Our kids loved spy movies when they were growing up. No, not Mission Impossible or 007, but more on the lines of Spy Kids and The Spy Next Door. These types of spy movies would eventually involve the whole family going on some type of mission. I love this idea. How awesome would it be for families to start a mission for missions? When it comes to the idea of developing a mission-minded home and developing mission-minded children the parents MUST be intentional in making this happen. It sounds far-fetched or maybe impossible but please hear me out on how you can be a family on a mission for missions.
How is it possible for parents to develop a mission mindset in their homes? How can we transform our living rooms into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, or the uttermost?
The first and easiest way for this to happen is by prayer. Mission prayer cards make this an extremely easy and even fun way to pray for missionaries. These cards fit nicely into a 4×6 note card box (purchase here). Every time a missionary comes to your church take their card and put it in this box. Each night as a family have one of the kids pick out the next card and announce who the missionary you will be praying for will be. This not only keeps the names of these missionaries before your children but also allows them to develop a heart for people around the world.
The second way is by hosting missionaries in your home. Growing up in a small town we were not fortunate enough to have a hotel or even a decent Mexican restaurant to eat in after church (I know, the atrocity). So my house (usually my room) was the hotel and our dining room/kitchen was the restaurant. Mom was the chef. I remember many missionaries coming through our home over the years. Now that I am pastoring I’ve crossed paths with many of them. Most have no recollection of taking over my room, but I have never forgotten. Keep your kids before missionaries.
The third way to cultivate a mission mindset is to be a missionary to your community or neighbors. When we were praying about a house to move into when we first moved to Morgantown my prayer was that God would put us in a neighborhood where we could be missionaries. One night after praying this one of my kids was visibly upset. When I asked him what was wrong he said, “Dad, I don’t want to move again.” I said, “What do you mean?” “I don’t want to be a missionary dad, I want to stay in Morgantown!”
No major move is needed to open your doors, back porch, or dining room table to those around you. I am afraid other than a wave across the fence and some Facebook stalking there is very little relationship-building in our neighborhoods and communities. Our kids need to witness us reaching out to those around us. They need to see us opening our doors to share the love of Christ.
If possible, number four is the next best way for your children to get a glimpse of missions. This is by taking them on a mission trip. A trip overseas could and would change you and your family forever. Even without overseas travel though we have mission fields all around us right here in the United States. Working in a rescue mission, church plants, inner-city works, soup kitchens, and even literature distribution can prove to be life-changing events in the life of your child.
Finally, the best way to help develop a heart for missions in your child is by praying for them. An awesome prayer for our children is that they will grow to love Jesus, to serve the church, and have a heart for the nations.
We are without excuse parents. Your child will eventually outgrow their cleats, skates, and shoulder pads. One day his knees will no longer be able to take landing from a dunk. Your daughter will remember how to do a backflip, but will probably never attempt one after age twenty-five. But, your child will never outgrow their love and heart for missions!