Are Your Children Excited About World Missions?
God wants our homes to be houses of prayer for the world. He wants our children praying for the nations too. He wants our children to be excited about world missions and to have a heart for the lost.
There are many reasons why we as parents should try to get our children involved in world missions. Firstly, the Bible shows us that God used young people. Many were called at a young age such as Josiah and Jeremiah. God continues to use children today. I have witnessed him using my children as they invite our local Indian, Turkish, and Nepalese neighbours to church.
Secondly, we are told to train up our children (Proverbs 22:6). We teach our children to have godly characteristics such as a heart for the lost and compassion to those who are in need. By hearing about people in our world they gain understanding of other cultures. They see that many children have far less materialistically than themselves and become more appreciative. They learn to pray and trust God for different situations that missionaries and other Christians overseas have to face.
Finally, it helps them to identify with the needs of other people and see how they can make a difference in the world. We need to sow seeds of interest in missions at an early age if we want to see our children develop into future missionaries. Research shows that children are most likely to hear God’s call to full-time Christian ministry as missionaries or ministers between the ages of four to fourteen.
If children see their parents’ passion for world missions they, too, will be inspired and follow. They need to hear us talk about what God is doing around the world and to see us earnestly praying. They need to witness our heart for the lost.
Home schooling and family devotions are the ideal times to teach our children about world missions. We can teach missions from the Bible including studying missionary characters such as Paul. We can learn about the needs of different countries/missionaries and pray together. There are many books, games, and different resources produced by missions organisations that can be used. During our family devotions, we use my book 40 Days 40 Bites once a week. We choose to make Monday a special day of the week to focus on world missions and call it “Missions Monday.” There are also amazing stories about missionaries such as Gladys Aylward, Eric Liddell, Jackie Pullinger and many others that will inspire our children.
3. Church input
A church that is involved in missions can also inspire children. Missions projects, missions weekends, missionary speakers, and contact with missionaries are all effective. Sunday schools can be encouraged to teach about missions and different countries. Some children can go on mission camps as a Sunday School group or individually. In the UK hundreds of children, who have attended a mission camp run by WEC International over the years, have later gone on to be missionaries.
Children can also get excited about world missions by experiencing it themselves. Different mission organisations offer trips for families and teenagers during summer breaks. They expose children and young people to the needs of the world, increase their desire to serve God, and get them excited about world missions.
May our families be houses of prayer for the nations and our children be excited what God is doing around the world.
Worthing, South Coast of England, UK
To discover more, get Trudi’s book:
In 40 tasty, easily digestible bites you can travel round God’s amazing world and pray! This book covers over 20 different countries including Algeria, China, and North Korea. This family guide to praying for the world will open your eyes to the need and challenge you to come before God and pray.