There is nothing more beautiful or inspiring to see as a missional family – families that serve together. Typically families that serve together experience a higher rate of not only maintaining their children in the faith, but watching their own children’s families serve together as well. Children who serve along side their parents grow up with a sense of joyful duty to the Kingdom of God and understand its power to change lives.Serving together does not require you to be in full-time ministry. It simply requires you to sacrifice time and remain focused on eternal values.
8 Ways to Become a Missional Family
1. Go on a short-term mission as a family. Churches often schedule mission trips or weekend outreaches to inner cities. Volunteer to serve on a short-term mission or weekend outreach together. When you return home, compare notes and ask your children how serving and evangelizing has changed their life. Then share together about how selfless service matters for eternity, which is worth far more than any investment we can make here on earth.
2. Host a family or multi-family mission fundraiser. There are so many options here that one could consider when it comes to missions fundraising. The obvious ones that come to mind are: Garage sales, bake sales, donation based mystery dinners or potlucks, auctions, silent auctions, craft fairs and more. You can provide brochures, pictures and artifacts from the mission you are raising funds for to help raise awareness about them. Making this a family event can be so much fun: from the planning to preparation, and the actual event itself. Allowing your children to play a role in each part of the event will not only make an impact on them, it will help them to feel as if they have a personal investment in that missionaries life and ministry. And indeed they will!
3. Host a Missionary. When a missionary comes through your church, offer to host them in your home. You can either host them for their entire stay or ask them to dinner. This will allow your children to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with a “real-live” missionary. You never know, this may be the first step to your child hearing a call from God on their life. And it will be an enormous blessing in the life of the missionary you host!
4. Raise Awareness of Missions. There is a prevailing sense of desperation among missionaries today. Most agree that they sense an overall disinterest among Christians today with regards to missions. Mission updates and appeal letters largely go unanswered, leaving them feeling abandoned and forgotten. By helping to spread the word about the work they are doing, and the eternal importance of mission work in general, you will greatly bless and inspire your missionary. They need that. Support from the home base helps to keep them energized and inspired to keep going. When you make this a family project, you also impress a deep sense of importance to your children with relation to missions. They will never forget this!
5. Give up a holiday. Create a family memory for a lifetime by sacrificing a holiday to serve in a homeless shelter, retirement or nursing home, orphanage, soup kitchen or any venue where you can selflessly give to those who cannot give back.
6. Give up a weekend and offer aid. Travel as a family to a disaster area and offer aid to the victims. With tornado season upon us, there will be much opportunity to offer aid to those who have suffered tremendous loss. By offering them aid, doors will open to you to share the love of Jesus.
7. Get involved in community events. Use every opportunity to be missional! State fairs, city parades, marathons, little league, high school games…these are all prime opportunities to reach out and touch your community! Don’t meet every event with tracts a Bible in hand. Just go and make contacts. When the door opens, share your testimony. Make a family assignment ahead of time to practice sharing your testimonies and memorize relevant verses together that you can share in normal conversation. The goal here is to make it real for your family and the ones you reach out to.
8. Foster care and adoption. This is one of the most life-changing ways you can be missional as a family. It not only changes the life and dynamic of your family on all levels, but it will change the life of the child you accept into your home. This single decision can change eternity not only for that child in need, but for their children and generations beyond.
Learn more about missional living from my book “The Missional Handbook“. It’s not just a book for missionaries, but for all those who seek to live their lives in a way that makes Jesus’ name famous on the earth!