How Your Family Can Live a Missional Summer

There's a misconception that in order to do missions as a family, you have to go somewhere or your church has to organize it. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret: that couldn't be further from the truth! Now, don't get me wrong—missions trips are amazing, and your church can be a great resource; but that is not the only way to do missions. Living your life on mission means turning your community into your missions field.

As leaders, parents, and family members, is it our duty to not only teach our kids how to live a life on mission, but to show them as well. Missional living starts right where we are. And if where we are is our hometown, then that's where we need to do missions. Summer is the perfect time to do it!

Missional living can be as easy as your family sitting down every night and praying for your community and the missions that are taking place all over the world. It's important to talk about missions with your kids. A great tool is Missions in a Box. You can use the resources in it to begin a discussion about missions with your kids. Having conversations like this can lead to your family talking about how you can support and, more importantly, do missions together.

Doing missions in your own community can be as big or as small as you want it to be and can take very little effort. The opportunities are there—you just need to look for them and ask God to open the doors for you. This can be as simple as keeping cold water bottles in your car and giving them to people who are homeless that you see on the street. You can also make care bags by filling ziplock bags with essential items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, granola bars, and water bottle, as well as a note with a Bible verse on it or a card inviting the person to come to church on Sunday. Keep a few of these in your car, and when you see a person who is homeless, you can give one to him or her.

You can also volunteer at organizations in your community. It could be a good idea to use your church or association as a resource. My church's association sponsors two ministries that are always looking for volunteers. Organizations like these often take donations as well. Your family can go through your closets, pull out items you don't use anymore, and donate them. Then, you can volunteer at the organization and see how your donations are being used to spread God's love. As a family, pray for these organizations and the people they serve in your community.

Volunteering at organizations like these is a great way to show your kids how your association, your church, and (most importantly) you are giving back to your community and also sharing the love of Jesus. One of the most effective forms of leadership is leading by example. If we want our kids to live a life on mission, we have to first show them what that looks like. Let's use this summer as a chance to show our kids how to live a missional lifestyle. Whether you are on vacation or in your community, be a model of everyday missions to your kids. I promise that if you do this, you will see yourself and your kids grow in your relationships not only with Christ, but also with each other.

If you need more ideas or specific ways your family can live a missional summer, talk to your child's GA, RA, or CA leader, your WMU director, or a leader in your church. You can also call your associational offices.

 

Bayley Sharp is a summer intern at WMU on the Children's Resource Team. She will be a junior at Samford University and is studying Secondary Education. Bayley loves to binge watch Netflix and usually has a cup of coffee in her hands!

 

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