Have you ever wondered how to ignite a passion for evangelism in your kids? I grew up in a Christian home and my father was very intentional about teaching us the importance of the Great Commission. Here are some things he has taught me that I am passing on to my children. I hope that by looking at these ideas, you will be inspired to be a world changer this summer!
Read biographies of missionaries aloud to your children
I remember sitting around the woodstove listening to stories about great men and women of faith such as Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael and George Mueller as a young girl. These stories had a great impact on me and I believe they helped to shape my worldview. I have chosen to pick a few titles each year to add to our read-aloud list for school and often in the winter time we will snuggle up on the couch and read for fun. If you are looking for a great place to start, check out the Christian Heroes Then and Now series by YWAM Publishing. . You are sure to find a title that catches your interest from their excellent selection.
Open Your Home to Traveling Evangelists and Missionaries
Growing up our home had an open door policy to any family or person in need. We hosted countless pastors, missionaries, students and fellow believers. This practice showed me the importance of hospitality, generated some awesome dinner table conversation and broadened my worldview. I was exposed to different cultures and foreign lands from the safety of my own home. It also sparked an interest in learning more about the region or country from which the visitor originated.
Support a Missionary
My parents were always very vocal about the importance of supporting missions with your finances. We supported many ministries in our home as God provided the means to do this. We found that He was always faithful to provide for us and out of this faithfulness, we blessed others. Our children have been taught to give through our local church’s mission program. We have a mission’s conference each year and we take our kids so they can see the work God is doing around the world and hear missionaries speak. We encourage them to give of their own money to this cause. We have supported a student in Thailand through high school through a mission organization and are currently supporting a couple who are working to mobilize foreign college students to go back to their countries after graduation and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Compassion International is a great organization to check out if you would like to support a child.
Get Involved in a Mission Project
We have done things such as make parachutes for mission organizations to use to float Bibles and radios over the jungles of South America, we have helped serve at a block party for the homeless, we pack shoeboxes with items for children in war-torn countries each year at Christmas time through Operation Christmas Child. Getting involved in a hands-on way makes a big impact on children. Ask about opportunities in your local church or contact a homeless shelter or food pantry and I am sure you will find some ways to get involved in local missions.
Be a Missionary yourself
Model missions for your children by taking opportunities to volunteer in your church, your community and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. My father was a frequent short-term missionary and offered his skills in building and preaching to help support missionaries overseas. I began my mission career at the age of 16 travelling to Russia as a short-term missionary teaching English in the public schools. I continued this ministry as a high schooler and college student. When I began my own family I found that my mission field changed to include mostly my home, my church family and my community. As my children have gotten older, I recently had the opportunity to serve on a short-term medical mission trip to Romania. My husband took a trip to India with our local church last year. Having our kids see that mom and dad are serious about missions is one way to impact our children and teach the importance of missions.
I hope that as the dog days of summer envelop your family, you will consider ways that you can instill the importance of missions in your children. This is one area in which we can Teach Them Diligently!
Jennifer Allen is a homeschool graduate, wife to her soulmate David (who also contributes to the blog), homeschooling mom, registered nurse, AWANA teacher, pianist, reader and lifelong learner. She can be found on her little corner of the web at conversaving.com. The person on the street would define “conversaving” as the act of easing the discomfort of someone left out of a conversation by including them in the dialogue. “Conversaving” the blog seeks to do the same thing, by relieving the awkward silence across the Internet of those seeking a real place to engage in constructive conversations about news, family,homeschooling, saving money, etc. Sprinkle in some laughs, tears, personal stories and curriculum reviews and you have the recipe for Conversaving.com!