Family life – advancing God’s Kingdom
It might be the inner city, somewhere south of the border or even a place that’s a plane ride away. More and more churches are encouraging families to take short term mission trips together. Does this bring spiritual returns worthy of the investment? In many cases it does impact family members positively, and often it brings blessing to the people on the receiving end. (Sometimes, they even end up being the givers!)
Taking a mission trip is not the only way a family can advance God’s global Kingdom. And usually a trip is a valuable experience for everyone involved when they take time and make the effort to prepare for the ministry of mission.
Long before we take that trip; even if we never take a family mission trip, we can spiritually fine tune our own family’s life for reaching out to others. We can build Kingdom principles into the ordinaries we experience by asking questions:
Fact-finding – What do we do to build awareness of what is going on outside our home?
Faith-building challenges – How do we intentionally develop faith-muscles, learn to trust God?
Finances – Are we transparent with our kids about where money goes and how much of it is invested directly in God’s Kingdom advance?
Focus – What family activities deliberately and delightfully help us see and love Jesus?
Friendship – How do we build healthy relationships beyond the immediate family circle?
Frontiers – What are we learning about the ‘unreached’ edges of God’s Kingdom?
Fun – How careful are we to seek out entertainment that has wholesome value?
Perhaps the best place to begin these preparations is to have a session with the adults in the family. Consider including older teens who are spiritually alert and growing in their walk with Jesus. Take seven sheets of lined paper and print one of questions above at the top of each. Pass these around and let participants, in turn, jot down examples, questions, suggestions related to the topic on the paper. Let one person pull the ideas together and then, working as a team, devise a plan to implement a 7-F Strategy. Let F stand for Faithfulness!
Be careful to prioritize and tackle things from the most important on. Avoid making a lot of major changes/additions all at once. Set attainable, measurable goals. Building the Faithfulness Foundation that enables a growing family to be ‘on mission for God’ will not be easy. It will, however, be worth the effort and will bring about the generational faithfulness presented in Psalm 145. Generations yet to come, generations we will not live to see on this earth will call us blessed. God will be glorified. Can anything be more important? More exciting?