I spent this past weekend at Jonathan Creek helping with our Mother/Daughter Overnight, GA Overnight, and Acteens Splash. I spent the night in the dorm with the mothers and daughters and taught the Bible study for the GAs and their leaders (and many of the leaders were moms). I appreciated mothers who invested a weekend with their daughters, modeling the importance of missions. I appreciated women who gave a weekend to take girls to camp for a time that was fun but also had the serious purpose of helping girls focus on the Great Commission.
The recent Great Commission Task Force Report included challenges to families. The GCR Task Force emphasized the role of the family in teaching missions and had some suggestions for things families could do to instill Great Commission values into the hearts of their children. I believe these moms who took time to spend time at camp with their daughters are making a difference for the Kingdom and the Great Commission.
Some of the challenges to families:
– Make prayer for and the evangelism and discipleship of children a family priority that begins with parents and is assisted by local churches.
– Develop strategies as a family for praying for, serving, and sharing the Gospel with neighbors, coworkers, and others with whom family members come into regular contact.
– Adopt a different unreached people group each month and pray as a family (1) for IMB missionaries working with the people group, (2) for the conversion, baptism, and discipling of countless individuals within the people group, and (3) for the establishment of biblical churches among the people group.
– Adopt a different North American church plant each month and pray as a family (1) for the church’s leadership team, (2) for the conversion, baptism, and discipling of countless individuals in the church’s region, and (3) for the birthing of future church plants from the church.
– Spend a family vacation participating in a local church or association sponsored mission trip.
– Consider setting up a mission’s saving account for each of your children that would enable them to spend six months to a year in a North American or International Missions context soon after graduating from high school.
WMU wants to partner with families to teach Great Commission values through missions groups such as Mission Friends, Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Children in Action, Acteens, Challengers, and Youth on Mission. When missions teaching begins in the home and is reinforced through opportunities at church, missions becomes a way of life, a lifestyle.
A great resource for preschool parents is Families on Mission: Ideas for Teaching Your Preschooler to Love, Care and Share. This book by Angie Quantrell is available from WMU. Another great resource is The Family God Uses: Leaving a Legacy of Influence by Tom and Kim Blackaby. This book challenges families to be involved in missions together, locally and around the world.
The Great Commission begins at home – but it doesn’t end there. I am grateful for the moms and other women who have brought girls to camps and overnights this summer at Cedar Crest (Cedarmore) or Jonathan Creek, spending time and modeling a missions lifestyle with their (our) daughters. Women who invest in girls in the church and community, are spiritual mothers and their influence is felt around the world!