I just returned from 10 days in Kenya and Ethiopia with my 15-year-old daughter.
We spent time at Mercy House, the non-profit our family started in 2010 and visited Fair Trade Friday partners in both countries.
I wasn’t even home yet when I heard the words that make me cringe:
“I love what your family is doing, but we could never do that. We are just too _______ [insert one of 1000 reasons].
The statement makes me uncomfortable, but I also understand it.
I feel the same way about 365 days a year. “I can’t do this mission. Our family is too human. We don’t know what we’re doing, I can’t even keep up with laundry. I yell at my kids. We are argue and live this grace thing out in ugly ways some days.”
My list of “I can’t and I shouldn’t” is endless.
But living on mission doesn’t start with doing something for God. It begins with what He has done for us.
“We serve a missionary God. He is all about the sending. We are a missionary people. We are about the going.” ~Jason Johnson.*
By nature we are a sent people. That’s our identity. It’s the why of our lives.
The question isn’t Is my family called to a mission?
That question has already been answered.
It’s simple really. God has called all of us — families included — to welcome others into His family.
“God’s mission for the family is expanding God’s family.” ~Ann Dunagan
We are called to GO.
Do you wonder what God’s will is for your family? It’s to fulfill His mission. We wonder where, what, when . . . and we often get bogged down in the unknown details. The way we accomplish this mission will look a million different ways.
Where are you going today? The grocery store. The school. The neighbor’s house. Wherever you go, fulfill your mission and shine Jesus. Your small step of obedience might lead you to great destinations or it might just lead you to the dog food aisle. Either way, going is half the victory. Because that is your family’s greatest mission.
“If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music . . . Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
God isn’t waiting for us to be perfect or get our act together, so we can change the world; He specializes in using the less-than-perfect places in our lives for His glory.
It’s our mission if we choose to accept it.
Written by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
When God first called me to help start Redeemer Christian School in Pakistan…I said…Who? What? Why me? I didn’t know very much about the Middle East at all, nor was I very versed in International Missions. I’m still not, but I’m trying. I gave God every excuse I had, and yet, He still wanted me. I could sure use a mentor, though, to come alongside me so that I didn’t feel like I was re-inventing the wheel all over again. Fundraising is one of the biggest hurdles. Who would have known that I had family I never knew existed in such a far away place…Amazing our God!!
Blessings to you for answering His call…
How wonderful…We are all God’s family. There are no boundaries…no fences….
Your family is a shining example of love for all….
Joanne Peterson says
This has been God’s mission even in the Old Testament. Israel just didn’t do what God asked…..
When I was involved in Child Evangelism Fellowship, they broke apart missions in a way that makes sense. Know, pray, give, go.
Know the missionaries, be in contact with them, encourage them, listen to them, give cards, letters, etc.
Pray for your missionary, and the field they are in, the people they are reaching, all of their needs and respond how we feel led to pray as well, pray for the strongholds to be broken.
Give, money, time, other resources, expertise if applicable, mobilize other people if you are unable to go, help with training. Support a foreign, native missionary through an organization, support a child through another organization. Learn about another culture. We also have a mission field right where we live too, and act on it. Love your neighbors. When we have more than someone else, we have resources we can use to help other people.
Go, go to another country, or be involved with the people who don’t know Jesus here. I found out we had refugees from Kosovo right in the same neighborhood, we have foreign students at our local colleges, and foreign exchange students in our high schools, we have ethnic grocery stores, and we also have neighbors who don’t know Jesus because they didn’t grow up in a family who knew Jesus.
Statistics are one half of one percent of our resources in our churches in America are used for foreign missions. I don’t know the percentages through private donations of people giving on their own.
These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to be so long. When my eyes were opened, I was astounded at the opportunities we have to be involved in missions because it is God’s heart that all should know Him and worship Him.
Marina Bromley says
Amen and AMEN!
Joyful Journey Mom says
Beautiful! This spoke to me so specifically today. Thank you.
Thank you, thank you! I do not feel called to overseas missions like you but God certainly used this for what He has called me to do. It is so easy to convince myself that what He has put on my heart I should put off because like you said… “I can’t even keep up with the laundry.” This was so encouraging!
JUST taught another lesson on this….”as you go” … and stop making excuses! 🙂
Beth Williams says
AMEN! I know God calls everyone to the mission field of some kind. I just never understood what my mission was or how to evangelize the Gospel. Lately it has become crystal clear. DO what you do best…encourage others. Cook for the sick or friends with family in the hospital, send cards, buy little gifts for people. Basically let people know you are thinking of them and love them just like God does! There is no excuse families can’t do the simplest of acts like praying for others, sending cards, mowing a friends yard, etc. Do something to the least of these and we have done it to Jesus!!
Malinda Fuller says
Loved this: “where are you going today?” Simple and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
Grace Fox says
Thanks for this post. My husband and I train and lead short-term ministry teams to Eastern Europe every summer. We host family camps and LOVE having entire families join us in building God’s kingdom in the post-Communist countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Ukraine. Getting involved with one’s entire family promotes spiritual growth in every member’s life as they pray together, do fundraising/trust God to provide, and serve together outside their comfort zone. These things are all wonderful, but what about the impact that a loving, well-functioning (not perfect) family can have on those to whom they’re ministering? This, in our opinion, is of eternal value beyond words. We serve among people who have no positive role model for parenting and marriage thanks to the destructive influence of alcohol throughout previous generations. When these folks see a couple or a family working together, laughing together, and showing respect for one another, they’re amazed. They want to know the secret. And that secret, of course, is the love of Jesus poured out in our hearts. i can’t say enough for the value of families building God’s kingdom together.