When we think of being on mission for Christ it is easy to assign that task exclusively to adults. It is easy to assume kids are too small or maybe don’t understand why they would be on mission for Christ. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Kids, though they are young, can be on mission for Christ in their communities, schools, neighborhoods, and even around the world. There is no age requirement when it comes to serving Christ.
Sometimes as parents we fall into the habit of wanting to keep our children close to us and safe. The mission field is dangerous. Loving others is risky and stepping out is faith is not easy. We want to raise them safely first and then expect them to go out there on fire for God when they really don’t have much of a reference point for that.
There is nothing wrong with wanting our children to be safe, but is that an eternal mindset? Raising our children to take the great commission as something that is for them too is awesome, exciting, and terrifying for parents. As a parent with an eye on eternity, I want my kids to see the world around them as Jesus does. I want them to embrace the call to tell others about Jesus, meet their needs, and love them as Christ would. It doesn’t matter if it is a kid at school or someone on the other side of the world, I want them to see everyone through the lens of Christ.
What are some practical ways to encourage our kids to be mission-minded?
While the idealism of kids on mission is exciting and appealing you may be wondering how to actually make this happen. How do you raise your kids with a mission mindset?
Teach Them to Notice Others
To meet the needs of others they have to notice others. They have to be able to look outside of themselves and their own needs to see the needs of others. Our campus pastor and his wife have a rule in their house that everyone needs to add value to someone’s life every day. It can be something really small like saying a kind word or it can be something bigger like noticing a need for food or new shoes and meeting that need.
Noticing others is a great way to be a kid on mission and they can do it right where they are!
Pray With Them and Encourage Them to Pray on Their Own for Others
Prayer is something that may seem way too easy to include on this list but it isn’t. Praying for others in our community and around the world is imperative when it comes to being on mission for Christ. Teaching our kids that we can’t do anything of our own power will help them realize they need to go to God with their needs and the needs around them. This is a great way to keep things in perspective.
Serve With Them
When there is an opportunity to serve with your kids whether it be at a local food pantry, a neighbor’s house, or inviting others into your home make sure you include your kids. Also, ask them how they would like to serve. This is a way to get a glimpse into their hearts and the passions that God has placed there.
Go on an International Mission Trip
This is on my list to do with two of my older kids. It is so important for them to see that there are other people in the world outside of their circle that God loves and cares for. This helps foster a biblical and Christ-like worldview as well as taking them out of their comfort zone. Seeing how other people live gives kids a great perspective. See what your church has available for family mission trips or partner with a missionary you know and set a date. Get those passports ready so when God says “go” you can go with your kids.
Do you have creative and fun ways that you serve others with your kids? We want to hear about them! Let us know in the comments!
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrisleigh Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com