Adult Team Blog

Someone You Raise

“Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”—Andy Stanley

When we think about missions, we often define it as traveling to a foreign country to tell people about Jesus. We equate “missions” with “going” and the idea of being sent to another place.

As moms, we can be tempted to look with envy at the young or single woman who serves on the missions field in a foreign country, thinking her work for the kingdom of God is more noteworthy or impactful than our service in the home. We glamorize the missionary’s life as more important to the spread of the gospel than our daily work in the doldrums of diapers and dirty laundry.

Making Friends

Holding a baby that could easily be a Gerber model, Jill and I struck up a conversation next to our apartment pool. Obviously, the blue-eyed doll she held was the conversation starter, but we talked for a while after about her life and family.

As we talked, Jill told me, “You know, I have never really met any of my neighbors here before,” referring to the apartment community she has lived in for the last 3 years.

My heart soared when she said this, because this is exactly what my husband and I have prayed for in the apartment God has placed us in. That community will flourish and we will have opportunities to share Jesus.

With her confession, I responded, “Well now you know at least one person. We should go for walks sometime.”

There is something about being pursued in friendship as an adult. It’s as if once we all moved past school where we were in a place with a lot of people going the same direction as us, we lost track of how to bridge the divide and make friends with strangers.

Lifestyle of Learning

Have you ever had to reteach yourself how to ride a bike? Probably not. Once you have learned how to ride a bike, you likely have learned it for life.

On the other hand, some things in life require continuing education. For example, my New Year’s resolution was to listen to something in Spanish every day. I have taken Spanish in school for several years, and over time I have greatly improved!

Even though I enjoy learning the language and continue to practice, I know that I will always have room to learn more. I will never say, “I’m done! I understand all the Spanish in the world and don’t need to study anymore.”

Learning about missions is more like my lifelong attempt to learn another language. The learning shouldn’t stop. Our world is constantly changing, and studying missions helps us understand how we can best minister to unbelievers.

“And” Discipleship

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV).

For the last two years, WMU has focused on Mark 8:34 and the theme All For You: Surrender, Sacrifice, Service. This theme has been a call to all believers to obey Jesus’ radical call to obedience and discipleship.

In Mark 8:34, there are three distinct actions which are reflected in the WMU emphasis. This theme has challenged me to learn that it is not enough to take only one or two of these actions.

In this stage of life, it’s easy to want to do more in the community. Too often I say “yes” to a service opportunity before I truly surrender my will to the Lord.

Sometimes I deny myself halfway, but refuse to take up my cross.

Other times I am tempted to go to the other extreme, surrendering my will, sacrificing my plans, but failing to offer my hands in service.

Love, Laughter, and Lemonade

Invite your friends and their friends to join you for an evening full of laughter and fun. Summer is a perfect time to enjoy our friendships with other women and to build new relationships.

Who? This event is for all women! Focus on inviting nonbelievers and/or unchurched to this casual, nonthreatening get-together.

What? An evening brimming with humorous skits, stand-up comedy, riotous punch lines, and smiles all around.

When? Promote the event through social media as well as other means.

Why? Laughter is beneficial to our health. It can improve our attitudes and relieve stress. Summer offers opportunities for casual interaction and an event filled with humor may attract your unchurched friends.

Prepare Preschoolers for a Postmodern Culture

Our preschool group looked at a photo of the missionary family we studied that month in Mission Friends. We had been learning about this missionary family for a few weeks. I had just finished telling our mission story for the week of how the missionaries tell others about Jesus. One of the 3-year-olds leaned in to look at the picture and asked, “Are they real?” At first, it struck me as an odd question. Of course, they are real. As I thought about it, I realized that this question is indicative of the current times in which photos are altered and what seems to be real may not be the truth.

Searching for reality and truth is part of the postmodern world of which our preschoolers are a part. Preschoolers are growing up with a postmodern worldview that people can determine their own truth. Growing up as postmodernists, preschoolers will also have a much more global worldview than previous generations.

Meeting Physical Needs

Remember how the men and women who followed Jesus attended to his physical needs—whether it was a place to stay or food to eat or giving Him time to rest. These followers were all in for following Christ and living for Him. Perhaps, they were the first Adults on Mission™.

Those followers had personal relationships with Jesus, just like we have personal relationships with those whom we disciple. There are people in need in every city or town. They may be lonely, hungry, or homeless, or all three. By developing a personal relationship (yes, it can be messy as one Christian Women’s Job Corps™ director has said), you can let them see Jesus in you.

How are you all in at following Christ? Jesus told His believers that, "'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matt. 25:40 NIV). Men and women today can be all in for Christ by following His example and serving the least of these and meeting their physical needs today.

Growing Friendship

Deborah and her husband, Rob, walked around suitcases and boxes crowding their living room floor. They were days from a trip they had planned for months. The kitchen phone rang, interrupting Deborah’s packing.

“Hello?” she answered.

Deborah listened in dismay as a dear friend, Sarah*, shared about a family crisis that suddenly rose up and overwhelmed her.

“I know you and Rob are supposed to leave this weekend, but can you help?” Sarah pleaded. “Please. I have no one else to ask.”

Deborah didn’t even hesitate to assuage Sarah’s concerns; of course, she and Rob would help. Deborah hung up and began making the necessary calls to reschedule their impending trip.

“You can have 100,000 friends on Facebook, but they aren’t your friends,” Deborah says. “They won’t be there for you when you need them.”

Rob and Deborah Brown have made it their life’s quest to form deep bonds with others—the kinds that are sacrificial and mature.

Home Missions

When we think of missions, most of us visualize passports, suitcases, and travel. We seldom consider the possibilities at home. Yet, opportunities abound where we live.

International students, business people, migrant workers, and more live all around us. Many need to hear the story of God’s love and see it demonstrated in our lives.

Without knowing a word of another language, we can serve as conversation partners to help international friends practice their English skills. We can share meals, holidays, shopping, and daily experiences. Learning about one another’s culture opens countless doors.

Imagine how we would feel and what we would want under reversed circumstances. Pray for God’s guidance. Then take the plunge.

Let me warn you: This can be addictive. As God touches others through us, He also changes our hearts.

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV).

 

In the Bag

A number of years ago, my husband took a new pastorate. I was quite saddened to learn that there was no missions organization in the church and determined that I would seek to change that.

Shortly after settling in, I mailed a plain brown lunch sack to each woman who actively attended the church. Inside it was an invitation to a women’s get-together at the church with instructions to put something in the bag that represented her and bring it with her to the meeting.

As the women gathered, we shared what was in our bags. Some women brought an item from a favorite collection. Some brought items representing their hobbies. One woman brought a favorite recipe. One woman brought pictures of her grandchildren. Another brought a book she was reading. One after another, the women showed what they’d brought and told their story. We oohed and aahed . . . and had fun learning about each other.

Pages

Back to Top