I don't know about you, but I want my children to have more on their minds than the latest blockbuster movie or cell phone upgrade. I want them to have a heart that beats to make a difference for Jesus. These days kids are taught to succeed in life by making good grades, landing a good job, and being productive members of society. Those are great and needful things. But we often miss the foundation for it all, which is to raise our children to love Jesus and His work. It is God's job to individually call my children to an area of missions; whether that be a 9 to 5 job, a doctor, a Pastor, or an overseas missionary. It's my job to raise my children to seek His face and His will and to be an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ. It's my job to plant seeds of faith and ministry in my children's heart. No matter what our children grow up to be, they should still live with a missionary mindset because that's what it is all about - to serve Jesus and make Him known to others.
There are many opportunities where we can instill a love for missions and ministry in our kids. Here are five easy ways:
- Teach them to pray for others. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, and He taught them. It is our job to do the same with our children. Teach them to talk to God and then teach them intercessory prayer; teach them to pray for others. Let them hear you pray - for your pastor, family, for our brothers and sisters all over the world - then teach them to pray for their friends, their Sunday School teacher, etc.
- Bring them to concerts like World Hope's Children of the World or His Little Feet. These choirs are made up of children from all over the world - most of them orphaned. By exposing them to children their own age who have been rescued from poverty and other desperate circumstances, you are showing them that there is a need beyond what they see in their own little world.
- Give and let them see you give. Give to your annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering or Annie Armstrong Easter offering. Or maybe your Church supports a missionary family overseas. However you do it, GIVE and let your children see you give!
- Read stories of missionaries in Christian history. Heroes of the Faith has an excellent series for adults and for children that present stories of great men and women in our history who have done amazing things for Christ. Tell them about Evangelists, missionaries, martyrs, and Church planters. Voice of the Martyr's has a wonderful DVD collection for children called the Torchlighter series that I highly recommend.
- Sponsor a child and involve them in the process. There are over 140 million orphans in the world today. Thousands die daily from preventable diseases, a good percentage being children. Do something about that. Websites like Danita's Children, Acres of Hope, Cry of the Orphan, and All God's Children are just some of the places where you can make a difference in a child's life.