Mission Minded Motherhood

Welcome to the chapter 11 review of our book study on The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity by Sally Clarkson.

“Service to others in need is an essential part of training and instructing our children in order to cultivate in them a loving and obedient heart. Serving others is a way to live out what the Bible would have us believe in our hearts. It puts feet to the message of the gospel.” (page 200)

The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few (Matt. 9:37-38)….God is calling each of us to make our homes embassies for the furtherance of His kingdom on this earth. What a wonderful opportunity we have to incorporate our children in serving and ministry to others as a family. It is not something we should do independently of them…for how else will they catch the vision and passion for service if they do not experience the joys of giving oneself firsthand?

Jesus intended that one of the greatest gifts we could give our children was the baton of eternal life, to be passed on from one generation to the next. Surely, then, helping our children develop a heart for God and his kingdom work must be my fundamental priority as a mother. The specific ways in which we train our children to reach out to others – whether we teach them to give a ‘cup of cold water’ to the homeless or urge them to become missionaries to a foreign country-make little difference. It is in discovering what it means to be part of God’s redeeming work in the world that will excite our children’s heart to meet the needs of others…we help them receive love by learning to give it to others.” (page 213)

Jesus Christ is our ultimate example of one who gave sacrificially, and always felt compassion for the needs of others, no matter how demanding they were upon his time and energy. Matthew 9:35-36 describes Him as one who “and seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them…” Children must learn to see people as Jesus saw them! Together as a family we can grow in this area together. Encourage a giving heart around the home. Can we invite them to write a card to encourage a friend or family in need? Can we encourage them to take a cold drink to Dad when he is mowing the lawn? Can we open our home in hospitality to an overnight guest, missionary, or international student and give of the abundance that Christ has given us? Include them in the whole process!

We will all be called to give an account for the privilege we have received in the bestowal of the gospel. (Matthew 24:31-46). Ought we to give more attention then to how we are preparing our children to walk out the Great Commission? Questions to prayerfully evaluate with your children may include:“I wonder in what way God would have you invest your life for his glory? How can you use your gifts and strengths to bring others to him or to further his kingdom influence on this earth?” Answering these questions might just open up doors of opportunity as we seek to apply the gifts God has given each member of our family in meeting needs around us.

For excellent further reading on becoming a mission minded family, I strongly recommend you read The Mission-Minded Family, by Ann Dunagan. I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Ann personally and have been blessed by this resource! I believe every family needs to read this! For my complete review of this book, visit here.

What did you glean from this chapter? Do you have any creative ideas to share on how to participate in ministry together as a family?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

3 Responses to Mission Minded Motherhood

  1. Willow November 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    I have underline marks and little stars all through this chapter – this is an area where God has really been opening our eyes about what it means to LIVE for Him. How can we expect our kids to truly know what that means unless we model it for them and explain and teach it to them?

    I have to say the verses in Matthew 25 Sally quotes are ones I have been contemplating in a whole new way. I read Frances Chan’s book Crazy Love and I am realizing that our churches are full of so may people that are not living a life that Jesus has called us to live. And that begs the question…if they aren’t, what does that say about their salvation? I think we often get comfortable comparing ourselves to other Christians who may not be living out scripture like they should instead of going right to the bible and seeking out what we are supposed to do.

    I love how she also says that noting the needs of others is not natural to sinful people but that you need to model that for and train that in, your children. My children are far from perfect but we talk a LOT about serving around our home. And I am noticing little things, like how my 5 year old will take out the recycle without being asked, get her brother a drink before I even realize he needs it, or, like the other day, my younger daughter was needing some discipline and while my husband was with her, my older daughter cleaned up the whole family room. Which had been my younger daughter’s job. My three year old is also seeing this “modeled” from her older sister and finds cute little ways to serve on occasion.

    I LOVE the idea of getting your children involved in deciding where and who you should help. Saving their change, earning money through special chores; these are priceless oppurtunities to cultivate in them a servant’s heart. I know from experience it is much harder to try to cultivate an adult’s heart towards servitude than it is a child’s! I also think having your children pray for a few people regularly is a great way for them to learn to love others. Being “committed” to be in prayer for those in need is a beautiful habit to start!

    Another thing I loved is how Sally mentioned that following Jesus and loving Him should be our primary goal. That those actions are not meant to “be nice” or even “be obedient”, although they are; but rather, they are an overflow of the love we have for Jesus and we want to serve him out of love. I think that makes things so much less complicated. I think she mentioned it in this chapter, how she prays for God’s “perspective”, and I have started doing that as well and I am being truly blessed by it.

    Don’t we all want to see things from God’s eyes? If we did how would that change our behavior?

    And lastly, I was encouraged by her reminder to not just ask our children envision for their future, according to their own wants and desires, but that we should be reminding them that God gave them gifts and strengths to be used for His Glory and that their live will serve as an oppurtunity to live out those gifts to further God’s Kingdom.

    And the perfect way to cultivate that in our kiddos is to live that out each and every day. How can we do our schoolwork for God’s Glory? Play with a sibling? Treat the cashier at the grocery store? The child on the playground? Daddy, when he gets home from work? The oppurtunities are endless and I am quite sure that is no accident! :)

    Sorry, for the long post..but I told you I loved this chapter!

  2. Ann Dunagan November 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    Hi Lindsay!

    I couldn’t help but notice that your recent post about the GIVEAWAY for the absolutely darling baby shoes (including the double-entry with a related blog note) stirred up quite an amazng excitement among your readers.

    I’d love to offer a similar GIVEAWAY, to help stir-up a similar excitement for God’s Great Commission (and you know, with those cute shoes on their feet, we can teach our little ones, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:15).

    If you’d be interested in doing something similar, I’d like to offer you a FREE GIVEAWAY of two of my books, one copy of THE MISSION-MINDED CHILD – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose, and one copy of THE MISSION-MINDED FAMILY – Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny. Maybe you could have your blog-readers mention a mission-minded Bible verse or famous mission quote to enter. And then we could draw two names. We’ll get their address, and I’ll send out the books.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again for the encouraging book review!
    And blessings to you and your family!

  3. Joy November 17, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Lindsay, This topic is near and dear to my heart. I truly believe that missions needs to be the family reaching out together, it’s what we do with our family. While it isn’t exactly the question you asked (involving the whole family), I did write a post for Biblical Womanhood a while back about how to raise mission minded kids (before Ann Dunagan’s book :) ). Anyhow, here’s the link: http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/2008/06/guest-post-raising-missions-minded.html
    I’m interested to read Ann’s books. I know Kristi has enjoyed using her curriculum this year, and had a great time meeting her in person!