Leading Your Family in Missions

Are you?

by Casey Gibbons/ July 23, 2015

The adrenaline and excitement was high as the room was full of anticipation. Kids were squinting their eyes and gasping hopeful breaths then chatting eagerly with each other, “I can’t wait!” “This is what we have been working for!" “Let’s see what God did!” As the final moments approached, young hands patted drum rolls on their laps while I announced the all-time record high for our missions giving!

The place erupted with a praise party as kids were shouting, dancing, hugging, and cheering! What an honor and joy to be leading children, especially these children … my own children, in my own home.

Most often our focus for leading in missions is simply directed towards the kids at church. However, God has an outstanding plan for your own family. While we know it is no small task to lead at home, it is imperative to lead our children to live out that which we teach. What they hear about at church is for life. It is for your life and it is for their life. It allows your children to see that your family gives to missions because of your love for God and others not because the church is telling you to or because you are on staff.

As you think about your home, consider these simple steps:

1. Cast Vision—Just as people at church need guidance to get on board with the direction of the church, so does your family. Stir their hearts with compassion to act. Show them the needs and explain how they can make a lasting, tangible difference. It doesn’t have to be a PowerPoint presentation; however connection can be shared from the heart over dinner, during morning drive times, or at bedtimes. Our family gathers to pray a few times a month and chat about what’s going on. These times include our giving plans, complete with specific details about the people we will be helping.

2. Disciple themBe prepared for this to be a learning journey for everyone. Brace yourself for negative pushback as this could be a new focus for your family or simply because some kids are not born with a happy heart to give. Build their faith for what God may have by sharing stories from your past and how God provided. Build the anticipation for the miracles that will happen in your own home.  

Something we consistently say to our kids is, “You can never out-give God.” Time and time again they have watched this principle come true. Every year my children are responsible to raise $1,300 for their missions projects on their own. And for the past eight years I have been amazed at how they have yet to miss it. The cool part is that as a result of their generosity journey, my children have not only grown in their giving, but also in compassion, selflessness, faith, and obedience in hearing the voice of the Lord.

3. Make it fun!—There is much to be said about culture and dynamic while leading children. Keep their spirits high by making their giving a big deal. Keep it creative and fresh. For us, we make a colorful missions poster to track progress, have fun challenges to skip certain foods, sell snow cones at camps, sell toys and clothes, save birthday and Christmas money, work random jobs, sell art pictures and original poetry work, redeem unused or partial gift cards to buyers, and make original audio recordings to sell.  

We place framed pictures around the house of the projects so we keep them on our minds. Additionally, we use every opportunity to highlight to others how our children have been giving. It’s a big family affair and everyone is onboard with ideas and encouragement. 

Overall, the excitement of giving so that people will know God for all eternity isn’t limited to your church leadership. There is a small but important group of people in your own family who are ready to follow your lead!

How can you add missions to your family?