Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Raise Mission-Minded Kids

Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” ~Jesus (Matthew 4:19)

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20)

"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

We shall have Heaven forever, but we only have a short time for evangelism here on earth. We must not waste the opportunity. We must help our children see the importance and the urgency of the Great Commission. “Go, send, or disobey!” ~John Piper

How do we raise our kids to be missions-minded? There’s no formula. There’s no guarantee. Only by the grace of God! I’m just going to share what we’ve done and are still working on in our family :). Hope you’ll find it helpful!

1. Discipling
Teach and train your children to live Christ-centered, Gospel-focused, missions-minded, eternal perspective-embraced lives. Equip them to be able to disciple others. Lead them to be solidly grounded in the Word and in apologetics. Turn everyday experiences into teaching moments. Encourage them to reach their God-given potential and to be like Jesus (our Ultimate Role Model).

2. Modeling
Walk the talk! Live your faith and your conviction out loud! Your kids can tell whether you are passionate about missions or not. They can tell by looking at where you invest your time, talents, and treasures to support. Give generously and cheerfully to mission organizations that make an eternal impact in the lives of people. Help those in need whenever and however you can. Share the Gospel with others whenever opportunities arise.

3. Exposing
Help your kids be aware of the world’s problems such as abortion, persecution of Christians, unreached people groups, poverty, war-torn areas, disasters, human trafficking, etc. and how they can be part of the solution!
- Books/Magazines about evangelism, martyrs, missions, and missionaries
- DVDs (plenty of free DVDs available through mission organizations)
- Mission conferences such as Mission ConneXion http://www.missionconnexion.com/
- Mission trips
- Child sponsorship
- Missionary sponsorship
- Invite missionaries to your home
- Give your kids opportunities to care about the needs of others such as giving their money to mission organizations, packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, giving their clothes to the homeless shelter, raising funds for Pregnancy Resource Centers, visiting nursing homes, etc.
- Host a Bible study in your home for unbelievers/seekers
- Get your family involved in a ministry or an outreach

4. Keeping ourselves and our children accountable
Regularly check our priorities in life. Spend plenty of time in the Word and in prayer lest we grow cold/lukewarm towards God and the Great Commission and lose sight of an eternal perspective and God’s will for our lives. To be effective witnesses for Christ, our lives and our children’s lives must reflect Christ accurately. Hypocrisy is what often turns people away from Christ. Instill in your children Godly character and virtues and help them become men and women of integrity. Help guide them to make wise decisions so that their testimony will not be destroyed or discredited. That goes for us, too!

5. Praying
- Pray for your kids that God’s vision will be their vision, that God’s passion will be their passion, and that God’s mission will be their mission.
- Pray (with your kids) for the lost
- Pray (with your kids) for the unreached
- Pray (with your kids) for the persecuted church
- Pray (with your kids) for missionaries
- Pray (with your kids) for different countries, especially those in 10/40 window
- Pray for opportunities to serve God and others & to share Christ’s love and the Gospel

My final advice: Love God and others. Live intentionally for God and the furtherance of His kingdom. Serve God faithfully and enthusiastically. Pray unceasingly.

Questions to ponder: How can my family glorify God today? How can we train our kids to think about living in the light of eternity and not just for the here and now? How can we put others above ourselves? How can we help our kids grow spiritually? How is our relationship with our kids? Are we willing to die for the cause of Christ–to be faithful to the end?

Don’t let the world change your children; raise your children to change the world for Christ!


Recommended resources and websites:
- Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
- Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan
- Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
- Radical by David Platt
- Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado
- Jesus Freak Vol. I and II
- Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/)
- http://www.samaritanspurse.org                            
- http://www.persecution.com
- http://www.kidsofcourage.com/
- http://www.gfa.org
- http://www.compassion.com
- http://www.worldvision.org
- http://www.30-days.net/
- http://www.jesusfilm.org/
- http://wayofthemaster.com/
- http://www.wycliffe.org/
- http://www.opendoors.org/
- http://www.historymakers.info/
- http://harvestministry.org/store/free-resources

Please share what works for your family and any resources you would recommend. Thanks!

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