“What did you bring me?”
How often do parents hear that question? And how do parents move children or themselves from a me first mindset to one of concern for others? Especially with schedules already filled to capacity and fatigue a daily companion?
Opportunities abound for your family to be involved in mission moments. Take advantage of small possibilities and then build as you can.
Christmas, with its focus on gifts, offers a perfect launching point for families.
- Many churches emphasize international missions at this time of year, so dig out a map or globe and locate the area of emphasis. Make ornaments in the shape of that country and pray for its people daily.
- Help children earn extra money specifically for a missions offering.
- When you pass a Salvation Army kettle, make a donation. Better yet, volunteer an hour or more and ring that bell as a family. Discuss where the money goes.
- Allow your child to purchase a desired gift and then give it to a same age child in need. Explain the plan before the purchase.
- Invite international students or business people to a simple Christmas dinner and explain why and how you celebrate. Learn their customs and beliefs.
- Prepare one or more shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child®.
- Provide resources for people in need so they can experience a full and meaningful life.
Now you’re ready to make mission praying, giving, and going a lifestyle instead of an annual event. And you don’t have to travel the world to do it. Some simple steps, however, may whet your appetite for greater involvement when opportunities arise.
- Pray around the world. During family prayer time, use a globe and choose a country for prayer that day. This also provides a marvelous geography lesson.
- Adopt a missionary family for daily prayer. Keep their picture posted where the family sees it often.
- Collect loose change daily in a baby bottle for a crisis pregnancy center or a bread shaped bank for world hunger causes. Challenge your children to design their own banks.
- Buy one extra item on each grocery trip. Have a child store these. When the box is full, donate the items to a local food pantry or deliver to a family in need. Have the child decorate the box as a visual reminder.
- Sponsor a child, either locally or through a reputable organization, such as World Vision®.
- Host an international university student when dorms close for school breaks.
- Attend or host a World Crafts or similar party to help individuals around the world earn a livable wage while hearing of God’s love.
- Go on a family mission trip.
A few of these ideas may have to remain on hold until COVID-19 becomes history. However, you can plan for them now. In addition, why not brainstorm your own ideas with your family? Keep your eyes wide open for more mission moments opportunities.