As You Go: Incorporating Your Kids Into Missions

  The McAnear family: (from left to right) Bo, Garrick, Lynnley, Heather and Madi.

The McAnear family: (from left to right) Bo, Garrick, Lynnley, Heather and Madi.

I was recently asked how we incorporate our children with missions. I didn’t have an immediate response, but as I thought about it, my mind went all the way back a decade and a half to when we became parents. Aside from the obvious question of how we would keep her alive, the actual parenting part weighed heavily on us. How do you raise a child?

Searching for encouragement, my husband and I began underlining and highlighting advice that stuck out. One mantra that rose to the top was “as you go” parenting. This phrase comes from Deuteronomy, instructing parents to teach their children “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) This truth became a way of life as we embraced the fact that our children and our faith are not separate, but both a part of our everyday life.

Practically speaking, “as you go” parenting unfolds in many ways. In the early years of our marriage, our baby would come along when we visited new couples in our church and she was held by everyone in our small group. Our seasons of life have changed and our children have grown older, but we continue to merge life and faith. Together we have visited homebound widows and new moms. We have Christmas caroled, delivered groceries and Thanksgiving meals and participated in mission trips. Now, they are holding other people’s babies at our small group.  


We haven’t made missions something that happens on a certain day or by church staff, instead it’s a regular part of our very ordinary lives.


We haven’t made missions something that happens on a certain day or by church staff, instead it’s a regular part of our very ordinary lives. We believe that every Christian is a missionary, and are encouraged to see God calling our children to live that truth in everyday life. On their own, they have been prompted to start a Bible study, use their talents to raise money for missions and serve others, lead a “Kids Camp” in the backyard, go on mission trips and give to others in various ways.

  Madi (now age 15) went on a mission trip to SE Asia in 2012. 

Madi (now age 15) went on a mission trip to SE Asia in 2012. 

  Lynnley (age 12) gives her time each week, at the dance studio helping with younger dancers. 

Lynnley (age 12) gives her time each week, at the dance studio helping with younger dancers. 

  Bo (age 10) and Garrick participated in a 5K to raise money for  House of Healing . 

Bo (age 10) and Garrick participated in a 5K to raise money for House of Healing

  Madi & Lynnley have led a Kid's Camp in our backyard the last two summers. 

Madi & Lynnley have led a Kid's Camp in our backyard the last two summers. 


 Involving our kids in missions simply means to live missional lives and bring them along as we go!


These are not things we systematically taught our kids, rather they have been drawn by the Holy Spirit and spurred on by what they have seen and experienced. I suppose that’s what it boils down to: involving our kids in missions simply means to live missional lives and bring them along as we go!

I’d love to hear from you. How you are merging everyday life with faith? How have you brought your kids along with you in missional living?


 
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Meet the Author!

Heather McAnear is a wife, mom, author and speaker with a passion for sharing God's truth to help women understand their uniquely beautiful design and how to use it for God's glory! She loves teaching young married couples with her husband, homeschooling their three children, traveling the world, enjoying good chocolate and long conversations in coffee shops. CRBC has been her church home for two decades and she is thrilled to be part of the Women's Ministry team, helping women connect with each other and grow in their walk with Jesus!