I have many things I want to teach my children. One of the most important things I want to teach them is to be mission minded. We live in a very selfish society. Life seems to be all about “me” and “my family”. Sometimes in the busyness of life we lose sight of the world around us. We lose sight of our main purpose – which is to glorify God. One of the ways we serve God is by impacting others for Christ.
God has graciously allowed my family to serve Him full-time in the area of missions. Because of this, God has given me a great desire and burden to raise my kids to be mission minded. The Bible teaches that Christians should be involved in missions these three ways: Telling others about Christ, giving towards missions, and praying for missionaries and lost souls. How can you teach your kids to have a burden for missions? Here are a few ideas:
- Be a witness yourself– This is not always easy. I know that I fail at this many times, but I want my kids to see me being a witness for Christ. We should be giving out gospel tracts to the store clerks and other people we see. When we have a chance, we should try to talk to people about the Lord. You might say, “what can I do as a stay at home mom?” You can bake cookies for the neighbors and insert a gospel booklet. You can take the kids to the park and give out tracts to people you see. If you ask the Lord, you will be surprised at how many opportunities He gives you. How will my kids remember me? Will they remember me as someone who was an ambassador for Christ? If we have a burden it will translate over to our kids.
- Teach your kids about other places in the world and pray for those places – Our ministry puts out a world prayer map which you can get for free at www.wingsbearingpreciousseed.org. It has been a great tool for us to pray for other countries of the world. It also tells the population of each country and the percentage of Christians. Did you know that 60 countries in the world have a Christian population of only 1%? These countries need prayer and they need missionaries! In Luke 10:2, we are told to pray for laborers. Many times we fail to do that.
- Pray for missionaries together – A good idea is to put missionary prayer cards in a photo album and pray for a few of them at devotion time. Something we used to do when the kids were small was to have Monday Missionary Night: We put a sticker with a fun activity listed on each prayer card. We put the cards in a decorated shoe box and we would draw one card out that night. We would pray for the missionary family and then do the activity on the card (like play a game, go to the park, etc.) Does your family know the missionaries your church supports? You should at least pray for them. Our church has book markers made up with the missionaries we support listed on them. This is a good way to have those names handy to pray for.
- Read missionary biographies with your kids – Doing this has greatly impacted my life, as well as my kids. Reading those stories increases your faith! I remember reading the biography of Mary Slessor when the kids were small. We would get under the table which was made into a tent. We would have soft jungle sounds playing in the background as we read (Mary Slessor was a missionary in the African jungle). Now that my kids are older, I find myself wishing I would have done more of this! YWAM publishes great missionary biographies at a good price. They are called “Christian Heroes Then & Now”. They have a good variety.
- Teach your kids to start giving to missions when they are young – I once heard the story of a little girl who gave a visiting missionary a penny. It is all she had but she gave it to the missionary proudly. He kept that penny and wanted to do something special with it so he bought a gospel tract. When he went back to the field, he took that tract with him and gave it to a chief of a tribe there. The chief ended up trusting Christ and eventually the whole tribe got saved. Little is much when God is in it!
- Visit the mission field together – I know that this is not really possible for everyone. I have seen how visiting the mission field has impacted lives for eternity. We take groups to the mission field every year and each time I see the tremendous impact it makes on those who go. My daughter is 15 and visiting the mission field has changed her life. It has changed my life. The eye affects the heart. We don’t realize how good we have it here in America. I urge anyone that can to go on a missions trip, if at all possible.
Hope this is a blessing! May we all be more mission minded!