Parenting: Turning the Mission into the Mission Field

I am absolutely blown away with how much activity takes place in the lives of the teens in my youth group and even in my own home. A couple nights ago we sat down as a family and synced our calendars. (We use the Google Calendar and highly recommend it) I couldn’t believe how much activity we have going on! Ministry appointments & tasks, family necessities & time together, teen scholastic events, band events, sporting events, work schedules and the list keeps building!!

How does a parent move from “the mission” (getting all the stuff done) to “the mission field” (spiritual formation of our family)?

First of all, is that something we are to be concerned about? I’ll submit a hearty “YES” and here’s why:

  • Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (nas)
  • Luke 10:2 – And he (Jesus) was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (nas)

How do these two verses take Mission to Mission Field?

  • Be active. We are supposed to be doing things in life. So that crazy schedule you keep? It’s okay. There is nothing wrong with being active – in fact, that’s a real good thing. Too many families opt for “couch potato” instead of planting potatoes, but that’s a different post.
  • Be Christian. You can’t separate who you are in Christ from what you do as a family. Leave out Jesus and you’re in for a world of hurt. Do the activities pull and push us? Yes. Do we experience stress, irritation, frustration and even anger sometimes as a result? Yes. Here’s the point: deal with it in a way that shows you’re a follower of Christ. Let your light shine. Quit running around with a dark cloud over your head as if life were a hassle rather than a blessing. Jesus has shown you grace – give some to those around you (your kids included).
  • Be Motivated. So the whole goal in life is not to accomplish everything on your calendar. Oh, really?!? Your motivation as you taxi kids to and from soccer, horseback riding lessons, dentist’s office, and youth group is not to simply be on time. It is to glorify God. (here’s another verse that kinda includes all that activity: 1 Corinthians 10:31) Look at your activity and see how you can demonstrate being the Christian God wants you to be, and therefore, bring him glory as a result! Makes sense, eh? Jesus is so practical.

Luke 10:2

Here’s the verse I bet you never heard in any parenting class you ever took. Pray that God would send laborers into His harvest: that’s you & your kids. Kinda practical, isn’t it?

  • What’s your greatest desire for your child? I pray that it is to love God and serve Him forever.
  • What’s His mission for your child? To work in His harvest.
  • What’s that look like? Moving the Mission to Mission Field.
    • It means taking all the things we tend to think are “secular” and making them “Christian”. I don’t mean just slap a different title on it, I mean to live intentionally for Jesus Christ.
    • That part-time job your teen just signed on for? He’s not working for the king, he’s working for the King! (okay, I just happen to have one of my boys working for Burger King) He isn’t motivated by his paycheck or schedule, he needs to be motivated by the fact that Christ will reward him someday for how he labored in his job. (Colossians 3)
    • That soccer practice? It’s not a time of trying to always make first squad (not a bad goal), but rather, “How can I serve my teammates and coaches today?”
    • That band event? It’s not about looking good, its about serving the other band members, the band leader and encouraging those who come to listen.
    • On and on it goes. Can you see practical ways to take your “mission” and make it a “mission field”?

Finally, how are you keeping your spiritual fuel tank full, as well as the fuel tanks of your children?

You will quickly slide into “Mission-only Mode” if you fail to keep the tank full of biblical wisdom and the words of Christ. Having a passion and desire for “Mission Field” only comes as you begin to see the opportunity of parenting as Christ would. It only fleshes out as you see evangelism and discipleship as Christ would. It only becomes glorifying as it takes on Christ’s desire, which is, “…to always do the will of Him that sent Me…”

What are some other practical ways to move from Mission to Mission Field?

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