables, herbs and flowers. Together you can witness the growth and use the vegetables for fantastic dishes you can share together!
- Organise a group to explore nature in your community. Is there a forest? What kinds of trees do you find? Do you know their names and their characteristics? Is there water? What kinds of plants grow in and near the water? What kinds of animals live there? Explore your environment and talk to each other about your discoveries.
More resources to help children and young people learn about creation:
- Salvationist (UK): salvationist.org.uk/resources/environment-resources
- Tearfund: learn.tearfund.org/en/resources
If it is not possible to meet in person, try to find ways to meet online. You could prepare bags with materials for the activities and challenges. Add something nice to eat and a little note and deliver the bags to your children and young people. In an online meeting you could share parts of the message outline and do some activities together.
Be as creative as possible! And share your own ideas on our Facebook page to inspire others.
If you have any questions, remarks or ideas, please email email@example.com.
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