Missions Minded Family – Intro
When someone asks you about your family, it’s a pretty common practice to whip out your phone and share a picture or two. Your pictures offer a visual representation; offering faces to go with the names. This makes it easier for another person to identify with the people you are discussing. That is what I am hoping to do here. I want to place an image in your head; a visual for what a missions minded family looks like. Once you have a clear view of what that looks like then we see how such a family might function.
You may wonder, as a woman, which part of your life takes precedence: family or church?
After all, God created the family, first and foremost of all institutions, even before the church or government. Shouldn’t that mean that the family comes first?
Yet, God ordained missions as the first and foremost means by which to evangelize the world, and His directive to Christians was to go forth and tell others of Him. How are you supposed to do that, when you need to take care of a houseful of kids, a husband, and possibly even an aging parent or two? How does a woman balance the responsibilities of family and ministry?
The Lord is perfect in all He does, and raising a mission minded family fulfills both roles in a woman’s life, fully and completely.
- "God is too good and too wise to give us conflicting obligations. Every obligation that comes from God is perfectly compatible with every other obligation that comes from God."
Fulfilling the Great Commission, or “missions” as the church calls it, and raising a family are two sides of the same coin. What greater mission field is there, than those you interact with each and every day. A family that knows the Lord, and works in harmony towards the purpose of telling others, can fulfill the commission given to them just by being an example to those around them.
Here are few very real truths from the book The Missions Minded Family that you must consider:
- "Your family may never be called to become missionaries in a foreign country, yet as followers of Jesus Christ, you are still called to be missions minded."
- "Not only are our obligations to our family and missions compatible, they are mutually supportive in His purposes."
- "The family is not an obstacle to ministry; it is a vehicle for ministry."
Just like a road-worthy vehicle, the family unit must be maintained in order to go the distance. It has been made for the road, not the garage. A missions minded family becomes stronger and more effective, as they work as a team, serving others. But this doesn't just happen overnight.
The Value of Preparation
Don't underestimate the value of preparation. Your children will not just wake up one day with an innate awareness of missions.
- Just as you expect our missionaries to study and adapt to foreign cultures, learn new languages, etc., you must teach yourselves to make missions the heartbeat of your home.
- For where do new, future missionaries come from, if not from missions minded homes? How will future sending churches continue to send, if the next generation does not have a love for the Great Commission?
- "Establishing the balance between your personal life and your outreach to others, means you can enjoy a productive ministry while launching your children, into a lifelong love for the Gospel."
The Purpose of This Series
This series of articles is designed to help you promote missions awareness in the daily life of your family. As women, you have great influence on our family’s values, and interests. What better way to fulfill your God given roles, than to train up a small army of soldiers for the Lord.
- The first step is to focus your heart on sharing the Gospel, because where your interest lies, influences your family.
Let me say that one more time: The first step in creating a missions minded family is to create a love of missions within yourself!
How to Become a Missions Minded Family
- Make missions your daily focus.
- "Instead of asking God to bless your kids, meet your needs, and fulfill your personal goals, seek God for how your family can bless others, meet others' needs, and help fulfill God's goals."
- Use your home as a place where others can experience Christian hospitality. Have an open door or open table policy toward the lost.
- Cut down on distractions and look for opportunities to witness to others through words or by example.
- Have a team spirit attitude, even if your other family members aren't on board right away. Your family is still a unit that needs to stick together.
- Create a family missions statement.
- Find a church ministry opportunity that you can work on as a family: visitation, bus ministry, nursing home, etc.
Determine that, with God's help, you are going to begin painting the picture of your missions minded family. Take time this week to reflect on ways that you can meld together the two responsibilities given to you, ministry and family. Jot down ideas and pray for wisdom and direction. Decide what sort of portrait you want to represent your family.
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT
- In my family's life, which obligation usually takes the dominant role: missions or family?
- In what specific ways do I see conflicting interests between my family and missions?
- What does our family portrait look like in regards to being mindful of missions?
- What practical things can I do to make missions a greater part of our family life?
Read More Articles in This Series
This series of articles on the Missions Minded Family is based upon a lesson taught by Hannah Schmutzler, future missionary wife to Mongolia, to the ladies at Southwest Baptist Church, in Oklahoma City. The foundation of this series and all quotes came from the book written by Ann Dunagan, “The Mission Minded Family: Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny.”
About the Author
Hannah and her husband Cameron are currently on deputation, raising support so they can begin full-time missionary work in Mongolia. She juggles the demands of traveling with those of a toddler and keeps a sweet spirit through it all. Hannah has authored two books in addition to her writing for the Submissive Spirit. She also blesses us with her beautiful voice.