Families on mission together help children grow as world Christians, and can access a wider range of opportunities than men or women alone can. Before getting involved in missions as a family, gauge your whole family’s interest and availability. Start at a level reasonable for everyone. Here are some first steps.
1. Begin praying as a family for nations and people groups. If your children are younger, use kid-friendly resources such as a large world map or globe, and pictures of the places for which you’re praying (such as Children Just Like Me, available at amazon.com). Prayer topics written in an understandable way for children are at websites such as Stand For Kids’ website. Many fascinating books about the lives in children from other countries and cultures are available through homeschool resources.
2. Include the world in your kids’ education plans. For example, If you homeschool, take your kids to a local college campus to meet with an international student who can teach your kids about the history and culture of their nation. (They gain English practice!)
3. Host missionaries for family meals regularly to learn about their location and ministry.
4. Go out to eat at the same ethnic restaurant regularly, and get to know the staff.
5. Get involved in local cross-cultural ministry opportunities such as attending cross-cultural festivals or helping refugees move in to their new homes.
6. “Adopt” a local international student and include him or her in your normal family activities. Most universities offer programs to help this happen, as international students are eager to experience American family life. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are wonderful opportunities to invite international families over and explain the biblical meaning behind the holiday.
A great resource for more ideas is Building Missional Family, available at http://www.vergenetwork.org/building-a-missional-family/
1. Pray for missionaries and people groups and countries; with the family worship and devotional sessions.
2. Use prayer cards and letters of current missionaries and the book, Operation World.
3. Look into going on a vision mission or short-term missions trip together.
4. Do a Bible Study on God’s glory among all nations with your children.
5. Have your children pick an unreached people group or restricted access country and do research on that people group or country.
6. Pick a missions biography for your children to read for summer reading and have discussions over the content.
7. Watch a missions film together, such as (google the names and titles)
A Cry from Iran. – Haik Hovsepian Mehr and Mehdi Dibaj
The End of a Spear
Beyond the Gates of Splendor – Jim and Elizabeth Elliot
Peace Child – Don Richardson
More Than Dreams – 5 stories of 5 different Muslims who had dreams of Jesus and then they were directed to the Bible or a person who shared the gospel with them.
William Carey – Candle in the Dark
Beyond the Next Mountain