How to Be on Mission as a Family in Four Easy Steps
Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves and gave us a mission to complete while we are here on earth. We all know we’re supposed to be on mission. We know that it is one of the ways to help our children build faith. It was even included in some of the oldest instructions that God gave to His people in Deuteronomy. However, sometimes it feels like being on mission has to be some big thing that includes packing bags, getting on an airplane, paying a lot of money, and going to some strange foreign land where we don’t even speak the language of the people or like the food. In this post we’re going to talk about four easy steps every family can take to be on mission and to bring LIFE to those around you (the four steps spell out LIFE). These steps are easy. Your family can implement them, and you can teach your kids to be on mission every day.
Step 1 – Look around: This seems pretty obvious, but many people go through their day without really recognizing those around them. Who is around you that might need help? It could be a teacher, coach, classmates, neighbors, family member, or someone else completely. Help your kids look around with compassion. The Bible says that Jesus had compassion on the crowds because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He had compassion after he had seen the crowds (Matthew 9:36). He recognized their presence. Our first step is to look around.
Step 2 – Identify a Need: After you look around as a family and see those who are around you, try to identify a need that they might have. A teacher could need supplies. An elderly neighbor might need help with their yard work. A classmate’s family might need help with carpool. The needs are numerous, and you can ask your kids to help you identify them by asking simple questions. When you notice needs, write them down and begin to pray that God will give you wisdom as a family to see how you can meet the need. God promises to give us wisdom (James 1:5), so ask Him to help you find ways to meet the needs you have identified.
Step 3 – Focus on how you can meet that need: After identifying the need, you can then begin to seek out ways to help meet that need in the life of the people around you. God will begin to unveil to you what resources you have at your disposal to help meet those needs. Maybe your kids can give part of their allowance to help purchase something for those in need, or maybe they can volunteer time to help with the neighbor’s yard work or even do extra chores to pay for something that is needed. The key is to find a way to help meet the need. Don’t feel like you have to meet the entire need, especially if it is large. You want your family to be able to get a win and learn to be on mission, so be sure to focus on what you can do specifically and then move on to the next step.
Step 4 – Engage and activate: Your family now has looked around at those near you, becoming aware of a need that someone has. Your kids have begun to pray to God to help them find ways to meet the needs they have seen, and now it is time to act on what you feel called to do. God wants your family to specifically engage the opportunity at hand. He wants to activate your family to be on mission and show His love to those around them. This is now the time to put into action what you have observed, prayed about, and planned to do. As you engage the people around you, be sure to encourage your kids that they are on mission, serving God while serving others.
What an incredible journey! If you lead your family to do these four simple steps in many situations, you will see your kids grow and learn to serve others simply by being observant, identifying needs, focusing on what they can do, and engaging others by serving. This will bring life to those around you and life to your family.